Helios ahead of the curve with its Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit: Desjardins Financial Security

Montreal, October 23, 2008 — Desjardins Financial Security announced three new features to its Helios Guaranteed Investment Funds Contract today that will help Canadians reach their retirement objectives more easily. Starting on December 1, 2008, this product will offer a Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit providing age-based income options, an annual protected value reset and the highest accumulation bonus in Canada.

A flexible Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit to offset the longevity risk

Desjardins Financial Security’s recent Rethink Retirement-2008 survey showed that one in two Canadians is afraid of outliving their savings. With the life expectancy of Canadians on the rise, many more retirees are likely to find themselves in the same boat one day, concerned about depleting their capital.

The Helios Contract’s Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB) will pay a guaranteed and predictable income for life, based on the age at which the first withdrawal is made. This means that investors can choose when to start making withdrawals, based on the age they think will be best for them while aiming to maximize the guaranteed income they would like to receive. The GLWB can be added to the Helios Contract and can start as early as age 45.

Sprinting towards the retirement finish line with a 7% bonus

To help investors reach the finish line a little faster, DFS has also introduced a bonus, which is available both with the Helios GLWB and the Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit (GMWB). When one of these Optional Guarantees is selected, a 7% bonus will be added to the total amount used to calculate the investor’s guaranteed retirement income every year for the first 10 years, provided no withdrawals are made. Helios is the only Canadian guaranteed investment funds Contract to offer such a generous bonus. With this bonus, the periodic income investors will receive at retirement will grow more quickly.

« We know that Canadians tend not to take a lot of interest in their investments until they start getting closer to retirement. We also know that the ten years prior to retirement are the riskiest in terms of savings. That’s when investors have to limit their portfolios’ risk exposure. The GLWB and the GMWB, along with the bonus, are a safe way to make up for lost time and to enjoy the best possible quality of life at retirement, » says Claude Paré, Senior Director, Product Development and Marketing, Individual Savings, at Desjardins Financial Security.

Another first in Canada is that the GLWB and GMWB Protected Values are reset every year in which the markets perform well, unlike the standard for other comparable products in the country, which are only reset every three years. This gives clients more opportunities to lock in the Protected Value of their contracts at a higher amount.

Rethinking retirement in the current economic climate

« Today’s economic environment, coupled with the uncertainty in the financial markets, is forcing Baby Boomers to redefine not only their savings strategies, but also the way they’re thinking about their retirement years in general. Tools such as the GMWB, which continues to offer the highest income in Canada, the brand new GLWB, and the bonus, not to mention the Helios contract’s exclusive reimbursement of fees, will help them get a head start on their retirement goals, » concluded Mr. Paré.

About Desjardins Financial Security

Desjardins Financial Security, a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the largest integrated cooperative financial group in Canada, specializes in providing life insurance, health insurance and retirement savings products to individuals and groups. Every day, over five million Canadians rely on Desjardins Financial Security to ensure their financial security. Desjardins Financial Security employs nearly 3,900 people and administers over $22 billion in assets from offices in several cities across the country, including Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec, Lévis, Halifax and St. John’s. For more information please visit http://www.dsf-dfs.com/en-CA/default.htm.

Tags: ,