Manulife Financial launches Personal Benefits

    Portable personal life and personal critical illness coverage now
    available to group benefits clients

    WATERLOO, ON, Jan. 29 /CNW/ - Employers who provide benefits plans can
now introduce their employees to portable Life and Critical Illness Insurance
coverage through Personal Benefits, just launched by Manulife Financial Group
Benefits. Portable coverage is unique in the group marketplace in that
Manulife contracts directly with the employee, which allows employees to
retain their coverage, regardless of the status of their future employment.
    With Personal Benefits, Manulife Group Benefits takes on the
administration and deals directly with the member from the first inquiry
through to collection of premium, allowing employers to enrich their
employee's protection without increasing administration or the cost to their
benefits program.
    "Manulife is responding to the changing needs evident in the marketplace.
In the past, employers and employees were not concerned about the portability
of traditional benefit coverage; this need has changed and we are happy to
respond," said Rick Brunet, Executive Vice President, Manulife Financial Group
Benefits. "We're launching Personal Benefits starting with our Life and
Critical Illness products, but this is just the beginning, there is potential
to expand into a broader range of products."
    Employers will be able to inform their employees that they have access to
either Personal Life or Personal Critical Illness, or both. Manulife then
provides direct communication and educational support to explain the value and
unique nature of these protections to interested employees. Employees can then
elect to purchase the additional coverage for themselves, their spouse and
their children.

    Personal Life Insurance

    Personal Life is term insurance coverage that supplements existing
insurance, including basic coverage available through group benefits programs
or products an employee may own. Personal Life coverage offers a benefit
maximum of $500,000 to age 70 and child coverage in the amount of $20,000.

    Personal Critical Illness

    Personal Critical Illness provides additional coverage that may not be
available through their group benefits plan and supplements traditional health
and disability benefits. A tax-free lump-sum payment is made if the member or
their spouse becomes ill with one of 22 listed covered medical conditions,
with 15 covered conditions for the child. The standard benefit offers a
maximum of $150,000 and child coverage in the amount of $10,000.

    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$385.3 billion
(US$363.5 billion) as at September 30, 2008.
    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

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Tom Nunn, Manulife Financial,
(519) 594-8578,

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