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Changing the game to improve financial literacy

Changing the game to improve financial literacy

New first of its kind online program aims to encourage plan members to save more for retirement

TORONTO, Feb. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Sun Life Financial is the first financial services company in Canada to launch an online program that incorporates a gamification strategy to engage Canadians in learning more about their workplace retirement and savings plans and increase their financial literacy. money UP challenges Canadians to "Learn more" and "Earn more" by completing levels and missions that encompass important retirement and investment planning steps.

"We know Canadians are time-challenged and juggling competing priorities, which means taking full advantage of their workplace plans can fall off the list," said Tom Reid, Senior Vice-President, Group Retirement Services, Sun Life Financial. "With money UP, Sun Life has created an interactive way of encouraging Canadians to learn about their pension plan and save for a more secure retirement while having fun along the way."

Understanding how a workplace retirement and savings plan can fit within an overall retirement plan can seem complicated and overwhelming. money UP breaks down the task into a series of levels and missions that are progressively more challenging, but also attainable and engaging. It uses a wide range of interactive web-based tools including avatars and videos, while participants must complete short quizzes to move on to new levels. A leader board allows participants to compete against their colleagues and share their finished missions through Twitter and Facebook.

Since the launch of money UP, Sun Life Financial is seeing broad appeal to all age groups with Generation X (aged 36-45) and Generation Y (aged 21-35) comprising over half of the participants. Of plan members currently using the program, a third fall into the Generation Y category and close behind 27 per cent belong to the Generation X category.

money UP is the latest in a number of innovative solutions that Sun Life Financial has developed to help improve Canadians' financial literacy and knowledge of their workplace retirement and savings plans. According to Dopamine Inc., a U.S. based consultancy group specializing in gamified campaigns, utilizing gamification techniques can increase employees' ability to learn by 40 per cent.

Sun Life Financial partnered with Bunchball, a leader in gamification, in the development of money UP. Bunchball launched the industry in 2007 with the introduction of the first gamification platform.

"Sun Life Financial has taken an innovative approach to motivating customers, leveraging proven, data-driven techniques that engage and reward learning," said Rajat Paharia, founder and chief product officer of Bunchball and best-selling author of Loyalty 3.0. "Gamification is an incredibly powerful vehicle for motivating performance — in fact, we've seen a 240 per cent increase in business-related performance from the companies we support."

"The early results at Sun Life Financial speak for themselves," notes Paharia, "with all age groups engaged in the program, particularly Generation Y who are digital natives and accustomed to cutting edge technology and innovation. This generation expects the same quality of technological innovation from their financial services providers."

money UP is available to all Canadians who are members of a Sun Life Financial workplace plan by accessing www.mysunlife.ca. To learn more, visit www.sunlife.ca/moneyUP.

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About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial and its partners have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2013 the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $590 billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.

Group retirement services are provided by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

About Bunchball:
Bunchball is the market leader and visionary in gamification for the enterprise. Bunchball drives business results through gamification with its cloud-based platform that motivates and engages employees, customers and partners. Our world-class customer roster is made up of numerous Fortune 2000 companies, including Adobe, Cisco, HP, T-Mobile and VMware. Bunchball is strategically aligned with industry-leading partners, including BMC Software, IBM, Jive, NICE Systems and Salesforce.com, to deliver gamification solutions to enterprises globally. Based in Redwood City, California, Bunchball's investors include Granite Ventures, Triangle Peak Partners, Northport Investments, and Correlation Ventures. For more information, visit www.bunchball.com, our blog at www.gamification.com, or follow @bunchball.

PRESS CONTACT:

For Sun Life Financial:
Jentzen Brown
Media & Public Relations
Sun Life Financial
Tel: 416-979-4076
jentzen.brown@sunlife.com

For Bunchball:
Briana Marshall
Bateman Group
(415) 503-1818
Email: bmarshall@bateman-group.com