Sun Life Financial

268 reviews

Sun Life Financial Employee Reviews

  • Job Work/Life Balance
  • Salary/Benefits
  • Job Security/Advancement
  • Management
  • Job Culture
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Amazing career if you put in the time, and have a safety net of money to fall back on.
Financial Advisor (Current Employee), London, ONDecember 16, 2014
Pros: flexible hours; own your own business
Cons: finding your own clients; 100% commission
You really need to be dedicated to work this job.
Most people look towards family and friends for meetings and sales - I don't feel comfortable pushing products on the people I know and love. Other ways of getting clients are trade shows, cold calling, or referrals. One thing you NEED to be good at - talking on the phone.
The entire business is based around calling and booking appointments. The best times to call are 530-830 Monday through Thursday, when people are home from work. Be willing to work those times.
Some clients aren't able to meet during the day, so you'll have to book some evening appointments in the office or their home, or maybe even a weekend. Do NOT make a habit of meeting on weekends, otherwise your clients will grow accustomed to it and will expect it.
There are people that will help you in the job, and people who will bring you down (best to stay away from those). If you're a social person, and you want to make friends at work and travel and go to events with them, then you'll have fun here.
You need the drive to get up and go to work every day. Being your own boss and owning your business is a big responsibility. The first 3-5 years of your career at Sun Life, you should be working 50 hours a week, having 10-12 appointments per week, and making a minimum of 2 sales per week, which is harder than it sounds.

