Author Topic: Company Pension Plan with Sunlife Canada  (Read 3971 times)

MustachianPhD

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Company Pension Plan with Sunlife Canada
« on: May 13, 2015, 08:42:56 AM »
Hi there,

My husband has started a new position with a firm here in Canada that offers a defined contribution pension plan through Sunlife Canada. Ideally this is not where we would like to invest, but we want to take advantage of the company matching (5%). We are new to investing and prefer to follow what we've learned from MMM and other great resources like Canadian Couch Potato: total stock market index funds with low MERs. I don't think Sunlife fits into that, lol.

Does anybody have any familiarity with any of these Sunlife Canada funds below? Could anybody share with me the difference between a segregated fund and an index fund? 

MFS McLean Budden LifePlan™ Retiree Segregated Fund (X91)
 MFS McLean Budden LifePlan™ Retirement 2015 Segregated Fund (X93)
 MFS McLean Budden LifePlan™ Retirement 2020 Segregated Fund (X94)
 MFS McLean Budden LifePlan™ Retirement 2025 Segregated Fund (X95)
 MFS McLean Budden LifePlan™ Retirement 2030 Segregated Fund (X96)
 MFS McLean Budden LifePlan™ Retirement 2035 Segregated Fund (X97)
 MFS McLean Budden LifePlan™ Retirement 2040 Segregated Fund (X98)
 MFS McLean Budden LifePlan™ Retirement 2045 Segregated Fund (QPK)
 MFS McLean Budden LifePlan™ Retirement 2050 Segregated Fund (QPL)

BlackRock Aggressive Balanced Index Segregated Fund (W38) %
BlackRock Conservative Balanced Index Segregated Fund (W37) %
BlackRock Moderate Balanced Index Segregated Fund (W36)

SLA 5 Year Guaranteed Fund (060)
Sun Life Financial Money Market Segregated Fund (X21)
TDAM Canadian Bond Index Segregated Fund (X37)
Beutel Goodman Canadian Equity Segregated Fund (U05)
CC&L Group Canadian Equity Segregated Fund (X18)
TDAM Canadian Equity Index Segregated Fund (X39)
Beutel Goodman Global Segregated Fund (U52)
TDAM International Equity Index Segregated Fund (X41)
TDAM U.S. Market Index Segregated Fund (X40)

Will appreciate any thoughts on strategies for balancing this portfolio through Sunlife!

Thanks,

GuitarStv

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Re: Company Pension Plan with Sunlife Canada
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2015, 08:55:46 AM »
I don't have experience with those specific funds.  Our company does pension matching through Sunlife as well though.  Be aware that the management fees Sunlife posts on their website are not MER . . . they're only part of the fees you're actually charged.

hamildub

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Re: Company Pension Plan with Sunlife Canada
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2015, 10:25:37 AM »
As a generally rule I would say stay as far away from Segregated funds as possible.They typically have very high early redemption fees and you don't really get the same kind of capital appreciation you would from a good ole' index fund.

MustachianPhD

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Re: Company Pension Plan with Sunlife Canada
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2015, 10:42:49 AM »
Thanks, hamildub. It looks like we don't have a choice though, as everything on the list has "segregated" in the title. What would an index segregated fund be?

Should we just put in enough to get the matching (ie.e we put 5% and they put 5%) and we continue on with our own investing strategy?

PharmaStache

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Re: Company Pension Plan with Sunlife Canada
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2015, 11:19:40 AM »
Thanks, hamildub. It looks like we don't have a choice though, as everything on the list has "segregated" in the title. What would an index segregated fund be?

Should we just put in enough to get the matching (ie.e we put 5% and they put 5%) and we continue on with our own investing strategy?
That's what I would do.  Can you look all of the funds up on morningstar to get an idea of what they are and what the total fees charged are? 

MustachianPhD

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Re: Company Pension Plan with Sunlife Canada
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2015, 11:40:22 AM »
Never heard of morningstar. Will go google it now. Thanks.

okits

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Re: Company Pension Plan with Sunlife Canada
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2015, 06:49:52 PM »
Thanks, hamildub. It looks like we don't have a choice though, as everything on the list has "segregated" in the title. What would an index segregated fund be?

Should we just put in enough to get the matching (ie.e we put 5% and they put 5%) and we continue on with our own investing strategy?

Yes.  Put in enough to get the matching and not a penny more.  Pick the least crappy mutual fund offered and just use that.

Also, CRA has a form you can file to gain approval for less tax to be withheld on paycheques if you can show other RRSP contributions.  It's super-awesome to have your money to invest now, not months later at tax time.

rocketpj

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Re: Company Pension Plan with Sunlife Canada
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2015, 11:11:47 PM »
My employer shifted away from Sunlife Canada a few years ago.  I had a modest chunk in there slowly accreting, but recently had another look at the MERs and other fees and got offended enough to do the paperwork required to transfer it out of Sunlife and into someone who isn't SCREWING me over with high rates to lag the market.

So far it's been well over 2 months, and they have done everything in their power to hold onto my money and keep charging me their rates as long as possible.  On TWO occasions they have held up the transfer and mailed me a letter requiring my action to proceed.  When I contact them the action required is to say that yes, I do in fact want to make the transfer.

And it still hasn't happened yet.  I'm going through another round of being nice and asking them to transfer me MY money.  It's only about $5K, so I haven't gotten too excited yet. 

Long story short, go ahead and take the employer 5% match, despite all the above it's still worth it.  But Sunlife appears to be evil.