Standard Life introduces new online retirement planning and management tool



    To access a multimedia version of this release, please visit
    http://www.standardlife.ca/en/press/news/viproom/release.html

    A whole new way of engaging savings and retirement plan members
    through an innovative "retirement dashboard"

    MONTREAL, June 26 /CNW Telbec/ - The Standard Life Assurance Company of
Canada today introduced a new, leading-edge website to allow group savings and
retirement plan members to take ownership of their plans. Offering an
innovative "retirement dashboard", the site provides members with an overview
of their planning activities, their contributions, account balances, asset
allocations and projected retirement assets, every time they log on to the
website. At the same time, Standard Life introduced a second website that it
believes will change the way plan sponsors do business.
    "I feel, as do our clients, that the new VIP Room for plan members should
position Standard Life very favourably in the market," said Anthony Cardone,
Senior Vice-President, Group Savings and Retirement of Standard Life. "We have
leveraged Standard Life's expertise in group savings and retirement that we
have developed over the years and used the latest technology to meet needs
that our clients and benefit consultants have expressed. We have not simply
updated the existing site; we have created a whole new way for members to
manage their retirement assets. And this is only the beginning. We will be
introducing new features regularly in the months ahead."
    Standard Life's VIP Room is designed to motivate and involve plan members
in the retirement planning process and to keep them coming back. It is
interactive, flexible and user-friendly.

    Personalized web experience with new site

    Standard Life's new VIP Room for plan members incorporates the latest in
technological upgrades, security enhancements and user adaptability. The site
is protected and accessible only to members of Standard Life group savings and
retirement plans. Members can easily customize their home page, monitor their
investments, seek guidance, understand income needs and gaps, and be more
proactive in building their retirement assets, all with a few clicks.
    The website integrates Standard Life's award-winning education and
communication program Plan for life(TM), an interactive program that members
of defined contribution group retirement plans use to manage their financial
affairs and their retirement, from the moment they enrol in the plan, to
retirement.

    Clear market need

    A recent survey of Capital Accumulation Plan (CAP)(1) members in Canada
clearly indicated that people tend to neglect their retirement planning,
underestimate how much they will need at retirement and do not understand the
planning process. For example, although 63% of CAP members had reviewed their
statements in the year under review, many of them did nothing to align their
retirement plans with their needs.
    Recent statistics(2) also indicate that in North America, the Internet
has become an established way of doing business, with Internet penetration at
71%, growing at a rate of almost 120% in the period between 2000 and 2007.
    Considering market research, including consultations with its clients and
benefit consultants, Standard Life saw an opportunity to better equip people
to plan for the future by developing an innovative online service to meet
their needs.

    Second website for plan sponsors offers whole new way of doing business

    The VIP Room for plan sponsors is designed to save them time and offer
them cost-effective administrative solutions. It offers them one-stop access
to information and self-service features that allow them to devote their
efforts to helping their members.
    The new site allows sponsors to make full use of the platform to submit
contributions electronically, analyze performance data, provide allocation
instructions for forfeited amounts, consult reference information online, and
download reports and member information. It offers plan sponsors the
possibility to do online member pre-enrolment and termination, as well as
authorize access to certain protected areas of the site to their
administrative staff.

    "The new VIP Room for sponsors will help increase our clients'
productivity," added Mr. Cardone. "It allows them to streamline their business
practices, handle all routine tasks online and yet maintain strong personal
contact with Standard Life personnel to obtain value-added advice. Plan
sponsors not only have access to our representatives, but they can now take
advantage of this online channel to benefit from Standard Life's expertise."

    About Standard Life

    In 2008, Standard Life, the first life insurance company to transact
business in Canada, marks its 175th year of operations. With 10,000 employees
globally, Standard Life plc is a major international financial services group
headquartered in Scotland. It provides asset-managing services for retirement,
investment and protection to some seven million customers globally. It has
offices in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Austria, India and
China, including Hong Kong.
    The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada is Standard Life plc's
largest operation outside the U.K., with 2,000 employees based in Montreal and
across Canada, serving more than 1.3 million Canadians, including group
insurance and pension plan participants. (www.standardlife.ca)
    Standard Life plc has approximately 1.5 million shareholders worldwide,
including approximately 14,000 institutional and individual shareholders in
Canada. It has been trading on the London Stock Exchange since The Standard
Life Assurance Company demutualized in 2006. Standard Life plc is listed on
the FTSE 100, Europe's largest index, and on the FTSE4Good Index, which
identifies companies adhering to globally recognized corporate responsibility
standards. (www.standardlife.com)

    
    -----------------------------
    (1) Decoding the retirement mindset, The Benefits Canada Survey of CAP
        Members, November 2007

    (2) Miniwatts Marketing Group, 2008
    




For further information:

For further information: and full access to the new VIP Rooms: Ann-Marie
Gagné, Standard Life, (514) 499-7999, ext. 4600,
ann-marie.gagne@standardlife.ca

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Standard Life

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