Manulife Investments offers first lifetime Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit for Canadians



    TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC; SEHK: 0945

    Survey shows older Canadians concerned about funding a longer retirement

    TORONTO, Oct. 1 /CNW/ - One of the most popular retirement planning
products to hit the Canadian marketplace in years, Manulife Investments'
IncomePlus, has been enhanced to offer guaranteed retirement income for life,
to address a growing financial concern among older Canadians.
    Introduced in October 2006, with sales exceeding $2 billion in less than
one year, IncomePlus is Canada's first Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit
(GMWB) and now the only GMWB in Canada to offer guaranteed monthly retirement
income for life starting after December 31 in the year the investor turns 65.
There will be no increase to any IncomePlus fees or fund management expense
ratios for the enhanced lifetime IncomePlus benefit.
    A recent survey for Manulife Financial found many Canadians are worried
about "longevity risk" - the financial risk associated with the unknowns of
life expectancy when planning retirement. These unknowns include how long
they'll need to finance their retirement plus whether their savings can
withstand inflation through the rest of their lives.
    "Life expectancy in retirement actually increases as people age", says
Dr. Moshe Milevsky, Associate Professor of Finance at the Schulich School of
Business at York University. "In other words, retirees are chasing their ever
increasing life expectancy. It's therefore important for people to recognize
the longevity risk they face and create a financial management strategy that
hedges or insures against the possibility of 30 or more years of retirement."
    "We know Canadians are living longer, and three-quarters of those
recently surveyed have at least some uncertainty about whether their
retirement savings will be enough to provide steady income for the rest of
their lives," says J. Roy Firth, Executive Vice President, Manulife
Investments. "We are excited to offer Canadians the new IncomePlus - the only
GMWB product in Canada to offer payouts for life - providing a unique and
innovative solution to longevity risk."

    Survey finds retirement savings a concern
    -----------------------------------------
    A new survey of Canadians aged 40 to 64 shows that Canadians recognize
that they will live longer, with 64 per cent expecting they will live to age
85 and 23 per cent to 95. And yet, 76 per cent of respondents could not
express with full confidence that their savings would last the length of their
retirement.

    Retirement Risk Zone
    --------------------
    Compounding the risk of longevity in retirement is the Retirement Risk
Zone, the period just before and after retirement when a portfolio is most
vulnerable to market downturns. IncomePlus offers Canadians protection from
the Retirement Risk Zone by providing the security of guaranteed monthly
income, protection from losing the money invested, flexibility, and growth
potential. Now IncomePlus provides all of these benefits, but with income
guaranteed for life starting after December 31 in the year the investor turns
65.

    IncomePlus offers security
    --------------------------
    With IncomePlus, investors receive monthly income while being able to
take advantage of stock market growth, flexibility to access their money at
any time, and potentially increased income resulting from market value growth
to help keep pace with inflation.
    Canadians recently surveyed on behalf of Manulife Investments underscored
the importance that they place on all of IncomePlus' key benefits: Seventy-six
per cent said that a steady, predictable income flow is important; 80 per cent
indicated the potential to grow their investments over time is very important
to them; 85 per cent said emergency access to their savings is important;
75 per cent cited "maintaining control of their investments" as important; and
70 per cent felt that preserving their nest egg is important.
    With IncomePlus, when markets perform well, the lifetime income guarantee
can be reset higher and locked in every three years. However, if markets are
lower in a reset year, no reset occurs and the guaranteed income level is
maintained.
    "When describing their investor style, Canadians told us that balancing
growth and security is key (38 per cent), as is reducing risk and protecting
their investments (36 per cent)," said Firth. "IncomePlus addresses these
specific needs throughout their retirement years - literally for the rest of
their life."
    More than half (52 per cent) of Canadians surveyed also said that when
markets decline sharply, they would move into more secure, conservative
investments. And 58 per cent said that a sharp market downturn would cause
them to reduce their future income expectations and alter their spending
habits.
    "With IncomePlus, Canadians don't have to worry when the markets
decline," explained Firth. "They have built-in income protection from a
decline plus the potential to grow their investment when the markets are
performing well. Now that protection and potential to grow lasts for their
whole life. It's a win-win scenario."

