Actuarial Graduate Program

What is the actuarial graduate program?

Sun Life’s actuarial student program is for full-time, co-op, and internship actuarial employees still progressing towards their actuarial accreditation. Sun Life has developed a supportive environment that gives aspiring actuaries the resources they need to learn, develop and grow.

Sun Life's Actuarial Student Program is a great way for you to:

Accelerate your leadership development

  • You'll learn directly from business leaders you work alongside with. You will see how we lead as actuaries to help shape business decisions and drive business success.
  • You'll participate in a rotational program and get the opportunity to experience and learn different areas of our business.
  • Receive training, coaching, and actionable feedback to achieve your career goals.

Make an impact that matters in the real world

  • Here’s your chance to work on real, challenging problems that have a direct impact on the results and success of both our company and clients.
  • We will look to you to help solve problems that don't always have an easy or existing answer and require new and innovative solutions.

Collaborate with other high performers in a supportive team environment

  • We have a great team with diverse backgrounds and we continue to look for more great members.
  • You'll get support from colleagues who have gone through the program already; colleagues become friends and allies.
  • We work in a fun, open and collaborative environment.
  • We encourage networking with other actuaries and business leaders in the company.

Job Rotation

As an actuarial student program member you will get the opportunity to rotate among different areas within Sun Life. There are over 40 different roles that actuarial students could rotate to. Roles are in different business units and will allow students to learn and perform different functions of the business. The rotation program will help you gain exposure to many fields of actuarial work. This will prepare you to find the area that's most interesting – and most suited – to you.

Preparing for the accreditation exams

The Actuarial Student Program provides an industry leading support package to pass the actuarial exams and develop the skills necessary for success in the actuarial field. Jointly sponsored by the Society of Actuaries and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, this is a series of exams that require dedication, commitment and the discipline to maximize study time.

The following are a list of benefits associated with the program:

  • Time off from work to study
  • Textbooks and solution manuals
  • A budget to spend on additional study support material
  • A large network of other students writing the exams to lean on
  • Compensation incentives for passing exams
  • Exam fee reimbursement

Co-op and Internship opportunities

In addition to our full-time actuarial staff, we also provide opportunities for co-ops and internships that are geared towards students currently enrolled in a university program. You'll work on quality projects and gain valuable insight into the challenges and opportunities the actuarial profession can offer. Get a head start on your career – and start developing the skills you'll need before you graduate.

Professional development

Passing the exams are the foundation of your actuarial development, and that's just the beginning. Sun Life sponsors our actuarial staff to attend professional meetings, seminars, conferences and classes.  This supports continued professional development and relationship building with actuaries from other companies. Sun Life values its employees' dedication to the profession.

Actuarial student and new grad profiles

Example of roles available in the Actuarial Graduate Program

Sun Life’s Defined Benefit Solutions (“DBS”) business develops and implements innovative de-risking solutions for defined benefit pension plans. The actuarial student will support develop cutting-edge longevity models using predictive modelling, conduct longevity research, and monitor and influence industry best practices.

This role provides an excellent opportunity to help tie together the medical research and actuarial modelling work that the Longevity Team is doing.  The team creates solutions directly driving the success of our business.

Main Accountabilities:

  • Model development
    • Use predictive modelling to continuously advance the longevity underwriting methodology used in the pricing of group annuity and longevity insurance products
    • Create and maintain longevity models that reflect industry best practices
    • Use these models to conduct longevity assumption reviews
  • Longevity research
    • Stay abreast of global longevity research (medical, environmental, social, etc.).  Evaluate this research to determine its impact on Sun Life’s view of future longevity
    • Advance internal and external advocacy efforts.  This includes drafting internal distributions and external publications on longevity, supporting presentations to the Longevity Leadership Group, and participating in industry committees
  • Actuarial best practices
    • Stay abreast of emerging industry trends and longevity modelling techniques
    • Contribute to the investigation and evaluation of longevity projection models and data sources 
    • Support risk management initiatives, including risk metric development and internal risk structuring projects

By offering an industry leading suite of products, the Guaranteed Wealth Products team plays a foundational role in supporting the strategic mandate to become the recognized leader in the retirement market and the very powerful Money for Life brand.   The actuarial student would provide support for financial goals, governance and business support for payout annuities, Structured Settlements, accumulation annuities and GICs (Guaranteed Income Contracts).  These products are sold to individuals through Sun Life advisors, third party distribution and broker channels.

This role provides the opportunity to gain more business/operational knowledge, sharpen business acumen, and an opportunity to think outside the box and make recommendations to better manage the product suite. 

The actuarial student would work collaboratively with the Guaranteed Wealth Product Management team, ALM, Valuation, Operations, Individual Finance, Canadian Finance and many other areas.  

Main Accountabilities

  • Identify and evaluate opportunities to optimize profitability and competitiveness of the Individual Wealth business
  • Support Business and Strategic Plan
  • Support daily rate setting and large Premium quote requests
  • Prepare and analyze monthly/quarterly VNB (Value of New Business) and IRR (Internal Rate of Return) profitability results
  • Analyze and implement method and assumption changes into pricing models
  • Maintain actuarial tools used by Operations and provide actuarial expertise in supporting Operation/Advisors' communication to clients

The actuarial student will be tasked with performing actuarial valuations and analysis complex of Universal Life (UL) Insurance products. As a member of our highly skilled team of actuarial professionals, the actuarial student will provide insight and interpretation of financial results and risk.  They will help influence informed business decisions and provide out of the box solutions to new and complex challenges. A student in this role will help to ensure that the UL clients will receive their benefit payment should ever they need it.

