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2007 News Releases

For Immediate Release

February 5, 2007

Manulife launches first–of–its–kind investment–linked insurance plan with guaranteed withdrawal benefit (“GWB”) feature in Hong Kong

Guaranteed, sustainable and potentially increasing GWB provides possible solution for baby boomers planning a secure retirement

Hong Kong — Manulife (International) Limited today introduced Hong Kong’s first investment-linked product with GWB feature, “Manulife Secure IncomePlus”, which is designed specially for the territory’s post-war ageing ‘baby boomers’ generation. The GWB, a retirement benefit initially equals to the amount of subscription and is guaranteed to be available for future withdrawals, has growth potential as the investors’ nest egg is invested into a basket of investments.

In summary, Manulife Secure IncomePlus, a first-to-Hong Kong variable annuity product, provides the following benefits:

  • A GWB of five per cent per year of the original investment for at least 20 years regardless of market performance.
  • If no withdrawals are taken, the total GWB will increase to 150 per cent of the total subscriptions by end of the 10th policy year.
  • Automatic GWB step-up opportunities on every 5th policy anniversary up to age 80 based on fund performance.
  • Beginning at age 65 the investor has the option to elect “Income for Life”, a retirement income that continues for the rest of the investor’s life.
  • Importantly, during the course of the investment, investors can always access their policy values1. At policy termination, remaining policy values are returned to the investor1. On death, their beneficiaries have a choice of receiving the remaining policy values or receiving regular payments.

“It is understandable that the key concern of people at or near retirement is to have some form of security and guarantee for their nest egg, and not to run out of money in retirement,” said Michael Huddart, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Hong Kong, Manulife (International) Limited. “This new product addresses that concern by providing customers a balance between growth and security.”

The product offers automatic step-up opportunities every five policy years, up to age 80, which in a rising market increases the value of the guaranteed withdrawal amount in line with the increase of the underlying investment funds. Three MSIP Lifestyle Portfolios are available, with a maximum exposure of 80 per cent to equities and the rest in bonds.

The product’s guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of Manulife (International) Limited, which has an ‘AAA’ credit rating from Standard and Poor’s.

“Negative returns in the early stages of retirement living can have a devastating effect on one’s nest-egg, from which a retiree may never recover. The GWB of ‘Manulife Secure IncomePlus’ provides a shelter from market fluctuation and brings peace of mind. Beginning at age 65, it provides an “Income For Life” option that generates income based on the amount of GWB at the time of election of “Income For Life” that can never go down, never run out – and has the potential to grow,” Mr. Huddart added.

Manulife introduced this type of product in the United States more than four years ago, and in Japan and Canada last year, and it has experienced tremendous market success. Other retirement products in Hong Kong do not offer the unique features of “Manulife Secure IncomePlus”.

“No matter how affluent you are, and however meticulously you have planned for your retirement, a hard-won investment portfolio is vulnerable to many threats,” explained Bonnie Tse, Vice President of Wealth Management, Manulife (International) Limited. “It can be hit by dramatic downswings in the value of equities or inflation, which can quickly overtake the provisions of a cautious investor.”

And although life expectancy in Hong Kong is increasing significantly, she quoted a recent survey by Synovate Research that showed a general lack of awareness of the fact that retirement may now last at least 25 years, significantly more than most people plan for.

“The ‘Manulife Secure IncomePlus’ plan is a truly innovative solution to the perennial problem of putting money aside for your retirement,” Ms. Tse said. “Under this revolutionary scheme, customers can choose to have retirement income through regular withdrawals that will never go down and never run out1.”

About Manulife (International) Limited
Manulife (International) Limited is a member of the Manulife Financial group of companies. 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$381 billion (approximately HK$2,659.8 billion) as at September 30, 2006.

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.

1Subject to policy conditions and withdrawal charge for withdrawal in excess of Guaranteed Withdrawal Amount (the initial GWA will be 5% of the initial GWB).

Manulife Secure IncomePlus is an investment-linked insurance plan offered by Manulife (International) Ltd. Investment involves risks.The price of investment funds may go down as well as up. Please refer to the Principal Brochure for details of terms and conditions.

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For more information please contact:
Helena Lee / Jeanie Ho
Manulife (International) Limited
Tel: (852) 2202 1050 / 2510 3191
Fax: (852) 2234 6875
Email: helena_lee@manulife.com