Standard Life – Financial institution offers free on-line education to over 400,000 Canadian Group Plan Members

MONTREAL, Dec. 10, 2002 – Standard Life(*) has launched an entirely revamped VIP Room Web site for Group Savings & Retirement plan members, positioning it as the premier provider of group savings & retirement services in Canada. The new site includes an updated design, new navigation and additional features which provide plan members with access to key functionalities grouped as follows: VIEW YOUR HOLDINGS, MANAGE YOUR PLANS, CONSULT INVESTMENT PERFORMANCE and PLAN YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE. Plan members can chart investment performance, download closing values, obtain transaction history for either a selected period or since inception and perform transactions on-line in a simple and convenient manner. A series of interactive, online e-learning modules, available through a link to The Financial Educator Inc. Web site, provide plan members with comprehensive web curriculum exploring a wide array of topics on personal financial planning. These interactive modules allow members to learn at their own pace, test their progress and review key concepts at their own convenience.

“This revamp was driven by two key objectives,” says Teresa Morgan, Manager, Marketing Services, Group Products, “We wanted the site to be structured around plan member needs rather than an array of account inquiry and account management functions, and we wanted to provide broad-based personal financial planning information. We are delighted with the result, which we feel not only meets but exceeds these objectives.” “The VIP Room is one of the key components in building and maintaining plan member participation in the retirement planning process,” says Louise Pellerin-Lacasse, Vice-President, Marketing, Group Savings & Retirement, “By placing the information front and centre, plan members are better equipped to plan their financial future.”

The VIP Room site is one of a range of services available to Standard Life’s Group Savings & Retirement plan members. Other plan member services include Client Communication and Education Services (CCES), a team of qualified financial planners entirely dedicated to plan member needs; InfoLine, a toll free telephone line available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for non-financial inquiries; and the Financial Security Hotline, staffed by a qualified, salaried team dedicated to providing plan members with the information they need to actively manage their retirement accounts.

NOTE TO EDITOR: In Canada, The Standard Life Assurance Company has over $28 billion in assets under management and offers a wide range of financial products and services to over one million individuals, including group insurance and pension plan members. Its 2,200 employees are committed to providing superior customer service from its principal office in Montr´┐Żal, its six regional offices and its 20 sales offices across the country. Products and services include group savings and retirement, group life and health, individual life insurance, savings and retirement. Through affiliated companies, it also offers mutual funds and portfolio management services. Total premium income and deposits reached $3.7 billion in 2001. (www.standardlife.ca)

The Standard Life Assurance Company, founded in Edinburgh (Scotland) in 1825, is Europe’s largest mutual life insurance company with over 12,000 employees, over $189 billion in assets under management and over 5 million customers in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Spain, India, Hong Kong and many others. The Company has also established two representative offices in China. The Standard Life Assurance Company is one of only five life assurance groups worldwide to have been awarded a “Triple A” classification – the highest possible – by leading international rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. Its total premium income reached close to $19 billion in 2001. (www.standardlife.com)

(*) Standard Life refers to both The Standard Life Assurance Company and The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada.