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2007 News Releases

For Immediate Release

September 12, 2007

Manulife launches first–of–its–kind Manulife Lifelong Foreign Currency Variable Annuity with Guaranteed Withdrawal Benefit in Taiwan

Taipei - Manulife Taiwan today launches Manulife Lifelong Foreign Currency Variable Annuity, the first variable annuity product in Taiwan to offer a guaranteed withdrawal benefit (GWB) that provides a regular stream of retirement income for at least 20 years or income for life from age 65, regardless of market performance1

In Taiwan, the population aged above 65, the age for retirement, is estimated at as high as 2.3 million. What are the key concerns for people after retirement? Well, according to the results of the recent “Retirement Needs Survey for People in Taiwan” conducted by Manulife Taiwan Insurance Co., Ltd., more than 80% of the people believed that a lifelong guaranteed income, a principal-protected investment, an investment return equal to or higher than the inflation rate and a predictable income after retirement, are all important considerations.

By launching the Manulife Lifelong Foreign Currency Variable Annuity, with its Guaranteed Withdrawal Benefit (GWB), Manulife Taiwan is helping to address these needs.

Mr. Richard Wang, General Manager of Manulife Taiwan said “Manulife already has a wealth of experience in variable annuities, having launched similar products in Canada, USA, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. With its rich experience as one of the largest providers of the 401K plan in the USA and the MPF in Hong Kong, Manulife is ideally placed to launch this new product in Taiwan. Manulife Lifelong Foreign Currency Variable Annuity provides an integrated insurance service, supported by Manulife’s global expertise in variable annuities.”

The most distinctive features of the Manulife Lifelong Foreign Currency Variable Annuity are that investors can access the guaranteed withdrawal benefit as well as the GWB Value-Increase Mechanism and Automatic GWB Step-Up. Meanwhile, investors attaining age 65 have an ‘income for life’ option1.

Importantly, investors retain full control over their money throughout the life of the policy as they are always able to access the value of their policy2.  At policy termination, remaining values are returned to the investor and upon the death of the policyholder, their beneficiaries are also entitled to the protection of death benefit1.

The Automatic GWB Step-Up offers investors an automatic step-up in the value of their policy if the market rises. The step-up occurs every fifth anniversary of the policy, up to age 80 and means that any investment gains are ‘locked in’ to the value of the guaranteed withdrawal benefit. This further enhances the potential retirement income stream1.

In market downturns, the investor can still rely on the GWB and the Value-Increase Mechanism to protect the principal invested. The Value Increase Mechanism means that if no withdrawals are taken in the first ten years, the total GWB will increase to 150 per cent of the total subscriptions by end of the 10th policy year.

Mr Wang explained: “The product is distinguished by the fact that the investors are free from the worry of losing their assets as a result of a market downturn. This product helps them to feel financially secure in their old age and to look forward to and enjoy their retirement.

Manulife Taiwan’s survey also shows that more than 57% of the people were worried about the loss of their “nest eggs” because of falling markets after retirement. Ben Ng, Vice President of Manulife Taiwan, said: “‘Manulife Lifelong Foreign Currency Variable Annuity’ is a guaranteed investment meaning that the retirement income stream that investors receive as a guaranteed withdrawal benefit is equivalent to the initial premium invested by the applicant1.

To summarize, “Manulife Lifelong Foreign Currency Variable Annuity”, the first life insurance product in Taiwan offering Guaranteed Withdrawal Benefit, features the following advantages:-

  • Guaranteed Withdrawal Benefit: Five per cent of GWB per year for 20 years, regardless of market performance1.
  • The Income for Life Option: If not opting for a guaranteed withdrawal benefit, the investor, having reached 65 years old and regardless of the starting date of the insurance contract, has the option to elect income for life. This allows them to enjoy a retirement income that continues for the rest of the investor’s life1.
  • GWB Value-Increase Mechanism: 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 step-up opportunities: In a rising market, the product offers an increase in the guaranteed withdrawal benefit in line with the increase of the underlying investment funds on every 5th policy anniversary and up to the age of 80, thereby locking-in the profit.
  • “A Smart Investment”: Three investment portfolios are provided to accommodate different risk appetites, including “Aggressive Style”, “Growth Style” and “Balanced Style”. The funds are invested in approved overseas funds or bond markets to diversify the investment risks and help to create wealth for investors.

Mr. Ng continued: “There are numerous investment-linked insurance products in the market. No matter how meticulously you have planned for your retirement, however, an investment portfolio is vulnerable to many different threats. Inflation or downswings in the international stock or exchange markets for example can considerably impact the retirement provisions of an investor. With these issues in mind, this product helps investors to ensure that they have a predictable and sustainable retirement income that also has the potential to grow.”

Mr. Ng further commented: “We are very proud of the fact that Manulife has achieved tremendous market success when launching this product in other parts of the world. This is a good indication of the global trend in people recognizing the importance of retirement planning. Thanks to the recent “Retirement Needs Survey for People in Taiwan”, we understand that just like people in other parts of the world, people in Taiwan need insurance products such as “Manulife Lifelong Foreign Currency Variable Annuity” to guarantee a superior insurance service with both security and potential for wealth growth.”

1 Subject to policy conditions
2 Subject to a surrender charge in the first 5 years – see policy conditions for details.

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For more information, please contact:

 Manulife Taiwan  Murphy Lin  02-8773-2088 # 231  0919-808-212
 Pilot Public Relations  Gloria Liang  02-8773-2088 # 233  0921-058-518
 Manulife Taiwan  Stephanie Wang  02-2757-5888 # 2874  0963-280-256
 Pilot Public Relations  Penny Huang  02-2757-5888 # 2872  0932-008-581