While many have complained about annuity contract pricing, the products simply were not profitable enough to keep a $2 billion player in the business.
Industry insiders say Sun Life Financial was hamstrung by its Canadian partner's strict accounting rules, which forced it to report a $560 million loss in the recent quarter instead of roll it over or hide it.
This is a huge number for a company that generated maybe four times as much money in revenue from annuity product sales last year.
Effectively, Sun Life was breaking even, no matter how many miscellaneous fees it managed to charge.
The problem was that the underlying investments simply weren't generating what they needed to make their required annuity payouts.
That's a good situation for investors, but Sun Life evidently wants no part of that.
They are ending their U.S. annuity sales effort and laying off 800 people.