WATERLOO, ON, Sept. 6, 2005 – Manulife Financial is “clearly the leader” providing Canadians with the best statements in the country to help them understand their defined contribution pension plans, according to a survey by DALBAR Inc.
Manulife’s pension statement ranked first by a wide margin, with a score of 88.94 compared to an industry average of 69.92, and was the only statement designated as “excellent” in DALBAR’s first cross-country review of how Canadians learn about their own defined contribution pension plans.
“Congratulations to those at Manulife producing this pension plan statement,” said Mark McDonald, manager of client and public relations for DALBAR Inc. in Toronto. “Manulife is clearly the leader and by placing first among six companies evaluated, their statement exhibited several relative strengths.”
DALBAR is a recognized leader for its reports on how mutual fund and brokerage statements measure up to standards for investor communications in Canada and the United States. The company grades customer statements based on how well companies meet various investor needs and preferences.
Key strengths of Manulife’s 2005 pension fund statement include:
A unique feature called “looking ahead to retirement”, which helps plan members set personal goals and measure if they’re on track to reach their retirement savings target;
Unique ‘what-if’ scenarios to help plan members see long-term impact of monthly contributions;
Market commentary to help plan members assess, organize and plan their finances, plus
Detailed changes in value, including returns on investments and money flowing into the plan.
“We have always viewed our member statements to be more than just a legislative requirement,” said Michael Doughty, Senior Vice President, Canadian Pension Operations (CPO) for Manulife. “This recognition from DALBAR confirms our belief that statements can be an important tool in helping Canadians really understand their retirement plans.”
Manulife’s Steps Retirement Program(TM) launched in 2004 gives plan members a current estimate of their personal annual retirement income. This estimate is presented to them on a regular basis in their personal statements and on their secure internet site.
“It’s all about engaging plan members and making it easier for them to understand what they’re saving toward,” says Mike Collins, Vice President, Marketing for Canadian Pensions at Manulife Financial.
DALBAR, Inc. is a leading financial services research firm with offices in Toronto and Boston, specializing in measuring the performance of institutions and financial professionals in areas such as communications effectiveness, client satisfaction, and service quality. DALBAR can be found on the Internet at www.dalbar.ca.
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. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$364 billion (US$297 billion) as at June 30, 2005.
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.