Sun Life

  www.sunlife.com
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Sun Life Reviews

Updated December 12, 2014
Updated December 12, 2014
314 Reviews
3.2
314 Reviews
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Sun Life CEO Dean Connor
Dean Connor
64 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Variety of experience; good benefits (in 22 reviews)

  • Flexibility and work environment are extremely positive (in 19 reviews)


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

  • Not many opportunities for advancement, Salary increases very minimal, too many senior managers (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3.  

    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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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Ask a lot of questions during your interview.....then think twice before accepting an offer

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

    I worked at Sun Life full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Benefits are adequate. Reimbursement for benefits is quick

    Cons

    Load of politics; senior management who doesn't have a clue; cliques; perpetual reorgs. Some senior managers have no clue what is going on in their depts. Budgets are poorly managed. There are lots of duplicate roles. My job did not have a description and I had to do my own performance review. There was no on boarding - just general HR stuff about how great things are. IT leaders are just old programmers and database guys who've done their time, they are very poor managers and their egos are immense.

    The VP that I worked for had not clue on how to provide feedback. Lots of lip service and dictated "get to know and be friendly" with the staff sessions which are filled with propaganda. I was not advised that I would be required to travel to Kitchener office during the interview and then a few weeks into it was told it was a requirement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maybe you should stop your little junkets to Asia under the guise of "planning" and put money into actually fixing IT and getting to know the front-line people that work 24/7 so that you can get your big bonuses.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Financial Advisors experience

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    none unless you enjoy working alone on in a sales-is-everything environment

    Cons

    is a pure sales role, do not be fooled by its vague relations to financial planning or investments, it is glorified retail sales

    advisors who survive more than 2 years are few and far between.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    there is a reason people do not respect insurance people, and while insurance is your business, your tactics do not bring confidence to the marketplace.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7.  

    Leaders are a Joke, president failed this company along with Lincoln. Will never keep talented employees

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

    I have been working at Sun Life full-time

    Pros

    Its just a job if you work here.

    Great work life balance because the company does promote laziness, complacency, and lack of responsibility to managements expense accounts.

    Cons

    Complacent management

    Crap pay

    No upper movement nor is there dedication to internal employees to move around in the company

    Very "old" crowd of useless managers with terrible performance track record. Its like a collusion of terrible, lazy, and old management keeping each other employed while losing real talent to much more competitive and better companies

    Terrible decision making within upper and lower management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your kidding yourselves to think you will continue to operate in the near to long term future with your current "regime". Will enjoy seeing how you fair in the real world once you lose your jobs. From the looks of LinkedIn, seems like that's been a complete fail as well.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8.  

    Management team speaks one thing and does another

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO

    I worked at Sun Life

    Pros

    The individuals in the corporate office were very supportive and friendly.

    Cons

    The field reps had some serious ethical issues.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Serious road blocks exist keeping SLF-EBG from being successful

    Doesn't Recommend
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Disappointing. Effort was pointless as people's paths were predetermined.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Windsor, CT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Windsor, CT

    I worked at Sun Life

    Pros

    Decent work/life balance. Amiable coworkers. Clean bathrooms.

    Cons

    Place is run like a sorority with rampant favoritism. Senior management has allowed this to carry on for years on end. Whether you languished or succeeded was, again, predetermined. Opportunities to advance were cut off at the pass, literally. So we can add unethical to the list as well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get real and break up the status quo.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    3 year downhill stumble that ends in 800 layoffs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Representative in Wellesley, MA
    Current Employee - Sales Representative in Wellesley, MA

    I have been working at Sun Life

    Pros

    Fair benefits though they got cut back over the years. Good work life balance for most

    Cons

    Bad career development. Spent way too much on sales and sponsorships. HR department goes by the book when it benefits them but makes excuses when it doesn't. Badly run and now employees not involved in the decisions are paying for it. Employees that survive the layoff, including the new college leadership people, should take note and get out quick as it will get worse.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Accept the blame for your bad decisions, get rid of senior managers who killed the business, and use the money saved to give more to the people you are throwing out on the street, they deserve it more

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Not the place it used to be

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

    I worked at Sun Life

    Pros

    The work/life balance and benefits were good. There was a pension plan and generous 401K, plenty of vacation time and flexible work schedules, nice coworkers

    Cons

    No career progression, rampant favoritism where promotions and raises are only given to those put on the fast track and not based on actual skills, women are definitely treated differently here, unprofessional work environment. When I started a few years ago, this was a fun and positive place to be. Since the senior management changed and they hired the Lincoln people, things have gone downhill fast. This is not a place to work if you are looking for career development since there is no training given or opportunities like those given to those in the RDLP program for recent college graduates. It's no wonder most of my coworkers are looking for new jobs. Everyone is underpaid, overworked, and miserable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a good look at the turnover and staffing levels. Sometime clearly needs to change and nothing has been done despite the satisfaction surveys. And I question the results, since you claim employees feel engaged. I'm sorry but I don't see anyone engages except those moved to better positions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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