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Manulife PRPP Survey Finds Canadians Prefer Expanding Workplace Pensions over Higher CPP or QPP Contributions


Manulife PRPP Survey Finds Canadians Prefer Expanding Workplace Pensions over Higher CPP or QPP Contributions

National Workplace Savings Survey shows 4 in 5 without a workplace savings plan worry about retirement lifestyle

TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC  SEHK:945 

TORONTO, Dec. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - In a survey of Canadians from across the country, Manulife Financial found that respondents were twice as likely to support a Pooled Registered Pension Plan (PRPP) (64 per cent), rather than increase their CPP or QPP contributions (34 per cent) as a means to save more for retirement.

"Canadians strongly support the introduction of PRPPs and are looking to their provincial governments and employers to make it happen," said Sue Reibel, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Group Retirement Solutions, at Manulife Financial.

Across the country, 74 per cent of respondents said it's 'important' or 'very important' for their province to introduce legislation to make PRPPs available. That figure climbs as high as 85 per cent in Quebec and 84 per cent in Newfoundland.

The National Workplace Savings Survey asked more than 7,700 employed Canadians about their attitudes and convictions towards retirement planning and savings and their attitudes towards enrolling in a PRPP.

PRPPs are workplace savings plans for employees of small to medium-sized businesses or the self-employed with contributions conveniently deducted from each pay. Contributions are invested in a larger pool of funds, which can result in lower fees than if an individual invested on her or his own.  Employees are automatically enrolled but can opt-out and have the flexibility to increase or reduce contributions.

Only 10 per cent of Canadians employed at workplaces with less than 100 employees have access to a pension plan. The federal government introduced PRPP's to help address this gap and in turn the gap between the savings rates of Canadians and their expected retirement needs.


    --  Of those surveyed, 69 per cent are worried that they won't have
        enough savings to maintain their current lifestyle in
        retirement.  That figure increases to 78 per cent for those
        that don't currently have a workplace retirement plan.
    --  The absence of a workplace retirement plan would discourage 69
        per cent of employees from switching jobs to that employer.
    --  Seventy-seven per cent believe saving through a PRPP would make
        it easier for them to reach their retirement goals.

"These survey findings reinforce the concerns Canadians have about the 
retirement savings gap and their belief that PRPPs can play an important part 
in bridging that gap," said Ms. Reibel. "They underscore the importance of the 
work that the federal and provincial governments started in 2010 when they 
introduced PRPPs."

Graphs depicting the number of Canadians worried about retirement and the 
number of Canadians believing it is important their own provinces introduce 
PRPPs are available.

About the Manulife Financial 2012 National Workplace Savings Survey
From October 23 to November 7, 2012, an online survey was conducted by Vision 
Critical among 7,759 randomly selected employed Canadian adults who are also 
Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling 
variability—is +/- 1.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been 
statistically weighted according to the most current age, gender and region 
census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire population of 
Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with 
principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. In 2012, we 
celebrate 125 years of providing clients strong, reliable, trustworthy and 
forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our 
international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers 
financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions 
of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional 
customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries 
were C$515 billion (US$523 billion) as at September 30, 2012. The Company 
operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John 
Hancock in the United States.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and 
under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at 
manulife.com.

Media Inquiries: Laurie Lupton (416) 852-7792 laurie_lupton@manulife.com

PDF available at:  
http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2012/12/13/20121213_C8575_DOC_EN_21921.pdf

SOURCE: Manulife Financial Corporation

To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: 
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2012/13/c8575.html

CO: Manulife Financial Corporation
ST: Ontario
NI: INS ECOSURV 

-0- Dec/13/2012 14:00 GMT

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