My piece of advice?
I came into this role right out of college. It works for some, but I wish that I had gone to a salary position first. When you're just starting out and you have bills and want to save up money, the office expenses and uncertainty – more... of a paycheck will stress you out.
Be willing to become mutual fund licensed, so that you can have a stream of income once you build up your wealth portfolio - which will take a little while. – less
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All of my past work experience
Resolution Case Manager (Former Employee), MontrealSeptember 2, 2015
Pros: knowledge, learning, new challenges.
Cons: Not having the right training fore a new position
Working for large corporations or small business, it has been a great experience and eye opener.
Adapted and enjoyed each company I have been employed by. I had different responsibilities and work environment.
Seems I always deal with customers on the phones or face to face.
With Toyota Credit Canada Inc, was involved in customer service, call centre. Helping or answering questions for customers /dealers of their contracts for loans or leases of a vehicle.
At a work force we meet lots of people, co-workers and management. I have made long lasting friends,
As a personnel view, we all need improvement in one way or another. Could be structure of company, politics, way its managed .... to the small person in the front line. We all need to grow !
We do not go by a day, that we do not learn something new !
The hardest or enjoyable part of a job, is satisfaction.
For me, as a customer service agent, its important that I have answered all questions and resolved the issue. At times we get that challenging customer ( as my years of experience), each one person is so different from another. My view at this is just breath and have the customer his/her time to speak out, than take control. Need to have good listening skills, patient and empathy.
The most enjoyable part of my job, was working as a Team....
Learning/helping another co-worker .
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Loved working this fast paced environment.
Senior Claims Administrative Coordinator (Former Employee), Ottawa, ONMarch 5, 2013
Pros: we would have free lunches quarterly.
Cons: management changed to often never able to get comfortable with one manager.
Loved working at Sun Life, I have been worked at Sun Life in a claims admin environment for 12 years in a team environment. Inputting data into excel. Running and updating reports. We would Create files maintain classified records and documents. When I send files to off-site storage, I would have to ensure that I input all the info into the data base daily so I would be able to retrieve files that are in storage. We had to dispose of records as required. Daily claims needed to be scanned and e-mailed to our claims examiners. Open, sort, date stamp, all mail verify and obtain pertinent missing information for all incoming mail and determine what department it should go to. The department opened between 4000 - 7000 pieces of mail daily. I was responsible for return mail & cheques; I received cheques back from the post office because the address was incomplete. I would check the system to see if the client sent us some new information. Prepare all mail and correspondence being forwarded to clients. This includes ensuring that the address is clearly indicated and the appropriate postage is affixed. I had to transfer all personal calls for my group to the appropriate person. I had between 11 - 14 staff to Coordinate and distribute work daily.
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Team player, Excellent level of expectation, punctual, able to prioritize work, minimum supervision
DISABILITY PAYMENT SPECIALIST (Former Employee), TorontoJuly 29, 2012
A typical day at work is about starting my day to prioritize work such as responding to my Client's needs through email inquiries, telephone messages, telephone inquiries & urgents request. At Sun LIfe & Great West Life, I learn to work closely with my team & independently with less supervision of my Manager. I accomplish my work in order & meets Client's needs & in order to be productive. I go beyond my work & recognized internally & Client's feedback at times, for example, when a Client request for their disability payment to be deposited directly to the account, I always make myself available to walk to the Bank to get this done. This is one of helping & responding to Client's needs. Work Management is also prioritizing day to day task, this involves turn around times & in order to assess claims within the standard procedure & process according to accountabilities. I am a team player, always make it a point to do my role helping with my team to be more productive, and this way, the team would always meet excellency in all aspects of the job. I have always been enjoying my job, used my knowledge and trained to do the best I could. The hardest part of the job is when waiting for information to complete a claim, the decission is being delayed beyond the turn around time and Client needs is not being met at this point. The most enjoyable part of the job is when you accomplish something special & beyond & working with the team and other employees, gaining knowlewdge & support.
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Flexible work schedule, fast paced work environment.
Financial Advisor (Current Employee), Toronto, ONMay 13, 2013
Pros: flexibility
Cons: stressful environment, commission based salary
Working for Sun Life Financial has its ups and downs. In terms of flexibility, Sun Life Financial provided a good balance between work life and social life. The staff was great, provided excellent support. The downs, however, is what has forced me to look for other opportunities. As an advisor, there is only so much you can do for the client but at the end of the day it is up to the client if he/she will take the policy or not. I am a very driven individual and I spend hours building presentations and preparing documents for my clients. At the end of the day, I like to be in control of my productivity but with a commission based salary, if a client makes you do all this work and then decides not to go through with it, it can be very frustrating. I am intrigued by the insurance industry because of what it is capable of doing. In terms of leveraging your risk, insurance is a great asset. I enjoy meeting with clients and being out on the field. One of my biggest strengths is the ability to have a conversation with an individual and really get a sense of what they are thinking and if their is any possibility of a business transaction. Working with Sun Life Financial has definitely thought me how to run my own business, be organized as a professional and how to balance my work and social life.
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Good Company. Great Risk & Reward. So Do Your Homework!
Financial Advisor (Former Employee), CanadaJanuary 31, 2014
Pros: flexibility, great office environment
Cons: straight commission, build your own block (no leads)
Initially you'll be asked for a list of 100 names you can prospect and sell to. Make sure you have a game plan after your warm market runs dry besides cold calling or going door to door. For most people that's when you'll promptly exit the business.

For those seeking Sun Life Financial as their first financial planning gig here's my advice:

Don't do it. Start with 4-5 years in a bank where you will get leads and appointments booked for you while earning a CFP designation. If you want to go independent or 'captive' at an insurance company for $$$ and autonomy only make the switch when you have a reliable network of 500 people you know will do business with you. Don't take the career if you just want to help people, become an exceptional Financial Planner and own your own business. Take the job only if you can sacrifice your evenings and weekends for the next 5 years and you enjoy sales and prospecting 24/7 'cause that's all you'll be doing!

Bottom line: Being an advisor at Sun Life Financial is a great opportunity for the right person. It's a disaster for anyone else.
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Take a job a Sun Life? Risk being outsourced shortly thereafter
Claims Analyst (Current Employee), Waterloo, ONJanuary 27, 2016
Pros: decent physical space to work in and good ammenities.
Cons: insecurity
Continued outsourcing to foreign countries has made working at Sun Life volatile, pressurized and insecure.

