Great-West Lifeco reported net earnings of $784 million in the second quarter of 2021, down from $863 million in Q2 2020.

This decrease of 9.1 per cent or $79 million “was primarily due to less favourable contributions from actuarial assumptions changes and market-related impacts on liabilities, which were strong positive contributors in second quarter of 2020 due to impacts of significant market recoveries following the COVID-19 pandemic related shocks in the first quarter of 2020,” Great-West Lifeco says.

“Restructuring, integration and transaction costs in the U.S. as well as the negative tax related impacts in the United Kingdom (U.K.) also contributed to the decline,” the company adds, pointing out that “these items were partially offset by an increase in base earnings,” which excludes factors such as those mentioned above.

Declines in three sectors, including Canada  

Canadian operations, which includes Canada Life, reported net earnings of $288 million in Q2 2021, versus $353 million in the second quarter of 2020.

This decrease of 13.8 per cent or $65 million was due to a less favourable actuarial assumption revision, but also to a drop in Canadian base earnings. The decline was primarily due to “lower contributions from investment experience, which included the impact of an asset impairment, partially offset by higher fee income due to higher markets and favourable morbidity experience in Group Customer,” Great-West explains. 

Two other segments also saw declines. In Europe, net earnings sank by 26.9 per cent or $68 million to $185 million. Capital and risk solutions net earnings fell 18.7 percent or $35 million to $152 million.

At the same time, two segments were up strongly. In the United States, net earnings soared by 92.3 per cent or $72 million to $150 million. Lifeco Corporate reported net earnings of $9 million, an increase of $17 million.

Premiums and deposits: Down in the United States...  

Great-West Lifeco's premiums and deposits were $36.8 billion in the second quarter of 2021. This is a decrease of 14.7 per cent or $6.3 billion from Q2 2020.

Premiums and deposits were down 29.3 per cent or $7.1 billion in the United States, to reach $17.2 billion. In Europe, premiums and deposits decreased by 20.3 per cent or $1.7 billion, to reach $6.5 billion.

...up in Canada  

Conversely, premiums and deposits increased 26.3 percent or $1.3 billion in the capital and risk solutions segment to $6.3 billion, “primarily due to the restructuring of existing reinsurance agreements,” Great-West notes. 

In Canada, premiums and deposits were $6.8 billion in Q2 2021, up from $5.7 billion in the second quarter of 2020. This represents an increase of 20.5 per cent or $1.2 billion.

Looking at the results in closer detail:

  • Individual Insurance: Premiums and deposits rose by 20 per cent or $457 million to $2.7 billion.
  • Group Insurance: Premiums and deposits increased by 20.8 per cent or $702 million to $4.1 billion.


Great-West Lifeco's total sales were $45.6 billion in the second quarter of 2021, compared with $37.8 billion in the second quarter of 2020. This is an increase of 20.9 per cent or $7.9 billion.

Two segments did better. In the U.S., sales increased 28.8 percent or $8.1 billion to $36.4 billion.

In Canada, sales advanced by 40 per cent or $955 million to $3.3 billion, “primarily due to higher individual segregated fund and mutual fund sales.” 

Looking at the results in closer detail:

  • Individual Insurance: Total sales increased 49 per cent or $871 million to $2.6 billion.
  • Group Insurance: Total sales increased by 13.7 per cent or $84 million to $697 million.

Europe was the only segment to see a decline in sales. Sales were $5.9 billion compared with $7.1 billion in the second quarter of 2020, a decrease of 17 percent or $1.2 billion.

iAIntact and Co-operators General also released their financial results for the second quarter of 2021.