Sun Life Reviews

Updated October 13, 2014
Updated October 13, 2014
298 Reviews
3.3
298 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Sun Life CEO Dean Connor
Dean Connor
59 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Variety of experience; good benefits (in 21 reviews)

  • Flexibility and work environment are extremely positive (in 18 reviews)


Cons
  • Very strong politics especially when you start dealing with senior management (in 13 reviews)

  • once you hit mid career, opportunities for advancement evaporate (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    The company is going down. Do no work for it

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Actuarial Analyst in Wellesley, MA
    Former Employee - Assistant Actuarial Analyst in Wellesley, MA

    I worked at Sun Life full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good location, has complementary parking.

    Cons

    Terrible management. Lots of micro-managers. They don't have a fair/effective performance evaluation system. A lot of office politics going on and there's no good working ethic. The company sold out most of its major business and outsourced lots of functional areas. Therefore, it has frequent lay-offs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    You better be a robot

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Sun Life

    Pros

    Decent pay,
    Good hours
    No weekend or overnight shifts.

    Cons

    Unreasonable expectations
    No room for growth.
    High competition

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Great place if you like factory work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waterloo, ON (Canada)

    I worked at Sun Life full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Nice cubicle, temperature controlled environment, near bus lines, easy to get to.

    Cons

    The bigger the company got the more impersonal it got. It became all about the numbers, work harder with less time, and less acknowledgement for your efforts. The harder you worked the more they expected. Social committees and events became less and less. Interactions between co-workers was discouraged. Advancement opportunities were based on friendships rather than capability, or skills.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None...they wont listen anyway.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    You are better off working elsewhere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I worked at Sun Life full-time

    Pros

    Good brand awareness as the company advertises a lot on TV.

    Cons

    Compensation to advisors is very poor and decreases each year so that in 5 years time, the advisor gets paid less than half the commission he would make outside. In addition, unlike the industry norm where there is a partial charge-back to the advisor if the policy lapses in the first 2 years, here there is a lifetime chargeback on the Growth Commission, which is one of the main components of commission.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To retain good advisors, you need to increase their compensation, even if it means scrapping the Commissions on Release.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Over promised, under delivered

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Group Sales Representative
    Current Employee - Group Sales Representative

    I have been working at Sun Life full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Reorganizing for the better, but unrealistic about damage past 5 years of poor service and uncompetitive pricing has done in certain markets

    Cons

    Internally a mess. Can't deliver strong service or competitive pricing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give local regions and office some autonomy in local markets. Current comp/incentive plan has take aways that reps have no control due to uncompetitive pricing and no point of sale flexibility.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Incompetence, inefficient management, in a Mad Men-like environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Wellesley, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Wellesley, MA

    I worked at Sun Life as a contractor

    Pros

    Honestly, I can't think of any reason I'd ever suggest an intelligent person to go work there.

    Cons

    I was at Sun Life on a short contract, and was very disappointed with my experience. I was worked to the bone, never allowed my legal breaks and was questioned when I left to take even a half-hour lunch. My experience and expertise was constantly questioned, and I felt like asking why they even hired me.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advice to Canada: come to the US. Evaluate your management - from AVP's to general managers. You will find major problems. Moral is very low; something needs to be done.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Financial Advisor Sun Life Financial

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Sun Life

    Pros

    Unlimited potential, nothing else was good

    Cons

    It is a scam, they find every way to suck the money they give you right back

    Doesn't Recommend
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Think twice about "career" as advisor at Sun Life

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Sun Life full-time

    Pros

    Your meetings commence towards the end of the day. Your evenings are ALWAYS busy with meetings. Downtime is in the morning when you should generally get your admin done. You will spend alot of time on the phone sorting out SNAFU's with head office in the morning.

    If this is your idea of a lifestyle with "flexibility" (that's how they sell this job to housewives) then good! At least in a corporation your day ends... the average rep makes around $24000 per YEAR. Check out payscale.

    Cons

    It is not a great time to be new in this business, and particularly not with Sun Life. Propeller heads at head office have figured out how to transfer much of their business risk to the new recruit, and most reps don't truly understand the liabilities they are taking on. Recruitment practices SHOULD be monitored at branch offices, true, as another poster said.

    Here is one of their onerous practices that most new recruits don't get and which could cost them thousands of $'s.

