Empire launches Optimax(tm), permanent participating life insurance

October 11, 2005 – Kingston, Ontario – Empire Financial Group (Empire) today announced the addition of an improved permanent participating life insurance product, Optimax, to its roster of financial security solutions. Optimax replaces Empire’s Optimax III(tm) and has been redesigned to offer more choice. Its death benefit values, dividends and cash values are improved.

“Optimax offers significant guarantees to support the protection, savings and growth needs of Canadians,” says Owen Rhoden, Manager of Individual Life and Health Insurance Marketing at Empire. Optimax customers can choose from multiple rate and coverage plans, including a paid-up additions rider, a 10-year guaranteed extender and a tax-exempt account. Within the tax-exempt account, clients can now choose from 21 index investment options as well as guaranteed and daily interest options. Optimax also features a guaranteed 20-pay option.

“One of the most distinguishable features of Optimax, besides the level of flexibility and improved cash and death benefit values we’re offering, is simply the fact that our product is sustainable and we’re committed to offering it,” adds Rhoden. “In recent years other companies have cancelled new sales of their participating products while we have renewed our commitment to Optimax as a long-term, viable and sustainable product in our portfolio. We like this product and we plan to keep it.”

Empire has been paying dividends on its participating life insurance products since 1923. The Company is one of only a handful of life insurance companies in Canada still offering a permanent participating life insurance product.

About Empire

The mission of The Empire Life Insurance Company (Empire) is to provide solutions for the changing financial security and wealth management needs of Canadians. Under the marketing identity of Empire Financial Group, and through a nation wide network of professional financial advisors, managing general agents, brokers and group producers, Empire offers competitive individual and group life and health insurance, investment products and segregated funds. The Company’s success is based on a commitment to being approachable and responsive to the needs of its clients and business partners, on consistently solid investment performance, and on faith in its employees as future leaders of the Company.