Expectations an quantifying every second of your day has made it impossible to make rational decisions that are qualitative based. If you do you are scrutinized for not accomplishing both. Thinking an issue through with care to both the policy holders and the company requires a balance. Sun Life only cares about the bottom line and the stock prices anymore.

Acting like a true insurance company the odds of statistics are used to determine what is in their best interest financially. Outsourcing has dramatically increased the error rate of a claim but they play the odds. How many people will really notice or complain. So they take the low road with their staff and reduce the Canadian component of the company with ever increasing speed. No loyalty to their people that built them, their country or their policy holders.

Sun Life housed the crown jewels during WWII for pity sake. How Canadian is that?

Bye Bye Canada. Don't believe their advertising, it is a lie.
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Productive and friendly work environment. Everyone is easy going and my colleagues are willing to help me with my questions.
Assistant Sales Manager (Former Employee), Markham, ONJuly 16, 2015
Pros: Free coffee&tea, snacks. Colleagues often had lunch together. Extremely friendly work environment, Flexible work schedule
Cons: Located in Markham(traffic during rush hours), time spent on commuting
I worked with Sun Life Financial as an assistant financial advisor. My supervisor and sales manager are very friendly and hard working individuals. They are not only working during office hours and they are willing to committed effort and time after work with clients. I usually arrived office around 9am in the morning. They provided me with coffee and snacks. My job was to conduct research of clients' satisfaction and preference about our insurance products, and I have to build and strengthen relationships with clients through phones to understand their specific needs. Every week, My boss will provide me with soft skills trainings. She is willing to share stories between her and her clients. This is the most enjoyable part of the job. I have found myself becoming more cooperative with my team members, and I have learned how to communicate properly with clients. This is also the hardest part of the job because different clients have extremely different demands. We need to understand their specific needs and provide preferable life insurance plans or financial service to them.
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Challenging but Exciteful Projects with Knowledgeable Managers
Financial Analyst Intern (Former Employee), Toronto, ONDecember 3, 2013
Pros: responsible and well-behaved colleagues, highly developed culture, knowledgable managers
Cons: long hours
In Sun Life Financial every day there are exposures to new and challenging problems which demands brand-new ideas and state of the art models to implement them. This provides opportunity to develop new approaches to resolve the problem, while having access to knowledgeable managers which leads to maturing those ideas.

With the comprehensive knowledge in mathematical finance and financial markets we gained in the Financial Mathematics program in McMaster University, having exposure to the real life applications and the associated challenges due to lack of enough useful data, non normalized data, etc. learning how to overcome these challenges was exciting and instructive.

Responsible and well-behaved colleagues provide a progressive atmosphere which leads to meeting goals based on the pre-determined schedule.

