What is life conversion?

June 12, 2020

If your employment is ending or you’re retiring, you may be eligible to convert group life insurance to an individual policy.

Termination of employment or retirement seldom means that you need less life insurance.

When your employment ends, or when you retire or reach the group benefits plan age limit, your group life insurance will be cancelled or reduced*. In all cases, you may be eligible* to convert your group life insurance to an individual policy directly with the insurer, Manulife. If you convert within 31 days of your coverage ending, evidence of good health or a medical exam will not be required. Converting your group life insurance lets you avoid these potential roadblocks and guarantees your acceptance.

*Check your benefits booklet for Conversion Privilege or contact OTIP Benefits Services at 1‑866‑783‑6847 for more details.

Life coverages you can convert

For members of the ETFO ELHT Benefits Plan, you can convert the following coverage to an individual policy:

  • Member Basic Life: The benefit amount reduces by 50% at age 65 and ends when you retire
  • Member Optional and/or Supplemental Life: The benefit amount ends when you retire
  • Spousal Optional Life: The benefit amount ends when you retire

Please note that Optional Child Life insurance can only be converted if you are a resident of Quebec.

If your insurance needs have changed, you can choose to convert only part of your group life insurance coverage to suit your current lifestyle. (For Quebec residents only: The minimum amount required for conversion of a plan member’s coverage is $10,000 and of a spouse or dependant’s coverage is $5,000.)

Factors to consider when converting

Rates: Rates are determined by the insurer, and premiums for the individual policy are typically much higher than when you were covered under the group benefits plan. Premiums can be reviewed on page 2 of the Group Benefits Life Conversion Options (283 KB PDF) form (found under Life Insurance forms).

Existing health condition: If you have an existing health condition and do not think you can get a life insurance policy elsewhere, conversion may be your best choice. We encourage you to look at other life insurance options before you retire.

What you need to do

Once you have reviewed the rates and are still interested in converting your group life insurance, complete these steps:

  1. Contact OTIP Benefits Services at 1-866-783-6847. We will complete the Plan sponsor information section of the Group Benefits Life Conversion Options form and send it to you. (NOTE: This step can take up to five business days.)
  2. Once you have received the completed Plan sponsor information section, please fill out sections 2 and 3 of the form.
  3. Send to Manulife as directed on the form. Manulife will contact you directly on the status of the application.

If you need help with reviewing and calculating the premiums, you can contact Manulife Customer Service Centre at 1-800-268-6195. Be sure to tell them that you are calling about the group benefits life conversion option.


Don’t want to provide proof of good health or undergo a medical exam?
You must submit the completed Group Benefits Life Conversion Options form to Manulife within 31 days of your coverage ending or reducing.


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