Helping plan members achieve money for life

Providing your employees with support to and through the decumulation phase is essential to creating sustainable retirement income. It can also help employees achieve on-time retirement and supports organizational health. We’re committed to providing a spectrum of guidance, advice, tools, thought leadership and leveraging our leadership position to advocate with governments and regulatory bodies. Below is an overview of some of the key initiatives that we launched in 2021 to support you in helping your plan members build sustainable retirement income.

Meeting the Decumulation Challenge is our latest resource supporting decumulation conversations and education. This hub provides content and resources to help tackle the most pressing decumulation topics. The site will feature a 10-part editorial series, which breaks down various retirement income considerations and strategies. These stories cite both Sun Life and external subject matter experts. Resources from across Sun Life will be shared through this hub and updated regularly as our decumulation research evolves.  

The first article of the series, Do retirement income plans match reality? provides an introduction to the various themes we will cover in future pieces.

Topics to look forward to:

  • What are the ranges of retirement income options in plan and out of plan?
  • How can income options be communicated and tailored to member needs?
  • 2022 changes to Old Age Security
  • The role of asset consolidation in managing retirement income.

This new hub will make it easier for you to leverage Sun Life’s expertise and to access the resources you need to support your employees’ retirement. We encourage you to bookmark this page for future decumulation innovations, resources, and insights.

In 2021 we published: The decumulation challenge in today’s reality: Helping plan members achieve money for life. In this Bright Paper, we highlighted some of the challenges plan members are facing when considering on-time retirement and how you can support your employees.

 Key highlights include:

  • Specific concerns of plan members and the impact on their employers.
  • Potential areas of partnership between plan providers and plan sponsors to support plan members.
  • Our advocacy efforts on behalf of plan sponsors, plan members and Canadians.

With more plan sponsors taking a more active role in the decumulation phase, many organizations are looking for information and solutions to help their employees. No single solution will help all plan members mitigate all their retirement risks – or meet all their goals. But through a combination of products, tools, advice, and education, we can help them improve their retirement outcomes.

To get the latest information, visit Meeting the Decumulation Challenge page.

This past year we introduced a new capability – auto-enrolment. We’re now able to enrol your employees into a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) without having them fill out a formal Sun Life enrolment form, provided certain conditions are met.

You can learn more about this new enrolment capability here. Also, see page 18 of the 2021 Designed for Savings report to read Sun Life’s case study of its experience with auto enrolment.

November is Canadian Financial Literacy Month and Sun Life is an active participant in this education campaign. The key objective of this initiative is to empower plan members to better understand their retirement savings opportunities and manage their money wisely.

Learn more about the Financial Literacy Month campaign

Whether a plan member is saving for an emergency fund or for retirement, a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) is a great way to help stay on track with their goals. Each year we run a TFSA digital campaign to educate members on the benefits of the TFSA and to help them build financial resiliency. Through this digital campaign we encourage them to use a TFSA to create an emergency fund.

For our 2021 TFSA campaign, plan members received personalized emails from Ella, our digital coach. We had more than 24,000 plan member engagements throughout 2021 - a 36.47% increase over 2020. 

A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) offers tax-sheltered investment growth on members’ contributions and is a great way to save for retirement. In 2021, we had a 31% increase in members engaging with our annual RRSP campaign compared to the previous year. As well, members are increasingly using the my Sun Life mobile app to engage with the RRSP campaign. In 2021, the mobile app had a 66% growth rate in engagement.

In addition to targeted savings and literacy campaigns, we hosted ongoing webinars designed to boost plan member financial wellness. We ran 84 education sessions on 10 financial topics:

  • Balancing your finances: Understanding credit and debt
  • Connect with your money
  • Investing: The Essentials
  • 5 Steps to boost your financial health
  • Saving: The Essentials
  • Where there's a will there's a way
  • Becoming retirement ready
  • Transitions and change
  • Creating your retirement roadmap
  • Investing: A closer look

Watch financial wellness webinars