Listening to customers awards Sun Life Financial three top honours

Group Retirement Services receives number one ranking from DALBAR, Canadian Marketing Award and Service Quality Measurement Award

TORONTO, Dec. 5 2008 – “I know you’re listening, but do you really hear me?” Sun Life Financial’s Group Retirement Services (GRS) customers can answer a resounding ‘yes’ to this question knowing that GRS has been awarded three prestigious industry awards based on listening to and acting on customer feedback.

Highest DALBAR rating for Defined Contribution Pension Plan Statements

Sun Life Financial has been ranked number one in the financial services industry by DALBAR’s 2008 Defined Contribution Pension Plan Trends and Best Practices, an independent study evaluating which company’s pension plan statements most effectively meet investors’ information needs.

Incorporating direct input from plan members, sponsors and advisors, along with international best practices, Sun Life Financial’s pension plan statements have been recognized for providing clear, informative visuals and graphics, meaningful language and explanations, full disclosure of administration fees, and the ability to closely monitor investment and retirement goals.

“Understanding your retirement information is a critical component of planning for many Canadians, and providing this content in a way that’s most relevant for the customer is a big focus for Sun Life’s member education campaign,” says Claude Accum, Senior Vice-President, Group Retirement Services, Sun Life Financial. “The more informed you are, the better prepared you’ll be to make those important decisions about retirement.”

“It is extremely refreshing to see Sun Life producing a statement that is clear, concise and factual and more importantly one that is easy to understand,” says Jody Bullen, Director of Strategy & Public Relations, DALBAR Inc.

DALBAR is a research and consulting firm committed to raising the standards of excellence within the financial services industry.

Canadian Marketing Association Lettermail Award for Customer Direct Communications

Along with the number one rating from DALBAR, the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) recently awarded Sun Life’s Group Retirement Services with the Lettermail Award for its plan member statements.

CMA highlighted the statement design concept, which makes it simple for customers to not only find the information they want, but understand what it means to them, if they need to take action or make a decision based on this information.

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) plan members were the first to see Sun Life’s statement in July 2008. “Our employees want information that’s clear and meaningful,” says Art Siksna, Senior Vice-President of RBC Human Resources.

“Sun Life’s my statement approach delivers more personalized information to help employees make decisions that are right for them.”

More than 640 submissions were entered for the Canadian Marketing Association awards. Sun Life Financial was the only winner in the category of Customer Direct Communications.

World Class Customer Satisfaction Award for Customer Care Centre Services

For the second year in a row, the GRS Waterloo Customer Care Centre achieved World Class status for Customer Satisfaction, awarded by Service Quality Measurement Inc (SQM) as part of the 10th Annual Most Prestigious North American Call Centre Service Quality Awards of Excellence.

“When we talked to Sun Life Financial’s GRS plan members about their interaction with the call centre, over 80 per cent said that they were very satisfied, which places their call centre among the elite of those monitored,” said Mike Desmarais, President & Founder, SQM Group.

Based on feedback from customers, SQM benchmarks over 350 leading international call centres, and awards only 18 with World Class Customer Satisfaction honours. Sun Life Financial was the first Canadian record keeper to achieve world-class status by SQM for its Customer Care Centre and remains the only organization in the pensions and savings industry to earn this distinction.

Group Retirement Services are provided by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies.

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Chartered in 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2008, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of CDN$389 billion. For more information please visit

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under ticker symbol SLF.