Manulife Financial introduces industry-first for defined contribution pension plans

WATERLOO, ON, May 26, 2004 – Manulife Financial will significantly change the way plan members of defined contribution (DC) group savings plans view their retirement income – making it much easier for them to understand and prepare for their retirement.

Manulife’s new Steps Retirement Program(TM) gives plan members a current estimate of their personal annual retirement income. This estimate informs plan members if they are on track to achieving their retirement income and if they are not, they receive suggestions to help them meet their personal retirement income goal. The plan member receives the retirement income estimate online or in their regular statement and it’s based on the personal financial information they provide including expected contributions, current savings and investor strategy. It’s this instant feedback that makes the program unique to the industry.

“The Steps Retirement Program(TM) was created to address the needs of plan members and the concerns of plan sponsors. It is all about engaging plan members – making it easy for them to better understand the retirement income they are saving towards,” says Mike Collins, Vice President, Marketing for Canadian Pensions.

A survey completed by Manulife Financial revealed 43 per cent of Canadians are not confident about meeting their retirement goals. This survey supports recent industry research that suggests most members of retirement plans do not have a good understanding of their pension plan and how their retirement savings will transform into an annual retirement income.

“To date, we have provided our DC plan members with lots of valuable information on retirement and investment planning, and tools to help them determine how much they need to save by retirement – but there has always been a missing piece, until now,” says Michael Doughty, Vice President, Canadian Pensions.

“Members need ongoing feedback on how they are progressing towards their goal through an estimated annual retirement income and The Steps Retirement Program(TM) provides this.”

About the Steps Retirement Program(TM)

Manulife is able to offer an increased level of service and support to their plan members with the Steps Retirement Program(TM). In less than 20 minutes, the program allows a plan member, in three simple steps, to set an annual retirement income goal, create the plan to achieve it and track their progress towards this goal.

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Pro forma funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$355.9 billion (US$271.6 billion) as at March 31, 2004.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘0945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.