Manulife Financial launches Personal Benefits

Portable personal life and personal critical illness coverage now available to group benefits clients

WATERLOO, ON, Jan. 29 2009 – Employers who provide benefits plans can now introduce their employees to portable Life and Critical Illness Insurance coverage through Personal Benefits, just launched by Manulife Financial Group Benefits. Portable coverage is unique in the group marketplace in that Manulife contracts directly with the employee, which allows employees to retain their coverage, regardless of the status of their future employment.

With Personal Benefits, Manulife Group Benefits takes on the administration and deals directly with the member from the first inquiry through to collection of premium, allowing employers to enrich their employee’s protection without increasing administration or the cost to their benefits program.

“Manulife is responding to the changing needs evident in the marketplace. In the past, employers and employees were not concerned about the portability of traditional benefit coverage; this need has changed and we are happy to respond,” said Rick Brunet, Executive Vice President, Manulife Financial Group Benefits. “We’re launching Personal Benefits starting with our Life and Critical Illness products, but this is just the beginning, there is potential to expand into a broader range of products.”

Employers will be able to inform their employees that they have access to either Personal Life or Personal Critical Illness, or both. Manulife then provides direct communication and educational support to explain the value and unique nature of these protections to interested employees. Employees can then elect to purchase the additional coverage for themselves, their spouse and their children.

Personal Life Insurance

Personal Life is term insurance coverage that supplements existing insurance, including basic coverage available through group benefits programs or products an employee may own. Personal Life coverage offers a benefit maximum of $500,000 to age 70 and child coverage in the amount of $20,000.

Personal Critical Illness

Personal Critical Illness provides additional coverage that may not be available through their group benefits plan and supplements traditional health and disability benefits. A tax-free lump-sum payment is made if the member or their spouse becomes ill with one of 22 listed covered medical conditions, with 15 covered conditions for the child. The standard benefit offers a maximum of $150,000 and child coverage in the amount of $10,000.

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$385.3 billion (US$363.5 billion) as at September 30, 2008.

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