The U.S. division of Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE:SLF, TSX:SLF) today announced enhanced living benefit solutions available on its Masters® variable annuities. Now, Sun Life Financial is even better positioned to help address customers’ retirement needs, whether they want maximum protection, maximum income or the maximum flexibility provided by storage.
“The flexibility and guarantees that Sun Life’s living benefits provide to customers are even more important during uncertain economic times,” said Michele Van Leer, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Retail Insurance & Annuities. “Sun Life’s customers now have a greater ability to customize their retirement income plans to fit their lifestyles, and they can invest confidently with products that are backed by a financially strong and stable company.”
Sun Life Financial has made enhancements to both its Income ON Demand® and Retirement Income EscalatorSM living benefits; now called the Income ON Demand II Suite (consisting of Income ON Demand II, Income ON Demand II Plus and Income ON Demand II Escalator), and Retirement Income Escalator II.
Income ON Demand II Suite
The Income ON Demand II Suite offers customers maximum flexibility through storage of a guaranteed annual withdrawal amount. Not only does it guarantee customers’ income for life, it also allows customers to store that income when they don’t need it and withdraw it when they do. Better yet, they can customize their retirement income solution even further with two living benefit features that add even more flexibility. This suite of benefits includes:
- Income ON Demand II—storage as early as age 50
- Income ON Demand II Plus–storage with a 7% Bonus for Wait. The bonus is calculated as a percentage of a bonus base and is added to the income benefit base, not the account value. Bonus for Wait is available each year during the first 10 contract years if no withdrawals are taken during the year. A step-up will extend the bonus period, and annual step-ups are based on the highest quarterly value.
- Income ON Demand II Escalator–storage with tiered income, 5% to 7% at different ages, depending on the owner’s age at the beginning of the stored income period. The tiered income percentage is multiplied by the Income Benefit Base to determine the Annual Income Amount. The customer has the potential to achieve a higher income percentage if the owner ages into the next tier and the Income Benefit Base steps up at any time the owner is in that tier.
Retirement Income Escalator II
Retirement Income Escalator II offers two ways to maximize guaranteed lifetime income, depending on whether customers need income now or later. Owners have the potential to maximize their income with a 7% bonus every year during the first 10 contract years if no withdrawals are taken in a given year. The bonus is calculated as a percentage of a bonus base and is added to the withdrawal benefit base, not the account value. Owners also can maximize their income by receiving a higher lifetime withdrawal percentage as they age, with the percentage locked in at age of first withdrawal. In addition, owners can potentially receive a higher lifetime withdrawal percentage if they have reached a new age tier and the Withdrawal Benefit Base increases due to a step-up while they are in that tier. A step-up will extend the bonus period. Specifics include:
- 5% lifetime withdrawal percentage for ages 59 to 69, 6% for ages 70 to 79, and 7% for ages 80+
- Annual step-ups based on highest Quarterly Value
Availability and costs
All Sun Life Financial Masters variable annuity living benefits are optional, available for an additional annual charge, and available only at issue. Benefits are subject to state availability, conditions, investment restrictions, and limitations, and may be cancelled; once cancelled, it cannot be reinstated. Not available with the EEB Premier PlusSM death benefit or any other living benefit offered. The current annual charge for Income ON Demand II is 0.65% (0.85% for joint life), 0.80% (1.00% for joint life) for Income ON Demand II Escalator, and 0.95% (1.15% for joint life) for Income ON Demand II Plus. Percent indicated is an annual amount assessed on the highest Fee Base for the account year and the cost is deducted quarterly from the account value. The current charge for Retirement Income Escalator II is 0.80% annually of the highest Withdrawal Benefit Base for the account year (1.00% for joint life) and also is deducted quarterly from the account value. The Income ON Demand II and Retirement Income Escalator II suites may not be available in all states, including New York.
For more information about Sun Life Financial’s Masters variable annuities and living benefit options, visit www.slfd.com or call our sales desk at 866.637.5348, Option 2.
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 Sept. 30, 2008, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of US $365.6 billion. Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under ticker symbol SLF. Visit Sun Life Financial’s website at www.sunlife-usa.com.
Variable annuities are long-term financial vehicles designed for retirement purposes, and are subject to market fluctuation, investment risk and possible loss of principal. Investment return and principal value of an investment in a variable annuity will fluctuate so that an investor's unit values, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.
All withdrawals of taxable amounts, including earnings, are taxable as ordinary income and, if taken prior to age 59 1⁄2, may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty. Withdrawals may also be subject to surrender charges if they exceed the annual free withdrawal amount and may reduce contract values, death benefits. Certain early or excess withdrawals may significantly reduce the guaranteed amounts available under any living benefits.
Purchasers should be aware that variable annuities that credit purchase payment interest may have higher expenses than those that do not credit such interest. Over time, the higher expenses could offset the value of interest credited. Also, the contract may include surrender charges that apply for a longer period than those for a contract without an investment credit.
You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of a variable annuity. The prospectus contains this and other important information. Please request a prospectus for the variable annuity product and any underlying investment options from your financial professional. Read all prospectuses carefully before investing or sending money.
Sun Life Financial Masters variable annuities are issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (U.S.) (Wellesley Hills, MA) in all states except New York. In New York, the contracts are issued by Sun Life Insurance and Annuity Company of New York (New York, NY). All guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuing company. Variable products are distributed through Sun Life Financial Distributors, Inc. All three companies are members of the Sun Life Financial group of companies.
NOT FDIC/NCUA INSURED ▪ MAY LOSE VALUE ▪ NO BANK/CREDIT UNION GUARANTEE ▪ NOT A DEPOSIT ▪ NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY
© 2008 Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (U.S.). All rights reserved. Sun Life Financial and the globe symbol are registered trademarks of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada.
SLPC # 19532 10/08
David Jacobson, 781-446-1955