    Getting in early pays off
    -------------------------
    For investors planning to delay withdrawing retirement income, IncomePlus
offers a five per cent bonus on their guaranteed income for every year you
don't make a withdrawal for up to 15 years. This bonus period was increased
from 10 years in the original IncomePlus offering. That means Canadians can
better plan for retirement knowing that their guaranteed income can increase
each year regardless of market conditions.
    "A younger 45- or 50-year-old investor who is maybe 15 years away from
retirement can realize a minimum 75 per cent increase in their investment
guarantee if they don't touch the money for that period of time. And again,
that lifetime income guarantee is protected from a market downturn. We believe
the expanded bonus period will be attractive to younger investors," said
Firth.

    More funds
    ----------
    IncomePlus includes a wide range of funds, offering Canadian and global
markets, managed by some of the top fund managers in Canada. New funds have
been added from existing fund partners, which include: AIM Trimark
Investments, CI Investments, Fidelity Investments, MFC Global Investments,
Mackenzie Investments, Franklin Templeton and Alliance Bernstein.
    The new IncomePlus will be offered by Manulife Investments through the
GIF Select contract beginning on October 22, 2007. For investors who already
purchased IncomePlus, the new features will be automatically available
beginning December 31, 2007. The new enhancements to IncomePlus are being
added with no increase to the current guarantee fees.

    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 investment 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$410 billion
(US$386 billion) as at June 30, 2007.
    Manulife Financial is one of only two publicly traded life insurance
companies with 'AAA'-rated insurance subsidiaries, the highest rating for
financial strength at Standard & Poor's Rating Services.
    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.

    To view the Manulife IncomePlus Retirement Planning Survey Highlights
please see: http://files.newswire.ca/16/ManulifeSurveyHighlights.doc


    
    Fact Sheet
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

             Manulife IncomePlus with Lifetime Guaranteed Income
             ---------------------------------------------------

    About IncomePlus

    -   IncomePlus was Canada's first Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit
        (GMWB) to provide sustainable, predictable and potentially increasing
        income. It now is the first GMWB in Canada to offer guaranteed
        monthly income for life.

    -   The enhanced IncomePlus also offers a five per cent bonus that will
        increase their guaranteed income for every year individuals don't
        make a withdrawal in the first 15 years - compared to a 10-year bonus
        period in the original offering. Bonuses are added to the guarantee
        and are not cash deposits.

    -   There will be no increase in fees for the new IncomePlus features.
        Investors who purchased the original IncomePlus will automatically
        have these IncomePlus guarantee enhancements added to their contract
        benefits at the end of 2007

    -   A high-demand financial product, more than $2 billion was invested in
        the original GIF Select contract featuring IncomePlus in less than 10
        months - demonstrating a need and desire among Canadians for the
        features offered through GMWB products.


                         What's New for IncomePlus?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             Manulife IncomePlus
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Guaranteed Withdrawal Amount (GWA)       Lifetime Withdrawal Amount (LWA)
       (launched October 23, 2006)             (launching October 22, 2007)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Five per cent bonus that will          Five per cent bonus that will
    increase the guaranteed income for     increase the guaranteed income for
    every year individuals don't make      every year individuals don't make
    a withdrawal for the first             a withdrawal for the first
    10 years - minimum 50 per cent         15 years - minimum 75 per cent
    increase to guaranteed income          increase to guaranteed income
    (*) Bonuses are added to the           (*) Bonuses are added to the
        guarantee and are not cash             guarantee and are not cash
        deposits                               deposits
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Five per cent annual income until      Five per cent annual income for
    guarantee balance is depleted -        life - available after
    available at any age                   December 31st of the year the
                                           investor turns age 65
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    IncomePlus guarantee fees ranging      Same IncomePlus fees
    from 0.25% to 0.75% annually
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Deposit up to Dec 31st in year         Deposit up to Dec 31st in year
    investor turns age 75                  investor turns age 80
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    22 funds available with the            Now 25 funds available with the
    IncomePlus guarantee including         IncomePlus guarantee including
    two Global Balanced Funds              five Global Balanced Funds
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Market Growth Resets to lock-in        Market Growth Resets to lock-in
    gains and potentially increase         gains and potentially increase
    guarantees. Resets occur every         guarantees. Resets occur every
    three years for 30 years               three years for the life of the
                                           contract.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Guaranteed Withdrawal Amount           LWA available to clients after
    (GWA) available at any age             Dec 31st in the year they reach
                                           the age of 65

                                           Investors withdrawing before 65
                                           have ability to continue with
                                           GWA or take LWA after age 65
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


