Manulife introduces Group Retirement Income Plan

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WATERLOO, ON, Aug. 8, 2005 – Manulife Financial’s Canadian Pension Operations (CPO) launched a Group Retirement Income Plan product series today. Available exclusively to former members of group pension and savings plans sponsored by Manulife customers, the new product series lets plan members draw retirement income while continuing to have access to familiar investments and services.

“Our advisors and our plan sponsors want their plan members to move into retirement with investments and services they’ve grown comfortable using,” says Bill Sipes, Marketing Director, CPO. “Most sponsors ask about retirement income options when they establish a group retirement savings plan and they’re looking for the same sort of solutions we offer their members when they are saving for retirement.”

Manulife’s new product series includes a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), a Life Income Fund (LIF), a Locked-In Retirement Fund (LRIF) and a Prescribed Retirement Income Fund (PRIF). Members can use a combination of the funds to blend retirement income from locked-in and non-locked-in sources.

Retiring plan members can continue to work with either their plan advisors or with Manulife’s team of Financial Education Specialists to evaluate product choices, investment options and payment levels. They also will continue to have access to a full range of Internet and call centre services to help them actively manage their investment plans. In addition, a new Web-based illustrator — housed on Manulife’s secure Internet site — will make it easy for members and advisors to project their income as they consider their choices.

“We designed this product to meet the specific needs of our group savings members,” notes Mike Doughty, Senior Vice President of Canadian Pension Operations. “It enables them to transition more easily into retirement by providing familiar investment and service options, competitive rates and a simple, convenient transfer process.”

While the benefit to plan members is clear, Sipes comments there are also advantages for plan sponsors.

“Sponsors understand the importance of extending the service through retirement,” he says. “They want to know their plan members will have the same high-quality options during retirement they enjoyed while they were saving. They continue to benefit from the partnership they’ve formed with us as the needs of their plans and members evolve.”

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. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$364 billion (US$297 billion) as at June 30, 2005. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.