Helios ahead of the curve with its Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit



    MONTREAL, Oct. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - 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.




For further information:

For further information: Sarah Twomey, Desjardins Financial Security,
(416) 926-2700, extension 2015, Toll free: 1-877-906-5551, extension 2015;
Virtual newsroom: http://www.desjardinsfinancialsecurity.com/press


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