Funds appeal to customers looking for simple solutions for workplace retirement savings plans
TORONTO, Sept. 21 2009 – In just four years of offering lifecycle target date funds to Canadian employers and employees, the combined assets of target date funds available to group plans administered by Sun Life Financial are now more than $1 billion.
Target date funds focus on a goal, such as retirement, and have asset mixes that change throughout the life of the fund. As the fund’s maturity date approaches, the investor’s exposure to risk automatically decreases. For plan members who are not comfortable making their own investment decisions, these funds appeal to their need for simplicity, while providing a diversified portfolio.
“Due to their simplicity, target date funds are fast becoming a standard feature in many workplace retirement savings plans,” said Tom Reid, Senior Vice-President, Group Retirement Services, Sun Life Financial Canada. “During the last two years, 55 per cent of our new defined contribution plans have included target date funds. Our investment team helps create cost-effective solutions to give Canadians the tools they need to make their investment decisions.”
The $1 billion milestone coincides with Sun Life’s launch of the Granite(TM) series of target date funds. While similar to traditional target date funds, these funds offer investors a multi-manager investment approach. Each Granite target date fund is made up of 11 to 13 underlying funds chosen for their demonstrated superior performance over the long-term as well as their proven expertise in their asset class or investment style.
“The significant growth in our target date funds can be attributed to employees’ desire for simple investment solutions,” said Greg Bell, Vice-President, Market Extensions, Group Retirement Services, Sun Life Financial Canada. “In turbulent economic times, target date funds can help Canadian workers simplify their investment decisions and give them some peace of mind.”
To meet growing employee demand, Sun Life Financial expanded its target date offerings by adding solutions from investment managers such as McLean Budden Limited and Barclays Global Investors. By offering a wide selection of simple, flexible investment solutions, Sun Life Financial helps working Canadians save more effectively for their retirement.
Sun Life Financial introduced the first lifecycle target date funds with a guarantee for employer-sponsored group retirement savings plans in Canada in April 2005. The Milestone Funds(R) feature a guaranteed unit value at maturity. Investors who hold these funds to maturity will receive a unit value based on the highest month-end unit value during the life of the fund.
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 June 30, 2009, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $397 billion. www.sunlife.com.
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under ticker symbol SLF.