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Group Pension Plans

FNIS Umbrella Pension Plan

Why did First Nations Insurance Services (FNIS) select Sun Life as a Pension Partner?

Sun Life is one of the largest insurance companies in Canada and one of the strongest financial institutions in North America. Financial strength, stability and service have made Sun Life a leader in the pension industry for over a century. Sun Life holds Standard and Poor’s AA claims paying ability rating. This strong financial position means a worry-free investment for you. The surplus ratio - which compares capital and surplus to liabilities - puts Sun Life ahead of all Canadian Life companies. This accurate measurement of financial strength positions them ahead of the five Canada-- wide banks and Trust Companies. With more than $433 billion of assets under management and over $1,196 billion of life insurance in force world-wide, they offer you a safe and competitive environment for your retirement savings.

What relationship exists between Sun Life and FNIS?

Sun Life works in cooperation with FNIS to design retirement benefits tailored to the specific needs of First Nations and their bands and First Nation privately-owned businesses.

When I make my deposits, where does my money go?

Your Sun Life account works the same way that your personal bank account does. When you put money into your account by making a deposit or arranging for a payroll deduction - that money goes into an individual account in your name. No one else can access your private account.

These deposits are held for you by Sun Life in the investment funds you have chosen to participate in. Your individual account is monitored by Sun Life and you receive a personal statement detailing the activity in your account.

What investment options are available to me through this plan?

You may contribute to a guaranteed fund or any combination of the many Investment Funds offered through Sun Life. Your array of options include: Bond Funds, Equity Funds, Balanced Funds, and Money Market Funds. You also may include Guaranteed Investments in your Portfolio.

What are the 1, 3 and 5 year guaranteed funds?

A Guaranteed Fund pays a set amount of interest over a specified term. Banks and trust companies offer similar investments known as Guaranteed Investment Certificates or GIC’s. When you put your money into Guaranteed Funds, you know exactly how much your investment will earn and you know that if left to maturity both your principal and your interest are fully guaranteed by Sun Life.

Will there be any penalty if a withdrawal is made before the guaranteed funds mature?

No, there are no fees, charges or penalties for early redemption. Withdrawals from Guaranteed Funds resulting from death and disability will be made at book value which represents the value of the deposits and interest right up to the date of withdrawal. Other types of withdrawals will be made using the market value in which a market value adjustment will be made to the book value based on current interest rates.

What are investment funds?

An Investment Fund is a pool of assets with a determined value attached to them. They may be a list of mortgages or a portfolio containing blue chip stocks. A fund may contain bonds issued by governments or large corporations. Balanced, or Diversified funds contain a mix of all the above types of assets. As the market value of each asset increases or decreases, so does the overall value of the fund. Economic conditions, market factors and interest rates will cause rise and falls in the value of your investment. All investment funds contain some volatility and should be used as long-term investments.

Can I split my contributions between these investments?

Yes! Many people choose to “balance’ their portfolios between market based funds, which offer more potential for growth but carry some risk, with safe, steady guaranteed investments or bonds.

Access to my money

There are two ways to check your account details including your account balance, the current interest rate and the performance of your portfolio:

  • Online at www.sunlife.ca/member, you have access to your investment information and your plan account at any time.
  • Telephone by calling 1-866-733-8613, you can access our Automated Telephone System 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week or talk with one of our Customer Care Centre representatives any business day from 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. ET.

To access your account online or by phone, you will need a personal access ID and password. If you don’t have a personal access ID, you may call 1-866-733-8613 or sign in to www.sunlife.ca/memberusing your account number (see your statement for this number) and select the Register now link.

Who regulates the Registered Pension Plan to ensure funds are secure on behalf of the employees?

The Pension Benefits Standard Act is in existence to ensure funds are deposited into the employee’s individual accounts. Reports are filed annually with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions to ensure all deposits have been made. Certified Financial Statements, also required by OSFI, accompany the annual reports. If an employee of the Registered Pension Plan has complaints regarding their pension plan, this would be the office that would deal with it.

Beneficiary Designation - Is there a limit to how many beneficiaries I may name?

No, however, if the member dies before retirement and a death benefit is payable, the benefit will be paid to the designated beneficiary, UNLESS there is a spouse. If there is a Spouse, benefits are transferable to the spouse. The spouse of the plan member will enjoy the same options as the original plan member.

The Band Employee Benefits Funding program available through Indian and Northern Affairs Canada(INAC).

INAC provides funding to Bands and Tribal Councils to support the cost of the employer’s share of contributions for Employee Pension Plans as well as cost-sharing – to some degree -the Group Insurance Plan. For employees contributing to the Canada Pension Plan, the Employer also matches this amount. Employees working for a Band or Tribal Council can have their pension contributions matched to a maximum of 5.5% plus the applicable CPP in the current year of application.

How much can I contribute to my pension account?

For the 2010 tax year, you may contribute the lesser of 18% of your salary or $22,450. That figure is scheduled to be indexed thereafter according to the average growth in wages.

Who can join the plan? Is it compulsory?

Any employee has the option to opt out if they are an employee on the plan’s commencement date. Any employee who commences employment after the plan’s commencement date must participate.

 
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