Manulife launches first group retirement savings version in Canada of Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit product


    WATERLOO, ON, June 5 /CNW/ - Manulife Financial has announced its newest
innovation for group retirement savings clients with the launch of Group
    After the 2006 release of Manulife's IncomePlus GIF Select for individual
Canadians, group retirement savings clients and their advisors voiced a need
for a comparable guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit option. Developed
specifically to meet the needs of these clients, Group IncomePlus is the first
option available in Canada to guarantee group retirement savings plan members
retirement income - for life.
    "We're delighted to bring Group IncomePlus to our clients and to the
Canadian group retirement market," says Sue Reibel, Senior Vice President of
Group Savings and Retirement Solutions, "An investment option that provides
guaranteed retirement income for plan members while maintaining the
flexibility plan sponsors value with capital accumulation plans is ideal for
our marketplace."
    An effective investment option available with any of Manulife's group
retirement savings plans, Group IncomePlus has no minimum initial or
continuing contributions, making it accessible to all plan members.
    "We've been monitoring the growing body of research around plan member
needs and behaviour and it points clearly to a need for an option that
addresses the biggest risks members face as they move into retirement: the
risk of outliving retirement income and the risk associated with market
volatility. Group IncomePlus gives members a chance to remain invested so they
can capture market growth without fear that market declines will reduce their
guaranteed retirement income," explains Ms. Reibel.
    Studies by behavioral finance teams - including researcher Dr. Shlomo
Benartzi who maintains an exclusive Canadian relationship with Manulife -
point to a growing need for some portion of guaranteed income as the
foundation of a complete retirement income strategy. Group IncomePlus gives
capital accumulation plan members an effective option for establishing this
    Group IncomePlus is the first option that can be incorporated into the
investment selection of any Manulife group retirement savings plan to provide
members with guaranteed retirement income for life.
    An extensive selection of educational resources supports members through
every stage of their participation in Group IncomePlus. "Since this is new
territory for them, we want members to be in a strong position to make this
option work effectively," says GSRS Marketing Vice-President Mike Collins, who
leads the development team, "We've created a variety of videos, internet
messages, and companion materials for members. Whether they're preparing to
make their first contribution, transferring savings into their accounts, or
considering a withdrawal from Group IncomePlus, we want to be sure they are
clear about how each action factors into their long-term planning."
    "Decades ago, the move toward capital accumulation plans reshaped the
direction of the group retirement savings industry in Canada," notes Ms.
Reibel, "We believe the introduction of Group IncomePlus will generate the
next exciting evolution in our industry. And we want Canadians to know they
can continue to count on Manulife to deliver innovative solutions that meet
their needs."
    Launch meetings for key market sources will be held in locations across
Canada in mid-June and are set to coincide with the release of the Group
IncomePlus web site.
    For more information about Group IncomePlus, please contact Mike Collins,
Vice-President, Marketing, Group Savings and Retirement Solutions at
519-747-7000, ext. 38010.

    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$389 billion) as at March 31, 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

For further information:

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

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