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Group Life Insurance

Life insurance provides financial benefits upon your death to support your family and estate. The considerations for life insurance are very individual, as you will need to consider your family’s ability to continue to sustain their lifestyle and savings goals for a period of time following your death. You will also need to consider what levels of debt are supported by your on-going earnings and how much may be needed to pay off that debt following your death. McMaster provides basic life insurance to eligible employees and retirees. Employees also have the option to purchase additional life insurance through the optional plan.

Information Box Group

Life Insurance Resources and Forms


Group Life Insurance Enrolment/Change of Beneficiary Form

Enrolment/Beneficiary Change form for group life insurance plan.


Sun Life Health Statement (formerly Optional Life Questionnaire)

Sun Life form for documentation of statement of health.

Life Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

The need for life insurance is unique for each individual and depends on your financial and personal needs. For example, a person with a large mortgage and young children might require more life insurance than someone who has only a small or no mortgage and whose children are grown up.

The cost of optional life coverage under the new plan is based on your age, sex and smoking status. The costs increase as you get older. You should, therefore, review the age related rates indicated to determine your current and future costs.

Optional Life (per $1,000) Optional Life Contract Rates Effective May 1, 2024
Age Band Male       Non-Smoker Male Smoker Female    Non-Smoker Female Smoker
Under 24 $0.018 $0.043 $0.012 $0.018
24 – 34 $0.024 $0.050 $0.018 $0.028
35 – 39 $0.028 $0.057 $0.024 $0.035
40 – 44 $0.043 $0.078 $0.028 $0.050
45 – 49 $0.064 $0.140 $0.045 $0.077
50 – 54 $0.121 $0.249 $0.077 $0.128
55 – 59 $0.204 $0.415 $0.121 $0.204
60 – 64 $0.300 $0.600 $0.198 $0.332
65 – 69 $0.434 $0.868 $0.325 $0.523

Example: $700,000 coverage, Male Non-Smoker between ages 24-34 (rate $0.024)

$700,000 / $1,000 = $700 x $0.024 = $16.80 cost per month x 8% tax = $18.14 cost per month (Bi-weekly cost is $9.07)

Step One:
Complete the Group Life Insurance Enrolment form indicating that you are applying for Optional Life coverage by entering the requested amount in Part B of the form. Please ensure the amount you are electing is recorded as a percentage of your salary, not a dollar amount. All sections of the form, including beneficiary designation, must be completed as this form will replace all other forms on file for you. Send the completed form to your HR representative indicating that you wish to apply for Optional Life coverage.

Step Two:
Your HR representative will send you a Health Statement form. HR will complete Section 1 and you must complete the remainder of the form. Once completed you must send the form directly to Sun Life for approval. Please do not send the completed form to HR as it will contain details of your personal and confidential health history.

Step Three:
Sun Life is the approver and they make the determination on whether to grant your coverage request. Sun Life will send you and HR a letter confirming the decision. If approved, payroll deductions will commence within 2 pay periods from HR’s receipt of the coverage confirmation.

Please note coverage is not in force until confirmation is sent by Sun Life and premiums are being deducted from your biweekly pay deposit.

Your life insurance beneficiary can be changed by completing the life insurance beneficiary form and submitting to your HR representative.

Your HR representative will be able to assist you with any process related questions.

SunLife is the approver and they make the determination on whether to grant your coverage request. For questions on your approval, please contact SunLife directly.

If you retire prior to age 65 (collect immediate pension), you are eligible to keep your lump sum coverage or the basic coverage of 175% of salary by paying the full premium which is based on factors such as age, gender, and smoking vs. non-smoking. However, your coverage will reduce to $5,000 as of the date you elect or age 65, whichever is earlier. (Survivor Income Benefit and Optional Life coverage cease at retirement)

If you retire at age 65 (your Normal Retirement Date), you may be eligible for a Term Insurance Policy of $5,000. If you wish to convert your current insurance to a private insurance plan, you must apply within 31 days of your retirement date. Please contact Human Resources Services at extension 222-HR (x 22247) if you wish to proceed with this option. (Note: You can convert your current insurance up to a maximum of $200,000, without a medical examination, however you would be subject to payment of premiums set by Sun Life for outside of a Group Plan).

This webpage is not intended to have legal effect. In the event of any discrepancy or inconsistency, the official Plan text will govern.