Probably for me as an intern, who needed to accomplish both jobs assigned by Sun Life Financial and Mitacs Accelerated Program, satisfying both duties simultaneously based on the tight time schedule was the hardest part of the job.
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Fast-paced environment with constant learning and a high performance culture.
Customer Care Representative (Current Employee), Waterloo OntarioNovember 1, 2013
A typical day involves taking calls, resolving customer inquiries and providing a high degree of customer satisfaction. I use several databases each day and on each call. I review claims provide coverage details, maintain files, and promote products and services. I review my call statistics throughout the day and strive for efficiency. I have learned a great deal about medical benefits and the structure of group contracts. I have also learned valuable and transferable computer skills. Management is supportive and always finding ways to collaborate in order to improve workplace satisfaction and business needs. My coworkers are a lot of fun and always willing to discuss the knowledge and material that we all deal with on a daily basis. The hardest part of the job is that the customer is on the line while you complete all of the work, this can be challenging but the pressure helps get the job done and it keeps the day interesting. The most enjoyable part of the job is when customers are truly appreciative of and happy with the service.
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Would not recommend this company to anyone
LTD Case Manager (Former Employee), Montreal, QCJune 26, 2013
Pros: great people, good place to learn, great benefits.
Cons: poor management, poor training, low salary, mid-to-poor work-life balance.
Very interesting and engaging work. The people there are the best I've ever worked with. It was a great place to learn, if you are able to learn on the job.
However, the culture is one of ever increasing demands and less resources/time to accomplish anything. Management is a problem. The left hand rarely knows what the right hand is doing. They are not transparent and do not lead by example. This company is unfortunately notorious in the insurance industry for creating a toxic atmosphere and has consistently done so, company-wide, since the 1970's. This all leads to a turn-over rate that is still exceedingly high.
The benefits are outstanding. The salary is on the low end of the range for this position, and having a healthy work-life balance is a toss-up depending on many variables.
Most of this cannot be applied to the company as a whole, as I do not have first hand experience with the whole company.
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Great experience
Advisor/Sales (Current Employee), MississaugaApril 18, 2012
• Good understanding of how the provincial health care system works
• Developing financial plans, managing client portfolio, advising clients on their insurance and investment needs based on each situation by discussing their current and future goals and taking appropriate action by investing their money into appropriate funds
• Employee of the month for meeting targeted sales each month; if target sales were not met, contacted existing clients by updating “know your client” and offer further products/services; several cold calling until 20 appointments were booked for the month
• Discussed retirement planning to ensure a plan was made for existing clientele in inventory
• Client communications and administration duties, primary content manager of Client Management Software
• Resolving complaints when head office or health care practitioners and organizations refuse to grant requests for access or correction; Investigate complaints with respect to personal information by clients applying appropriate judgement and knowledge according to the circumstances of individual files
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Dedicated Company to their Advisors and Clients
Group Benefits SunAdvantage Service Representative (Current Employee), Toronto, ONOctober 13, 2014
Pros: able to work independently, job task gives you a sense of accomplishment
Working in the Group Benefits Sales area is fast pace, motivating and self driven.
Knowledge in group benefits in all area is of utmost importance and you learn something new everyday. Every task gives you a sense of accomplishment.
You are required to work independently, and if needed your co-workers and manager are there to discuss and resolve any issues.
The most challenging and enjoyable part of the job is meeting the turnaround times. We do rely on other sources for information, and in the sales area timing of responses are crucial. It is challenging for me as I strive in providing great customer services by being able to respond right away. When I am not able to, it is important to inform the waiting recipient right and provide a timeline for expectation.
I take pride in my job and in building relationships. This only results in excellent service!
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Easy going culture and very productive environment
Infrastructure Team (Current Employee), TorontoNovember 13, 2014
Pros: free food, friendly environment, flexible work hours
Cons: salary, job advancement, commute, full benefit coverage, long work hours with little pay
Working at SunLife during these couple months isn't bad and the work can be sometimes slow as a turtle or fast as a rocket. The management is okay, depends on the people you are under and their style of leadership. The big bosses are very knowledgeable, willing to listen from the grunts when opportunities are given.

Very flexible work hours, understanding managers when it comes to family issues or any time of injuries. As long as you are productive in your job and most people won't mind what you are doing.

However if you are looking for promotions, then it would be a different story and most opportunity to be manager or higher are very limited. Most people has been here as seniors for the longest period of their careers.
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Great company to work for.
Medical Claims Consultant (Waterloo) (Former Employee), Waterloo, OntSeptember 16, 2014
Pros: employees are recognized for a job well done.
Cons: sometimes. if required to work on the weekend, in addition to overtime pay lunch is provided.
H & D is a production environment. Check your queue assignment and begin working. Every minute has to be accounted. During breaks and lunches you mingle with your co-workers.
During peak periods there are some fun stuff that the management team put on to ease the stress.
The most difficult aspect of the job is when trying to convince management that a process doesn't work.
Sunlife is a great company to work. You have the flexibility to choose your hours of work, breaks and lunch in the H & D Department.
Refridgerators,microwaves and hot and cold water are provided in the lunch areas. Lunch can be eaten at your desk.
During my 18 years until organizaztional changes, I enjoyed as part of my role providing coaching and support to employees.
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Very Dynamic and lots of learning opportunities
System Analyst UNIX (Former Employee), Waterloo, OntarioFebruary 4, 2014
Pros: good company, excellent team to work with
Cons: long commuting and too many afterhours and week end activities
Typical day at work:
Taking care of day to day client requests, preparation and arranging for on hand projects which included patching OS, P2V and looking after hard ware and software maintenance cases.

