BOSTON, May 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Continuing to provide financial
advisors with superior tools for helping protect their clients' retirement
income, John Hancock today launched the optional Principal Plus For Life rider
for its Venture(R) family of Variable Annuities.(1) The next-generation
guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit offers enhanced benefits and features
that can guarantee retirement income that can last a lifetime and increase
with favorable market performance.
The new rider allows clients to withdraw up to 5 percent of their initial
payment each year for 20 years -- regardless of market performance -- and, for
the first time, guarantees payments for the life of the older owner, starting
at age 65. The new rider also doubles the automatic bonus for clients who
don't need their money right away. The bonus adds 5 percent per year in any
of the first 10 contract years where no withdrawals are taken, up to age 80 --
guaranteeing up to 150% of clients' original payments.(2) Clients also can
potentially increase their guaranteed payments if markets rise through an
optional step-up provision that allows them to lock in gains every three
The rider builds on the success of Hancock's popular Principal Plus
benefit, which roughly 50 percent of Hancock's annuity business elected in
2004 and nearly 80 percent so far this year. "We've taken a great rider, and
made it even better," says James R. Boyle, president, John Hancock Annuities.
"Study after study has shown that the ultimate concern of people at or near
retirement is guaranteeing their nest egg and not running out of money in
retirement. The new rider addresses this concern by providing a guaranteed
income clients won't outlive -- without the complexity and limitations
associated with traditional annuitization. I believe this benefit will be
incredibly successful because it's what the market wants and needs. It offers
advisors a tool they can use to help clients close the gap between life
expectancy and income and create a lasting retirement income stream."
Among the choices available to people who elect an annuity with Principal
Plus for Life are John Hancock's Lifestyle portfolios, which strive to help
investors save for retirement through professional asset allocation, with the
goal of improving risk-adjusted returns. John Hancock is the #1 provider of
funds-of-funds in the VA industry based on assets, as of September 30, 2004.
For financial advisors, the product benefit comes with extensive
informational materials and presentations to help them better address their
clients' retirement income needs, and explain the benefits of Principal Plus
About John Hancock and Manulife Financial
John Hancock is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading
Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19
countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in
Canada and most of 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$350 billion (US$290 billion)
as at March 31, 2005. 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 http://www.manulife.com.
The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of
the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers a broad
range of financial products and services, including whole life, term life,
variable life, and universal life insurance, as well as college savings
products, fixed and variable annuities, long-term care insurance, mutual funds
and various forms of business insurance.
Insurance products are issued by the following John Hancock insurance
companies: John Hancock Life Insurance Company, John Hancock Variable Life
Insurance Company*, John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.)* and John
Hancock Life Insurance Company of New York.
*Not licensed in New York
(1) The guarantees are backed by the claims paying ability of the issuer.
Principal Plus For Life can only be elected at issue and is irrevocable. The
Principal Plus For Life option fee is 0.40% of the adjusted guaranteed
withdrawal balance and deducted from the contract value on each contract
anniversary. Limitations apply. Principal Plus For Life guarantees return of
principal only if the Guaranteed Withdrawal amount is not exceeded. See the
prospectus for full details.
(2) Withdrawals may be subject to withdrawal charges and will reduce the
death benefit and optional benefits. In addition, withdrawals of taxable
amounts will be subject to ordinary income tax and, if made prior to age
591/2, a 10% IRS penalty tax may apply.
(3) Upon step-up, your Guaranteed Withdrawal Amount (GWA) is reset and may
be higher than its previous value. If you elect the step-up, the Principal
Plus For Life fee will be based on the stepped-up value, and John Hancock
reserves the right to increase the Principal Plus For Life fee up to a maximum
of 0.75% annually. If the fee is raised, the client may decline the step-up.
Venture Variable Annuities are tax-deferred, long-term contracts designed
to meet retirement and other financial goals. Variable annuities provide
features and benefits not necessarily found in other investment vehicles, such
* Tax-Deferral. Help defer income taxes since your earnings aren't taxed
until distributed. The taxes paid are based on your tax bracket at the time of
distribution and the withdrawal method.
* Guaranteed Retirement Income. When you are ready to begin receiving
income in retirement, variable annuities offer you the option of
annuitization. Annuitization can provide you with guaranteed payments, which
may continue for the rest of your life, depending on the distribution option
* Death Benefit. Beneficiary protection, in the form of a guaranteed death
benefit prior to annuitization. (Guarantees are subject to the claims paying
ability of the issuer.)
* Transfers. Choose from a diverse group of portfolio options in which to
invest your retirement savings tax-deferred. Make transfers between investment
portfolios inside the annuity without incurring current income taxes or costs.
(Most companies reserve the right to restrict and charge for future
A variable annuity has different types of fees and charges. Often, these
charges will include a sales charge, mortality and expense risk charge,
administrative fees and underlying fund expenses, as well as additional
charges for any optional riders you might elect. Your financial consultant can
explain all fees that may apply. You can also find a description of the
charges in the prospectus. Be sure you understand all the charges before you
Variable annuities and variable life insurance products are long-term
contracts designed for retirement purposes and are sold by prospectus. Please
contact your local Manulife USA office to obtain a prospectus containing more
details and all charges, expenses, risk factors and limitations. Past
performance is not a guarantee of future results.
Venture Annuities are issued and administered by John Hancock Life
Insurance Company (U.S.A.), a Bloomfield Hills, MI, company with its annuity
service office in Boston, MA. Venture Combination Fixed and Variable
Annuities are distributed by John Hancock Distributors LLC, member NASD.
Venture is a registered service mark of John Hancock USA.
Annuities are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed by, any bank
or financial institution. Annuities are not insured by the FDIC or any other
agency and are subject to investment risks, including the possible loss of
SOURCE John Hancock