Manulife Annuity Product Targets Retiree Savers

August 6, 2001 ( - Manulife Financial Corporation's annuity division has introduced Venture III, a variable annuity program designed for investors in or nearing retirement seeking a more liquid retirement option.

The new program, Venture III provides investors with access to their capital with low or now withdrawal charges. Although taxes still apply, investors can withdraw of purchase payments that have been in the account for more than three years at no withdrawal charge.

Investors can withdraw the greatest of 10% of their premium principal or all their accumulated earnings, without incurring withdrawal charges during the first three years of the contract.

Those who make withdrawals in excess of the free withdrawal amount are charged on a declining scale. There is a 6% charge on excess withdrawals in the first year, 5% in the second year, and 4% in the third year.

The launch of the new program comes at a time when many providers are beginning to recognize the demand for more flexible retirement solutions (see Principal Introduces Retirement Income Management Solution ).