Manulife Investments enhances Canada's first Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit product



    
    Provides more flexibility for younger and retired investors

    TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC; SEHK: 0945
    

    TORONTO, Sept. 22 /CNW/ - Manulife will offer an unlimited income bonus
period to investors in its industry-leading IncomePlus product, plus other
changes announced today, to provide more flexibility for younger and older
Canadians saving for their retirement.
    On October 20th, 2008, investors will now receive a five per cent bonus
on their guaranteed income for each year that they don't make a withdrawal
from IncomePlus, Canada's first Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit (GMWB)
product. Previously, income bonuses were available in each of the first 15
years when there were no withdrawals.
    "IncomePlus is not only the first product of its type in Canada, but now
is the first to offer annual income bonuses for the life of the contract,"
said J. Roy Firth, Executive Vice President, Manulife Financial. "For younger
investors, this means they can invest at any age and are entitled to receive a
five-per-cent income bonus for each year they don't make a withdrawal. For
older investors, even if they are retired, they also are eligible to receive
an income bonus for any year they do not make a withdrawal."
    In less than two years since its launch, deposits have surpassed
$6 billion in GIF Select featuring IncomePlus as many Canadians move to save,
protect and grow their retirement savings.
    "An unlimited income bonus period will allow IncomePlus investors to
better plan for retirement knowing that their guaranteed income for life can
increase each year, regardless of market conditions," Mr. Firth added.

    
    Clear need in Canada
    --------------------
    
    "Many Canadians see a clear need for this type of product in their
financial plans," he said. "Investors young and old want protection when
markets are volatile and growth when markets are good. This product gives them
that and more."
    Launched in October 2006 by Manulife Investments, IncomePlus appeals to
Canadians preparing to enter the "Retirement Risk Zone" - the five-to-ten
years before and after they reach retirement - when their portfolios are most
vulnerable to market downturns and volatility. IncomePlus provides guaranteed
monthly payments independent of when an investor retires in the market cycle,
as well as growth potential, flexibility and control.

    
    Other new features:
    -------------------
    Along with an unlimited income bonus period announced today, other changes
for IncomePlus include:
    -   Lower minimum investment: The minimum amount required to purchase
        IncomePlus is now $25,000, compared to the previous $50,000 minimum.
    -   Lifetime Income eligibility at age 65: Investors now gain access to
        the lifetime withdrawal benefit at the beginning of the year they
        turn 65, rather than at the end of the year.
    

    All the above enhancements to IncomePlus will not impact fees or
management expense ratios. In addition, these enhancements will automatically
be made available to existing contract-holders on December 31st, 2008.
    "One of Manulife's learnings from our 2004 purchase of John Hancock in
the United States has been that Canadians need access to products popular in
other countries," added Mr. Firth. "Manulife operates in 19 countries, so
we're constantly looking for ways to help Canadians manage their finances.
IncomePlus is one of those success stories, as well as Manulife One, our
flexible home line of credit account launched in 1999."
    In October 2007, Manulife Investments enhanced IncomePlus to provide
investors with guaranteed monthly income for life, to address a growing
concern among older Canadians that they might outlive their savings. With
IncomePlus, investors have downside protection for their retirement income;
upside potential that can increase payments for life; flexibility and control
over investments with access to the market value of their funds at anytime if
needed.
    IncomePlus includes a wide range of funds managed by some of the top fund
managers in Canada. The Canadian Investment Awards also named IncomePlus as
the "best new initiative" in 2007.
    For more details, please visit Manulife Investments' website at:
www.manulifeincomeplus.ca

    
    About Manulife Investments
    --------------------------
    
    Manulife Investments is the brand name describing certain Canadian
subsidiaries and operating divisions of Manulife Financial Corporation that
offer personal wealth management products and services in Canada. As one of
Canada's leading integrated financial services providers, Manulife Investments
offers a variety of products and services including segregated funds, mutual
funds, annuities and guaranteed interest contracts.

    
    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$400 billion
(US$393 billion) as at June 30, 2008.
    Manulife Financial is one of two publicly traded life insurance companies
in the world whose rated life insurance subsidiaries hold Standard & Poor's
Rating Services' highest "AAA" rating.
    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 www.manulife.com.




For further information:

For further information: Tom Nunn, Manulife Financial, (519) 594-8578,
tom_nunn@manulife.com


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