Human Resources

Improving your Pension Plan Services

January transition to Sun Life

Our transiton of Western Pension Plan services to Sun Life will be complete by the end of January 2017 and you will enjoy great new services, tools and information:

- Early January 2017 - Sun Life Financial will send you a welcome letter with your account number, allowing online registration at sunlife.ca/western (no balances available yet)
- End of January 2017 - you will receive a second letter from Sun Life saying your account transfer is complete and balances/investments can be viewed online.  All services at Sun Life are now available!

Need assistance with your Western Pension at Sun Life?  Please contact the Customer Care Centre at 1-866-733-8612.

Download the Transition Guide
(Western user ID and password required)

Positive changes and new services are coming to Western’s Pension Plans in January 2017, as pension member services transfer to Sun Life Financial.  A transition guide is available, outlining everything you need to know to make the move. 

Watch your mailbox at home for a letter from Sun Life Financial in early January, with your new account number and instructions on how to register for access to sunlife.ca/western (no account balance or investments available just yet).  A second letter in late January will let you know the transition in complete, balances and investments are available for viewing, and you may begin taking advantage of all the great Sun Life services for Western Pension Plan members.

What is changing?

Western’s Academic Pension Board and Administrative Pension Board (working together as the Joint Pension Board) have made a decision to consolidate services currently performed by a number of external services providers, as well as some services provided by Western Human Resources.  By the end of January 2017, all of the consolidated services will be under the umbrella of one experienced external provider – Sun Life Financial. The consolidation will include custodial, investment, recordkeeping and member services.

This transition will provide improved services for members including: 

What is staying the same?

Most fundamental aspects of the pension plans, including contribution rates and eligibility, will remain largely unchanged. Overall, investment fees* at Sun Life will be very close to, or lower than fees paid by members under the current structure. As well, the Joint Pension Board is pleased to let members know that they have negotiated a 10-year lock on investment management fees, which would not have been possible without this consolidation of services.  Most importantly, the Joint Pension Board will retain its oversight of the plan and it will continue to select the best investments for members, as it has done since 1969.

About Sun Life

Sun Life is the largest provider of defined contribution pension plans in Canada and has 27 universities among its clients.

You may know that Western already has a strong relationship with Sun Life.  In 2014, Sun Life was selected as a preferred provider of a Retirement Income Fund (RIF) for Western retirees.  Now Western is pleased to work with Sun Life to bring improved services for members of the Western Pension Plan.

Key dates

Get more information

Thanks to the many members who attended sessions in September and provided input on the changes. Thanks also to the hundreds who attended information sessions in November to learn details about the transition.

Archived materials

If you have further questions, please contact Human Resources at hrhelp@uwo.ca or at 519-661-2194.

* Total fees include investment management fees, custodian fees and fund operating expenses.