Term certain annuities

A term certain annuity provides guaranteed income payments for a selected period of time. Your beneficiary will receive the balance of the guaranteed income payments if you die before the end of the selected time period. No further payments are made after the term ends.

Term certain annuities bought with money from an RRSP or RRIF must extend to age 90.

Residency requirements

We'll issue a policy only if the policyholder and annuitant(s) are Canadian residents. We’ll make an exception if the policyholder has an existing Sun Life Financial policy with a contractual right to purchase a payout annuity.

Issue ages

  • Registered (including locked-in funds): ages 18 to 100*
  • Non-registered: ages 0 to 100*

*Subject to legislation.


  • Minimum amount: $5,000 (combined total from all sources)
  • Maximum amount: $5 million*

*Applications with premiums over $5 million are subject to review. Special pricing may apply.

Premium sources

  • Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) - must be a term certain to age 90
  • Registered retirement income fund (RRIF) - must be a term certain to age 90
  • Deferred profit sharing plan (DPSP)
  • Non-registered funds

Payment deferral periods

Payments may be deferred for a maximum of 10 years, subject to restrictions based on the source of premium.

Payment periods

  • 3-40 years, subject to restrictions based on the source of premium

Payment frequency

  • Monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually

Payment options

  • Level payments.  Payment amount remains the same throughout the payment period.
  • Indexed payments. Income increases yearly by a fixed percentage. You select an increase between 1% and 4% at purchase. Not available for prescribed annuities.
  • Integrated payment. Annuity income decreases when CPP, QPP or OAS payments begin. Not available for prescribed annuities.
  • Registered funds are subject to legislative restrictions.


  • Registered. Income from an annuity purchased with registered funds is fully taxable to the policyholder in the year it's received.
  • Non-registered. Only a portion of the income from an annuity purchased with non-registered funds is taxable. The amount of tax and when it is payable depends on the tax treatment the annuity qualifies for.
  • Withholding tax. Canadian withholding tax is mandatory for annuities purchased with RPP (locked-in and non-locked-in), LIF or DPSP premiums.

Death benefit

Death benefits depend on whether income has started and the source of premium.


A payout annuity cannot be partially or fully surrendered and has no cash surrender value.

To learn more about how payout annuities can help you meet your goals, talk to your advisor today.

Sun Life Global Investments is a trade name of SLGI Asset Management Inc., Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, and Sun Life Financial Trust Inc., all of which are members of the Sun Life group of companies. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada is the issuer of guaranteed insurance contracts including Accumulation Annuities (Insurance GICs), Payout Annuities and Individual Variable Insurance Contracts (Sun Life GIFs). Sun Life Financial Trust Inc. is the issuer of Guaranteed Investment Certificates. ©Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada and its licensors, 2021.