Manulife Financial launches online governance support for group savings plan sponsors

WATERLOO, ON, Oct. 4, 2005 – Manulife Financial has launched a unique online resource to help plan sponsors manage and report on governance requirements for employee group savings plans in Canada, specifically to deal with Capital Accumulation Plan (CAP) Guidelines that come into effect January 1, 2006.

The CAP Guidelines Centre – a vital component of the Online Support Centre – helps sponsors compile a CAP Guidelines Report and demonstrate compliance with the Guideline. A direct link to Manulife’s administrative system supplies plan-specific detail and saves the sponsor the effort of recreating key portions of the Report.

“In our discussions with plan sponsors, we heard repeated concerns about the difficulty and effort required in building a CAP Report for their plans. Sponsors want to ensure they demonstrate compliance and create an archive to illustrate the plan’s continuing efforts to achieve good
governance,” says Mike Doughty, Senior Vice-President of Canadian Pension Operations.

The new governance centre delivers on both concerns. Sponsors can use the Centre to efficiently produce an annual report and archive information that confirms activities they have completed over time to demonstrate good governance.

Since plan sponsors are expected to be in compliance with the CAP Guidelines by year end, good governance practices are top of mind for sponsors of all types of group savings and pension plans.

While many carriers and suppliers provide information and checklists, Manulife’s Online Support Centre goes further, supplying an easy-to-use resource for sponsors.

“For most plan sponsors, documenting efforts to satisfy the CAP Guidelines presents the biggest challenge. We wanted to remove the guesswork and provide a tool to streamline that process,” explains Bill Sipes, the Marketing Director who played a lead role on the project.

The Online Plan Governance Support Centre offers other resources including checklists for reviewing investments and service providers, Manulife’s compliance statement, plus annual Section 5900 Reports: the tools plan sponsors need to help them ensure good governance of their Capital
Accumulation Plans.

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