Customize using layers

The situation:

You’re building an illustration and you need to illustrate a change in either a rate or an amount.

The solution:

For a number of fields within Sun Life Illustrations, you have the ability to customize an input by allowing you to add a change. This allows you to start out at one amount and then change it over time. This feature is available on the following fields:

  • on universal life and participating illustrations for marginal tax rates, for loans and for withdrawals,
  • on universal life it is also available for payments and assumed interest rates
  • on participating products it is also available for dividend scale.

How to use layers to customize your illustration

  • For the above list of functions, look for an “+ Add” button. Each input uses appropriate wording such as Add a change, Add a withdrawal or Add a loan

  • When you select one of these options, the system adds another row to the input.
  • For some fields you are allowed up to five layers while others allow up to two layers. You’ll know you have reached the limit because the Add button will no longer appear.
  • Each row will allow you to specify a different rate or amount as well as a range of years. Sometimes you can also specify the duration by age as well.
  • For some items such as withdrawals or loans or universal life payments, the duration can have a gap. This means that there can be one or more years between layers. For other items such as assumed interest rates or dividend scale, the From year is adjusted automatically because the illustration cannot have any gap with this sort of input.
  • Once you have added one or more layers, you can remove the layer by clicking on the Remove button to the right of the layer.

The following image shows a customized withdrawal with three layers with a gap between layers 1 and 2.

Here are some things to be aware of when you customize using layers.

Generally used with Specified amounts

In general, the layers are only available when you illustrate Specified amounts (loans or withdrawals) and not when you illustrate a solved amount. See the following example of the loan fields when the Level maximum loan solve is selected. To be able to add layers, change the Type to Specified and the Add loan button will be displayed.

Added flexibility for universal life payments

The exception to the above rule is for universal life payments. Due to the variable nature of universal life payments, we added the ability to mix some solves with some specified layers. So for Universal Life payments you can include a single solved layer (Level minimum or Level maximum) mixed in with one or more specified payment layers. The following example shows a scenario where the client was prepared to commit to payments of $5,000 per year for the first 10 years and then wanted to know how much they would need to pay for the remaining years to age 65 based on an assumed interest rate.

Two layers for marginal tax rates

Marginal tax rates allow up to two layers. This allows for the common approach of illustrating one rate to apply till retirement age and then a different rate in retirement.