                       IncomePlus Continuing Benefits

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             Manulife IncomePlus
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Guaranteed Withdrawal Amount (GWA)       Lifetime Withdrawal Amount (LWA)
        (launched October 23, 2006)            (launching October 22, 2007)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Guaranteed return of at least the      Same as original IncomePlus
    initial investment through regular
    withdrawals
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Easily access market value of          Same as original IncomePlus
    investments at any time (subject
    to any applicable surrender
    charges)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    100 per cent Death Benefit             Same as original IncomePlus
    Guarantee (of deposit value)
    proportionally reduced for
    withdrawals

    Market Growth Resets every three
    years up to age 80 may also
    increase Death Benefit Guarantees
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Features of IncomePlus
    ----------------------

    -   Guaranteed Income - IncomePlus guarantees predictable monthly
        retirement income, now for life

    -   Investment with security - Regardless of the market performance,
        IncomePlus guarantees the investor will never lose the money they
        invest - the initial investment is guaranteed to be returned through
        regular withdrawals.

    -   Growth Potential with downside protection - In strong markets, the
        total investment guarantee can be increased though market value
        resets every three years. In poor markets, the investment guarantee
        is unaffected

    -   Bonuses - For investors planning to defer withdrawing income, five
        per cent bonuses are added to the guaranteed income for each year
        that a withdrawal is not taken for the first 10 years (original) and
        now for 15 years.  Bonuses are added to the guarantee and are not
        cash deposits.

    -   Increasing Income - With the ability to benefit from bonuses to the
        guarantee and lock-in market gains through resets, the guaranteed
        income amounts can be increased to help keep pace with inflation.

    -   Flexibility - Provides the ability to access money at any time

    -   Added creditor protection - IncomePlus offers the potential for
        additional security from creditors.

    -   Estate Planning Benefits - Provides ability to bypass added expense
        and delays of probate process


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                               Longevity Risk
                               --------------

    As Canadians live longer, many preparing to retire are starting to worry
if they're ready to finance their years ahead. Having leisure time offers
retirees the opportunity to enjoy life and new experiences - but only if they
recognize and plan for the financial risks associated with living longer
lives, otherwise known as Longevity Risk.

    What is Longevity Risk?

    Longevity Risk is the retirement planning risk associated with the
unknowns of life expectancy. These unknowns include how long retirement
funding will be needed and whether the funds will be enough to withstand
annual inflation.

    Longevity Risk Factors:

    Lengthening Life Expectancy
    ---------------------------
    According to the 2006 Canadian Census, the number of Canadians approaching
retirement has hit an all-time high. The life expectancy of Canadians is now
82.5 years for women and 77.7 years for men. This means more people are
reaching the age of 65 and living longer after that age; in fact, the number
of centenarians (those 100 or older) rose sharply since the 2001 Census.
    Statistics Canada data also shows that in 2006, 1.3 million Canadians were
over the age of 80 - almost four per cent of the population.  Fifty years ago,
only about one per cent of the population was over 80.
    Actuarial tables dramatically demonstrate the lengthening life spans of
Canadians.  For example, Canadian couples that are now 65 years old have a
great chance of living for many more years:

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Probability of a 65 year old in good health living to:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             Male               Female             Couple
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
          70                  93%                 96%                99%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
          80                  71%                 81%                94%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
          90                  33%                 44%                63%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
          95                  16%                 23%                36%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Source: Annuity 2000 Mortality Table, Society of Actuaries


    Impact of Inflation
    -------------------
    Inflation can have a major impact on retirees' savings.  Based on a
three-per-cent inflation rate, $1,000 worth of goods today will only buy $401
worth of goods in 30 years. That means that $100 worth of groceries today will
cost $243 in 30 years - almost two and a half times today's costs.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
            2007                      2027                      2037
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
            $100                      $181                      $243
          Groceries                 Groceries                 Groceries
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    Managing Longevity Risk

    In the past, a large number of Canadians had a Defined Benefit Pension
(DBP) that offered retired employees the security of income for the rest of
their life.  However, with changing trends, more Canadians are funding their
own retirement.
    Longevity Risk can be managed with a longevity strategy, developed with
an advisor, to ensure that investors are saving enough and that their
investments have enough growth potential to ensure consistent retirement
income for 30+ years of retirement.





For further information:

For further information: Tom Nunn, Manulife Financial, (519) 594-8578,
tom_nunn@manulife.com; Lindsay Williams, Maureen Juniper, PraxisPR, (905)
949-8255, lindsay@praxispr.ca, maureen@praxispr.ca


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