    HERE IS A REAL LIFE EXAMPLE OF ONE OF SUN'S PRACTICES: when a rep leaves, they leave their clients behind. All the good clients are snapped up by managers and experienced reps. The remainder go in a pool and one of the manager's jobs is to offload these garbage clients to new reps. I say garbage because everyone in my millieu at Sun who took these ended up paying back SUN LIFE the commissions that a previous rep earned ... costing them thousands more than the miniscule monthly cash flow stream they generated. Would you assume a potential debt of $THOUSANDS of dollars to assume a shaky income stream of $4 or $5 per month? They DO NOT MAKE THIS CLEAR TO YOU. They tell you they are gifting you an opportunity to cross sell the client with other products. Most of these clients are pissed off as they've been assigned to TOO many different advisors in a short period of time... and all these advisors want to do is sell them new policies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Monitor recruitment at the branch offices for dishonest recruitment practices. If SUN LIFE was really invested in anything other than promoting sales , they would partner new recruits with an established sales person, pay them a base to learn (as another poster noted)... Now that I have seen how SUN LIFE operates I would issue a big caveat about trusting your financial health, as a consumer, to a recruit that is incentivized to sell at all costs and owning only the most superficial and usually imperfect or downright incorrect product knowledge.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Nice people, but don't count on them if you are new to Canada or want to have a personal life

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Testing Specialist II in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Testing Specialist II in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I worked at Sun Life full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - Financing of Certifications, Conferences and other educational activities
    - Free breakfast/lunch during quarterly meetings

    Cons

    - Terrible work-life balance:
       1) my boss wouldn't let me use my personal cell phone to text my family, not even during the 30 seconds that it took to walk from my desk to the bathroom - a time when I clearly couldn't be doing work-related stuff.
       2) while I was there, their working-from-home policy got more and more strict. People who used to work from home 2x/week (because they lived far away) were called to work in the office 5x/week.
       3) You get 10 days vacation and it only goes up to 12 days after you've worked with them for 2 years.
    - If you're an immigrant, don't expect them to help you fit in the Canadian work culture. No one ever told me if or what I was doing wrong, how I needed to act, if I should change, etc.
    - There is no knowledge sharing culture. They have people who are specialists in each area or system, and nothing is written down. Only one person knows the information about one system. If the specialist goes on vacation and you need information about that system, too bad for you. You have to wait for that person to come back (and meanwhile you get 2 weeks behind your schedule).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Start investing in knowledge sharing before it's too late. Get a KS specialist and have them show you how much money you are already losing by not doing it. You will be surprised.
    - Create a program to support employees who are new to Canada and to educate their managers. Help them see and understand each other's differences. You will continue to loose top talent, because you are failing to see how much they can contribute to your company.
    - Learn how to manage remote work. It is a worldwide tendency. It helps people keep a good work-life balance and avoid the long stressful commutes (especially in Toronto).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11.  

    IT Guys becareful in case you want to join Sun life India Service Center

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Sun Life

    Pros

    Not applicable to this company

    Cons

    If you are willing to join the Sun Life India Service Center in Gurgaon, then please take a look at following facts and then decide if you still want to join.

    In early 2012, Sun Life USA decided to shut down few lines of business. Company annouced 800 job cuts at its US center. Almost a third of total workforce.

    Indian center head gives assurance to the impacted IT resources totalling 160 that no one will be fired and gives assurance of job security.

    Senior Managers and senior people start getting migrated to other projects. Management does not even tell other people on what basis the migration has started. Management still gives assurance of 100% migration.

    Resumes of all other resources sought by respective leaders. People think that they will ge given relevant roles as per their skills but poor resources were not aware that what going on in management mind.

    When after some month, people don't get any information from their managers and bosses, people start getting nervous and start quitting. Management again comes and gives false assurance to stay back. People start believing management.

    After 6 month, one day a director speaks with the team who got migrated and tells them about possible layoff's. The other director comes out and assure others that there is no such thing and don't worry.

    1 week after this, on a friday you may call its black friday of Sun Life India Center, management shifts a team of 32 people to seperate location where firing takes place. Thats whopping 11% of Indian center <300 IT resources.

    Can you believe a 5 year old company doing such thing to its IT resources. Would you still like to join this company where the management itself can't be trusted leave apart the bosses who are of the same category.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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