TORONTO, May 27 2009 – Sun Life Financial (TSX/NYSE: SLF) and CI Investments Inc. today announced changes to their segregated fund lineup. The changes ensure that the products continue to provide a wide selection of investment choices and guarantee options that meet the needs of investors.
Effective July 31, 2009, or later, where applicable under the terms and conditions of each segregated fund contract, Sun Life and CI will implement increases in the insurance fees and limit certain premium deposits for their segregated fund lineup. Price increases will vary by asset class, guarantee type, rider options, and risk of funds. For fees charged to segregated funds, the increases will range from no change to 0.30 per cent. In addition, the Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit (GMWB) rider fee increase on SunWise Elite Plus will be 0.10 to 0.30 per cent. There are no changes to fees for other riders.
New premium deposits will no longer be accepted for certain segregated fund products, including:
- SunWise Elite Full Guarantee Option (Class A – 100% deposit maturity / 100% death benefit)
- SunWise Elite Plus Full Guarantee Option (Class A GWB – 100% deposit maturity / 100% death benefit)
- Clarica Portfolio
Clients who currently have a pre-authorized chequing plan or systematic transfer plan for their premium deposits can continue to make these types of contributions to existing investment options.
“With the backdrop of the current market environment, we have reviewed the options available within our segregated fund products,” says Dean Connor, President, Sun Life Financial Canada. “These changes balance our commitment to providing products that meet the needs of our clients throughout their lifetime, with the strong risk management focus that has put Canadian insurers in a position to weather these turbulent markets.”
New contracts and premium deposits will continue to be accepted for SunWise Elite and SunWise Elite Plus Combined Guarantee Option (Class B – 75% deposit maturity / 100% death benefit) and Basic Guarantee Option (Class C – 75% deposit maturity / 75% death benefit). New contracts will be required to have at least 30% of the value of the portfolio allocated to fixed-income investments.
The principal protection guarantees (deposit maturity and death) and Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefits associated with current investments, which are provided by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, remain in place and continue to protect clients’ investments. In addition, segregated fund contracts provide insurance benefits that include potential creditor protection and powerful estate planning benefits.
“Backed by the strength of Sun Life, the guarantees built into these products have done exactly what was intended, which is help protect clients against volatile market conditions,” says Connor. “We continue to be committed to the segregated fund market and believe that products such as SunWise Elite and SunWise Elite Plus are market-leading products that play an important role in an investor’s overall financial plan.”
“During the recent challenging markets, our segregated funds clearly demonstrated their value to investors,” says Peter W. Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, CI Investments. “SunWise Elite Plus continues to offer a compelling combination of benefits to Canadians, including principal protection and an income for life that is guaranteed, no matter what happens in financial markets.”
Certain funds in the SunWise Elite, SunWise and Clarica Portfolio lineups will be closed to new investments, including transfers from other funds. Clients who currently have a pre-authorized chequing plan or systematic transfer plan into those funds can continue to make these types of contributions. The lineup available to investors in SunWise Elite and SunWise Elite Plus consists of more than 50 funds and is well diversified by region, asset class, investment style and portfolio manager. It includes portfolio management teams from CI Investments and a number of other leading fund management companies.
Full details of these changes will be communicated to advisors and affected clients in the coming weeks. More information about segregated funds is available through financial advisors, and at www.ci.com.
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 March 31, 2009, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $375 billion. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com.
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under ticker symbol SLF.
About CI Investments
CI Investments Inc. is one of Canada’s largest investment management companies. It offers a broad range of investment products and services, including an industry-leading selection of investment funds, and is on the Web at www.ci.com. CI is a wholly owned subsidiary of CI Financial Corp. (TSX: CIX), an independent, Canadian-owned wealth management firm with approximately $82 billion in fee-earning assets as of April 30, 2009.