Main Accountabilities: 

  • Produce and understand results relating to quarterly financial reporting on IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) basis including; reserves, required capital, source of earnings, VNB, IRR and Earnings at Risk.
  • Work directly with senior leaders through involvement in exciting projects such as predictive modelling, transition to IFRS, policyholder behaviour analysis, etc.
  • Support production of other key deliverables including management reporting, regulatory reporting, Appointed Actuary’s Report.
  • Provide actuarial expertise to key business partners including Corporate, Canadian Finance, Audit, ALM (Asset Liability Management), IT, Pricing and Product Managers.
  • Communicate results (both written and verbal) of modeling/reserves/SOE (Statement of Earnings) to Individual insurance, peer reviewers and auditors.

Frequently asked questions

If you're an actuarial student interested in a future with Sun Life, you may be curious about a few of these topics:

In Canada, we offer paid actuarial internships and co-op terms throughout the year in a variety of areas in our Toronto and Waterloo offices. These roles are intended to give students first-hand applications of key actuarial concepts and business decisions. During your time with us, you will have challenging work and be part of the actuarial community. This includes receiving exam support, participating in education sessions and taking part in social events. Interested students may apply online for opportunities in Canada.

The Actuarial Student Program is a package of benefits created to foster an environment that will help you pass your actuarial exams and develop your actuarial skills. As a member of the Actuarial Student Program, you will be exposed to a wide variety of actuarial experiences in diverse business units through our rotation program.

Our competitive study program will assist you in progressing through actuarial exams, and enable you to apply the knowledge you gain from your studies to current actuarial issues. You will also have opportunities to expand your knowledge through formal education sessions and to meet other actuarial students and actuaries at Sun Life at a variety of social events. Interested students may apply online for opportunities in Canada.

To participate in the Actuarial Student Program, you must:

  • Be working in a job that is recognized by the Actuarial Student Program.
  • Demonstrate the intention to enroll in the qualifying actuarial exam coursework
  • Maintain satisfactory progress toward completing the entire curriculum
  • Maintain satisfactory work performance

The rotation program gives actuarial student program members the opportunity to broaden their actuarial and business experience and develop into well-rounded actuaries. As part of the rotation program, you will move every 18-24 months to another team within Sun Life (e.g., Individual Insurance, Individual Wealth Annuities, Group Benefits, Group Retirement Services, Investments, Asset Liability Management (ALM) and Corporate Actuarial).

Rotating among different roles not only helps you improve your technical skills but also enhances your leadership abilities by allowing you to see different areas of our business and work with different leaders. The majority of rotations occur within the same work location, but there are occasionally opportunities to rotate to other locations in Canada, the U.S. or internationally.

The Microsoft Office suite of productivity software, in particular Excel and Excel-related Visual Basic programming will be essential to your success. We use industry-related applications such as AXIS (a Moody’s Analytics product) and other specialized actuarial and financial software for advanced forecasting and projecting. This is just a sample of the commercial software packages used for pricing, reserving and risk management. Students typically learn to use specialized software while on the job. Possessing an understanding of data analytics and data science techniques is a useful asset.

Sun Life is an established and trusted name in insurance and financial services, with offices and operations in key markets around the world. Our worldwide headquarters is in Toronto, Ontario and our Canadian head office is in Waterloo, Ontario. In Canada, we have offices in a variety of cities across the country. Most actuarial roles are located within our Toronto and Waterloo offices.

Before you even considered joining Sun Life, you may have seen us when we visited your university. Every fall, we send an actuarial recruiting team to several Canadian universities. In addition, we often run events on campus at universities at other times throughout the year. Our actuarial recruiting team also participates in the annual Actuarial Students National Associate Convention (ASNA).

As soon as you start working at Sun Life, you will be paired up with a more experienced actuarial student.  They will assist you in navigating the actuarial student program, introduce you to other actuarial students and answer questions you have about Sun Life.

The Actuarial Community hosts meetings and forums each year sponsored by the Chief Actuary. Community meetings are used for general news and information-sharing. Forums are used as teaching sessions for advanced topics. Typically, each meeting is followed by a social session where students and fellows get together and network.

In addition to the work-related events, there are also social events throughout the year, such as sporting events, pub nights and exam celebrations. These are great opportunities to get to know other students and actuaries across the company.

Sun Life’s Actuarial Student Program provides coverage for exam fees and study materials as well as paid time off for studying and bonuses for passing exams.
Please consult your recruiter for details.

We are looking for bright people with the potential to develop into well-rounded actuaries. In particular, we look for people who are:

  • well-rounded both in academics and extra-curricular activities
  • strong academic performers
  • demonstrably committed to passing actuarial exams
  • technically inclined
  • solid leaders and communicators
  • fast learners,
  • decisive and get positive results
  • work well with others

Prior actuarial work experience is an asset, but is not a requirement. 

We have operations in many countries and an increasing presence in key worldwide markets. This opens up global opportunities for Employees seeking an exciting challenge. Short-term or long-term actuarial opportunities may arise in Canada, the U.S., Bermuda, Hong Kong, China, Ireland, India and the U.K.

Fellows (FCIAs and FSAs) are encouraged to continue broadening their experience by working in different areas at Sun Life. A role typically lasts 3 to 5 years, although this will vary for every individual and role. Fellows may move through formal rotations or apply for roles as they become available. Formal rotations for fellows are not on a regular cycle, but occur periodically depending on the needs of the individuals and the business.

Yes. We are committed to helping you increase your technical and business skills as well as supporting you in meeting the Continuing Professional Development requirements. So, we offer regular education sessions on a variety of topics, through internal speakers, external speakers or industry-wide webcasts.

The main recruiting season is in the fall each year. Look to connect with Sun Life on many campuses around Canada. You can keep informed about actuarial recruiting through our Instagram account.

However, there are postings available throughout the year. Please check the current opportunities page to look for actuarial positions.