What I learned:
I gained a great amount of knowledge about Different Solaris hardware and software products. All models of Oracle and AIX devices.

Management;
Needed more time to get used to the new management style

My co-workers:
Got along really well with all members of my team, had no issues working with any of them.

Hardest part of the job:
Commuting to Waterloo every day from Mississauga

Most enjoyable part:
Dealing with my co-workers and handling new challenges every day
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Good experience
Personal financial advisor (Former Employee), Ste Julie. QCAugust 5, 2013
Pros: be part of a very important company and commissions
Cons: payments policies. when the clients cut the insurances contrats, the payments will be debit from your next payroll
In order to have sales, you must to make cold calls, ask for the possibility to have an appointment. If you have the appointment after 10 calls, then make recommendations according to the personal economic profile. Then complete all the sales procedures in the computer, prepare the files, make an order to a medical revision, do and redo the follow-up weekly during the next 3 months, including clients payments and clients no payments etc. I learned to insist and have patient.

The training its scheduled by the company, weekly, monthly. The management depends on your personals abilities. Its a very independent position.The company atmosphere its really good, even the big sense of competition. i really enjoyed the experience but, when you have no appointments, you have no sales, if you have no sales you have not payroll, then you have no bills payed.
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Productive innovative atmosphere to work in.
Financial Services Consultant (Former Employee), Toronto, OntarioOctober 14, 2012
Pros: ability to build and manage asset retention portfolio and work independently.
Cons: not as much face to face interactions with clients.
I acquired a great deal of knowledge and experience in this role. As well as relationship building and influencing skills. The exposure to a wide variety of wealth, income and insurance products adds to my experience within the financial industry. My co-workers definitely made this a great place to work. One of the challenges was to analyze and educate clients not well versed with investment products and principles however, it was the most rewarding when i succeeded in breaking these barriers. I am happy to say that my success rate in such cases was quite high (95%). The most enjoyable part of the job was helping clients with their investments and the successful partnership created in these interactions resulted in ongoing consultative transactions.
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work culture
.Net developer (Current Employee), Vancouver, BCSeptember 24, 2015
Pros: We often have team lunches, and flexible work hours.
Cons: Long
. The very first day of my work, I got bunch of documentation on the current project. It took 3 days time for me, to understand what is going on around.

. I am lucky enough to work under the management, who is more loyal to employees. My management gave me a chance to improve my technical skills in the field of work.

. My co- employees are also kind enough to thought me, the areas of difficulties in the work. They are very social and innovative. I learned lot from my co- workers about, how to be competent.

.Sometimes(project dead lines), I felt little bit difficult to manage the time between personal and professional. But, in the end when we completed the task, the over all time spent on it was worthwhile.
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Very political and slow
IT Position (Former Employee), OntarioAugust 20, 2014
Pros: you can retire there. salary is average and benefits good
Cons: political environment
Typical Day at Work
- Everything needs to be approved and reviewed 10 times
- Expectation is that you document everything
- Aside conversations sometimes makes you feel as you are not valuable for the organization.
What you learned
- Very little. If you are a young professional, you have a lot to learn from the experimented people. If you are an experienced person working with big companies, don't expect a lot of innovation.
Management
- Very knowledgeable
- Very political and slow to make decisions
Co-Workers
- Nice environment
- High Turnover
Hardest part of the job
- Write a lot of documents and also work
- Participate on multiple meetings that are not productive
The most enjoyable part of the job
- Waterloo office has a Tim Hortons :-)