At a time when some insurers are scaling back their offering lineup, Sun Life Financial and CI Investments have unveiled several enhancements to the SunWise Essential Series segregated fund program, including 14 new funds, the addition of a new asset manager and the option to receive a guaranteed income for life as early as age 55.

“Income security in retirement is an issue of growing importance to Canadians, and SunWise Essential Series is an effective way to create a guaranteed lifetime retirement income,” says Kevin Dougherty, president, Sun Life Financial Canada.

The Income Class version of the program now includes a Lifetime Withdrawal Amount (LWA) at Age 55 option. That cuts ten years off the previous minimum age for the guaranteed lifetime income option.

Fourteen new funds have been added to the SunWise Essential Series lineup, including seven from Sun Life’s relatively new fund company, Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc. The remainder are managed by CI affiliates Black Creek Investment Management and Cambridge Advisors.

SunWise Essential Series clients also now have access to CI Private Investment Management (PIM), which is designed to enhance client portfolios from a tax, asset allocation and cost perspective. There is a minimum investment of $100,000.

“The guarantees provided by SunWise Essential Series offer powerful benefits to Canadians, including the ability to invest with peace of mind during volatile markets,” said Derek Green, president of CI Investments. “We are pleased to combine the benefits of SunWise Essential Series with CI Private Investment Management, a new program for higher net worth investors.”

Sun Life Financial and CI Investments have more than $11.8 billion in segregated funds under management.

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