Human Resources

Retirement Income Fund

Information on the new Sun Life Retirement & Savings Plan for Western Retirees

Thanks to the many Pension Plan members who attended information sessions in 2015 to learn more about the new Plan. Watch this page for dates for information sessions in 2016 and see the "Presentation Materials and Resources" section of this page for more information.

Thinking about retirement? Be sure to check out our Retirement Ready Checklist

As of June 2015, a new opportunity is available for Western retirees who are ready to begin collecting an income from their pension savings. It is called the Sun Life Retirement & Savings Plan for Western Retirees (Sun Life Plan).  In late 2014, Sun Life Financial was selected as Western's preferred external provider of a Retirement Income Fund (RIF) program, and Western began the transition to wrap up the Western RIF and transition to the new Sun Life Plan.

Members of the Western Pension Plan who are planning their retirement, and those who are already retired, will have a number of options to consider when they wish to begin taking an income from their pension savings:

You will find it helpful and informative to take the time to explore your options, and prepare well in advance of your retirement date. Read our Western Retirement-Ready Checklist – a good overview of all the opportunities available to you, and the steps you can take to plan your retirement from Western. You may also find that the Retirement Guide offers helpful information about your retirement options. 

Sun Life Logo

The new Sun Life Plan

In June 2015, the new Sun Life Plan began accepting transfers from the Western Pension Plan.  The new plan offers an outstanding opportunity for Western retirees, providing access to a broad range of quality investment choices (including those familiar to Western Pension Plan members), a high degree of flexibility including the option to transfer-in outside assets and spousal accounts, and convenient financial planning support. Western has negotiated very competitive group fees, lower than you would expect to pay as an individual investor. For those who join the plan in 2015, or at any time in the next ten years, these fees are guaranteed for life.

In 2016, Sun Life Financial will begin offering new group information sessions from time to time, which can give you a good overview of the Plan.  They will be a good choice for those within two years of retirement.

Ready to plan a move to Sun Life?

If you are within one year of retirement, and would like to arrange a 1:1 conversation with a Sun Life Retirement Consultant, call (toll-free) 1-866-224-3906 any business day between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET.  Choose option 1 to speak with a Sun Life Consultant.  As suggested in the Retirement Ready Checklist, prior to booking a 1:1 with a Sun Life Retirement Consultant, a conversation with a Western Pension & Benefit Consultant will be most helpful. Call Human Resources at 519-661-2194.  Your 1:1 meeting with a Sun Life Retirement Consultant can allow you to review your investments and get answers to the questions that are important to you. You may also wish to discuss the benefits of bringing external or spousal investments to the new Sun Life Plan, along with your Western Pension Plan funds.  The Sun Life Retirement Consultants can assist with the registration process, when you are ready to make that move.

Planning to move your Western Pension funds to another external RIF provider, purchase an annuity or cash non locked-in funds? 

You will need paperwork from Western to proceed with these options.  Please contact Western Human Resources for assistance.

Presentation materials and resources

Please note that these Sun Life documents are password protected.  If you are a Western RIF or Pension Plan member please contact Western Human Resources at 519-661-2194 or email

-Watch an online recorded information session
-View a copy of the PowerPoint presentation for Western Pension Plan members who may wish to join the new Sun Life Plan
-Details on the investment options available in the new Sun Life Plan
-View a Sun Life Plan brochure
-Frequently asked questions document

Previous information on the changes to the Western RIF

In November 2014, the Western Board of Governors approved a recommendation to sign an agreement with Sun Life Financial as a preferred provider of a Retirement Income Fund (RIF) program for Western retirees.

Information previously posted on the website - Future of the Western RIF, may be found here.