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Wed, 03/27/2024 - 14:35

Changes to the investment and deposit options for certain Empire Life Segregated Fund contracts

We’re making changes to the investment funds and deposit options in some Empire Life Segregated Fund contracts. Rest assured that these changes do not affect your client’s core contract features and benefits and will not result in any increased costs.

Changes to two investment options in Class Plus

Effective Monday June 24, 2024, two of the funds in Class Plus®, that was offered in the Class Segregated Funds contract, will no longer be available: Empire Life Aggressive Growth Portfolio Fund and Empire Life Growth Portfolio Fund. Assets in these funds will automatically be switched to Empire Life Moderate Growth Portfolio Fund. If your client would prefer to switch to a different available fund, they may do so at any time. Switches can be submitted through Fundserv, or by written instruction from the Advisor (if an active Limited Trading Authorization is on file), or with a signed letter of direction from the client.  

All three of these portfolio funds are managed by the same portfolio management team at Empire Life Investments with the same investment style. The continuing fund has a lower equity content and also lower management fees. 

Current fund Management expense ratio (%) Class G Management expense ratio (%) Class H Continuing fund Management expense ratio (%) Class G Management expense ratio (%) Class H
Empire Life Aggressive Growth Portfolio Fund 2.85 1.82 Empire Life Moderate Growth Portfolio Fund 2.75 1.64
Empire Life Growth Portfolio Fund 2.80 1.72 Empire Life Moderate Growth Portfolio Fund 2.75 1.64

No action is required as a result of these changes. Clients will receive a letter in the mail, outlining the changes, in mid-April (see sample client letters below).  Any deposits in the current funds will transfer automatically to the continuing fund on Monday June 24, 2024. The current funds will not accept new pre-authorized debit (PAD) deposits or switches-in on or after June 1, 2024. Systematic withdrawal plans (SWPs) will move automatically to the continuing fund, unless clients notify us otherwise.

If clients have deposits in the current funds as of April 15, 2024, they will be entitled to fundamental change rights. This means we will not apply any deferred sales charge or low load fees if they decide to withdraw from these funds between April 15 and June 17, 2024. Withdrawals will impact guarantees, including affecting income bonus eligibility, and the possibility of triggering an excess withdrawal if there have been other withdrawals during the year. There could also be tax consequences as a result of a withdrawal.

Any switch, either to the continuing fund or another eligible fund, is a taxable disposition and may result in a capital gain or loss. The impact of these changes will depend on your clients’ circumstances, and they will need to determine an appropriate course of action based on their investment and tax circumstances.

Changes to Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD) and additional deposit options 

Class Plus
Effective June 1, 2024, existing PADs into Class Plus funds will be discontinued. With this change, Class Plus will be closed to all deposits. If clients would like to continue making regular contributions, they can purchase another Empire Life segregated fund product, or continue PADs into the non-GMWB Class segregated funds within their existing contract. 

Class Plus 2 and 2.1
Effective December 31, 2024, existing PADs into Class Plus 2 and 2.1 will also be discontinued. In addition, Class Plus 2.1 will be closed for all additional deposits. This means that Class Plus 2 and Class Plus 2.1 will be closed to all deposits. If clients would like to continue making contributions, they have the option of purchasing an Empire Life GIF or Class Plus 3.0 contract.

Changes to target investment asset allocation for two funds

The target equity and fixed income components of the Empire Life Elite Balanced Fund and Empire Life Dividend Balanced Fund will change effective July 2, 2024. The updated Fund Facts will be available on www.empire.ca/our-funds/prices-performance on or before that date. 

For the Empire Life Elite Balanced Fund, the new target asset mix will be:

  • 70% Empire Life Elite Equity GIF (currently 80%)
  • 30% Empire Life Bond GIF (currently 20%).  
  • This fund is available in Class Plus, Class Plus 2, Class Plus 2.1 and Class Plus 3.0 contracts.

For the Empire Life Dividend Balanced Fund, the new target asset mix will be:

  • 70% Empire Life Dividend Growth GIF (currently 80%) 
  • 30% Empire Life Bond GIF (currently 20%). 
  • This fund is offered in Empire Life GIF, Class Plus, Class Plus 2, Class Plus 2.1 and Class Plus 3.0 contracts.  

No action is required as a result of these changes. If your client would prefer to switch to a different available fund, they may do so at any time. Switches can be submitted through Fundserv, or by written instruction from the Advisor (if an active Limited Trading Authorization is on file), or with a signed letter of direction from the client.  

To create a list of all your clients who hold either the Empire Life Elite Balanced Fund or the Empire Life Dividend Balanced Fund, log into the Business Centre, click on “Reports”, and then select “By Investment Option” from the drop down menu. Then select either fund from the “Fund or Index Option” list and then click “Run Report”.

Client communications

  • Class Plus clients will receive a letter in the mail in mid-April outlining all of the changes to their contracts. All clients with a Class Plus contract will be notified, even if they do not currently hold these funds or have an existing PAD.
  • Class Plus 2 clients will be notified about the discontinuation of PADs and target asset allocation changes with their June 2024 semi-annual statements.
  • Class Plus 2.1 clients will be notified about the closure of additional deposits, discontinuation of PADs and target asset allocation changes with their June 2024 semi-annual statements.
  • Class Plus 3.0 and Empire Life GIF clients will be notified about the target asset allocation changes with their June 2024 semi-annual statements.

If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Service team at 1-800-536-7683 or reach out to your sales representative.

Thank you very much for placing your trust in Empire Life. We very much appreciate your business.


Summary of the changes and contracts affected: 

Item Class Plus Class Plus 2 Class Plus 2.1 Class Plus 3.0 Empire Life GIF
Fund closures X        
PAD closure X X X    
Additional deposits closure Already closed Already closed X    
Asset allocation changes X X X X X


Key dates to know:

Key date Description
Class Plus
April 15, 2024 Client letters mailed 
June 1, 2024 Existing PADs discontinued; switches into discontinued funds no longer permitted
June 17, 2024 Last day to request free exit rights from discontinued funds
June 24, 2024 Funds closed and assets moved to continuing fund
Empire Life GIF, Class Plus, Class Plus 2, Class Plus 2.1, Class Plus 3.0
July 2, 2024 New target asset allocation takes effect for Empire Elite Balanced and Empire Dividend Balanced funds
Class Plus 2.0 and 2.1
Dec. 31, 2024 PAD closure takes effect
Dec. 31, 2024 Class Plus 2.1 closed to ad-hoc additional deposits

Additional Resources

FAQ 
Sample Client letters