Sun Life Financial study finds 53 per cent of British Columbians will be working past age 65

    Unretirement(TM) Index reveals that workers are conflicted about their
    retirement prospects

    TORONTO, Jan. 29 /CNW/ -  According to the country's first ever
"Unretirement(TM) Index" released today by Sun Life Financial, many British
Columbians now expect to work longer for positive reasons, such as remaining
mentally active and enjoyment of career, but they are also concerned about
their financial readiness for retirement. These findings signal a departure
from how Canadians have been retiring in the last few years and will have
important implications for families, employers and society.
    "Despite many British Columbians expecting to work after age 65, those
surveyed are approaching this reality with resolve," said Dean Connor,
President, Sun Life Financial Canada. "Interestingly, in pinpointing their
primary reason for working past age 65, as many people singled out lifestyle
reasons as those who indicated financial reasons."

    -  Over half of working British Columbians believe they will be working
       past the traditional retirement age of 65. This is in sharp contrast
       to the average Canadian retirement age of 61 in recent years.

    -  Nearly all of those who expect to work beyond age 65 cite one or more
       lifestyle reasons, including remaining mentally active, enjoyment of
       their jobs and the interaction with their co-workers.

    -  In the survey, more than 70 per cent of British Columbians rated their
       personal health and overall level of happiness highly. The survey
       found much less confidence around general economic conditions and
       British Columbians' personal finances.

    "Despite the optimism, many Canadians are not as clear about what it will
take for them to reach a comfortable level of retirement income," said Connor.
"Only 28 per cent of people are very confident they will have enough money to
enjoy their desired lifestyle in retirement. Not surprisingly, Canadians who
use a financial advisor to help them plan for retirement feel much more
confident when it comes to their future."
    Working British Columbians who used a financial advisor to help provide
retirement advice reported that:
    -  they are making better financial decisions (87 per cent),
    -  they will have a better retirement (86 per cent),
    -  they are more confident about their finances (80 per cent),
    -  their spouse/partner has more confidence they're doing all they can
       (67 per cent).

    What are British Columbians doing to prepare their finances for

    -  Just 24 per cent expressed full satisfaction with their level of
       personal savings, or with how their income is growing.
    -  Over the past 12 months, less than half of British Columbians have
       calculated whether their retirement income will last long enough
       (47 per cent) or calculated how much income they'll need to retire
       (46 per cent).
    -  Furthermore, 57 per cent of British Columbians polled lack a written
       financial retirement plan and only 53 per cent have spoken to a
       financial advisor to create or update a written retirement plan within
       the last 12 months.

    Measuring Canadians' overall retirement confidence

    The Sun Life Unretirement(TM) Index measures the confidence that Canadian
workers have towards issues that influence retirement. This first of multiple
studies yielded an overall index score of 50 on a scale of 0 to 100. The lower
the index number, the more negative or pessimistic the outlook is on issues
that influence retirement.
    The overall index is a blend of confidence scores in five sub-indices:
Macroeconomics (score = 40), Government Benefits (score = 45), Personal
Finance (score = 46), Employer Benefits (score = 47), and Health (score = 70).
    For more information about Sun Life Financial's Canadian Unretirement(TM)
Index, visit


    The study was conducted by Fleishman Hillard from December 8-23, 2008.
Telephone interviews were conducted by Interviewing Service of America using a
random-digit dial (RDD) sampling method. Quotas and weights were applied to
gather a sample of 1,226 people working either full- or part-time, which was
representative of the Canadian working population between the ages of 30 and
65. The sample was also representative in terms of gender and region census
break. Analysis and construction of indexes involved the application of factor
analysis. Final indexes are based on summated averages across the attributes
which make up an index.
    Age groups were divided by workers in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60+ and by
three ranges of total assets, not including the net worth of the person's
place of residence (less than $100K, between $100K and $500K, and greater than
$500K). This sample has a margin of error of 2.9 per cent at the 95 per cent
confidence interval.

    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
September 30, 2008, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets
under management of CDN$389 billion.
    Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and
Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under ticker symbol SLF.
    For more information on Sun Life Financial, visit

For further information:

For further information: Krista Wilson, Manager, External
Communications, Sun Life Financial Canada, (519) 888-3900 x 4896,

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