Manulife to offer three new series of segregated funds to meet Canadians'
investment, retirement and estate-planning needs

TORONTO, Sept. 16 /CNW/ - Manulife will launch a new segregated fund platform in early October with three investment series to offer Canadian investors attractive solutions for their accumulation, income and estate planning needs.

"We believe our go-forward products are simpler and effectively address our clients' growing investment goals at various stages of their lives," said J. Roy Firth, Executive Vice President, Individual Wealth Management, Manulife Financial. "The result is a more streamlined suite of segregated fund products designed to meet different client needs -- from investing and accumulating wealth to their retirement and estate planning for their families."

New GIF Select

To help provide clients with a lifetime of protection, Manulife will offer three investment series within a new GIF Select product platform effective October 5, 2009:

    
    -   InvestmentPlus: With a choice of over 75 funds, this Series provides
        investors with the greatest range of investment choice available with
        management expense ratios competitively priced with most mutual
        funds. It offers investors basic protection and investment
        flexibility without the need of enhanced guarantees.

    -   IncomePlus (version 2): A new version of Manulife's very popular
        IncomePlus has been designed to continue to meet the needs of
        investors in their pre- or early retirement years by offering
        guaranteed income for life, growth potential of the market and income
        protection from market downturns.

        IncomePlus (version 2) will continue to offer resets, annual income
        bonuses and a 100 per cent death benefit guarantee. In addition to
        these features, a new Joint Life Payout Option will also be
        available. In the event one spouse dies, this option can allow the
        surviving spouse to continue to receive income at the same level,
        uninterrupted for the balance of his/her life.

    -   EstatePlus: Is a new estate-planning-focused series offering a
        100 per cent Death Benefit Guarantee with resets. This Series will
        help investors who do not require income protection to protect their
        legacy for their beneficiaries.
    

Strong platform for the future

"Manulife Investments is committed to helping Canadians meet their investment needs and expects to continue to lead the marketplace with innovative solutions," Mr. Firth added. "Our products are backed by the financial strength of Manulife Financial, the largest insurance company in Canada and one of North America's leading financial services companies."

The three series available within GIF Select will provide investors with access to a lifetime of protection, plus custom investment solutions with protection features that best suit their needs. As with all series, investors can also benefit from other unique insurance contract features such as estate planning benefits and the potential for creditor protection.

In addition, the new GIF Select platform will include seven new investment fund options, including fund bundles from two new fund partners: AIC and AGF.

In a continued effort to balance product risks/benefits and to simplify its overall product offering, Manulife will also close new sales to its original GIF Select, GIF and GIF encore contracts.

Original version of GIF Select IncomePlus (version 1)

With the introduction of a new GIF Select platform, including IncomePlus (version 2), the original version of GIF Select IncomePlus will close to new sales effective October 2, 2009. Existing contracts will remain in effect and the existing guarantees, core features and benefits remain intact.

Although no core product features will change for existing clients, it is still necessary to mitigate some risk and adjust costs accordingly, Mr. Firth said. Therefore IncomePlus fund fee levels will increase by 0.10 per cent to partially off-set these higher product costs and their associated risk. These fund fee levels will apply to both IncomePlus version 1 and version 2.

GIF/GIF encore & former Maritime Life segregated fund products

With the addition of the new EstatePlus Series to the GIF Select platform, GIF and GIF encore will close to new sales as well effective October 2, 2009. Existing contracts remain in effect, and the existing guarantees, core features and benefits remain unchanged.

To help manage ongoing risks and protect existing client benefits, GIF, GIF encore and all former Maritime Life segregated fund products, will be limited to annual supplementary deposits of $25,000 per contract per calendar year.

For more details, please visit the Advisor Resource Centre at www.manulife.ca/repsource

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 22 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$421 billion (US$362 billion) as at June 30, 2009.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.

SOURCE Manulife Financial Corporation

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


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