2007 crop of segregated funds: special features

By Donna Glasgow | November 22 2007 08:37PM

The Insurance Journal invited the companies that participate in our segregated fund guarantee comparison table to supply additional information that might interest advisors. Here are the highlights of the information submitted.

Canada Life

At Canada Life, all investment contracts in segregated funds are available through the Fundserv transaction system.

This year, the age limit for reset of Generations funds was increased to 90.

Desjardins Financial Security

The 100/100 r guarantee featured in Helios products includes a fee return provision. By comparison, the 75/100 i guarantee offers inflation protection for deposits before age 75.

Clients can opt to add the minimum withdrawal guarantee benefit (GMWB) to the contract. Helios offers guaranteed income of 7% for 14 years and 2% in the 15 th year. Reset is manual at the time of the first withdrawal and automatic every three years thereafter.

Empire Life

Empire Life points out that the guarantee at maturity dates are based on the policy, not on deposits. The resets apply to guarantees on benefits at maturity and death, the insurer adds. Guarantees on Class segregated funds are based on the fund category.

In addition, the maturity benefit option is available on savings plans only.

Equitable Life

Equitable Life offers no-fee withdrawals of 10% for non-registered accounts and RRSPs, and no-fee withdrawals of 20% for RRIFs and Life income funds.

All premiums paid until maturity qualify for a 75% guarantee. Clients can open accounts up to age 100.

Manulife Financial

Manulife Investments recently announced that its Quebec segregated fund business will now be processed at its Montréal offices. This includes Guaranteed Investment Funds (GIF), GIF Encore and GIF with minimum withdrawal, IncomePlus, and all Maritime Life segregated funds. Maritime Life (Capital Accumulator, Investment Account, Investment Portfolio and Series R funds).

What’s more, all GIF products offer a choice of more than 60 funds. Clients receive detailed statements. Note that Series 1 funds are closed and no deposits are authorized during the subscription of new GIF and GIF Encore funds.

For Maritime Life funds, Capital Accumulator (CAP) offers a 10% bonus starting on the 15 th anniversary of the contract and every 5 th anniversary thereafter. The MLIA investment account may contain both guaranteed interest accounts and segregated funds.

There are 33 class A funds for the MLIA, the CAP and Investment Portfolio MLIP, and 67 class B funds for MLIA and MLIP.CAP has 14 class B funds.

Sun Life Financial

Sun Life offers a supplementary death benefit rider called Optional Death Benefit Protection. Annual Automatic Death Benefit Reset Rider of 4% is optional. Optional Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit Rider is available with SunWise Elite Plus. Sun Life also offers Private Asset Management.

TD Asset Management comments that the approach behind the design of TD GIF I portfolios combines quantitative and qualitative research methods that use return optimization models.

Industrial Alliance

Industrial Alliance states that its Ecoflex segregated fund guarantees are based on the contract, not on deposits. On Ecoflextra, resets apply at death, to GSB, or guaranteed surrender balance. The minimum withdrawal guarantee benefit foresees a withdrawal of 5% for life subject to certain conditions, or for 20 years.

RBC Insurance

RBC Insurance offers 14 funds and 4 portfolios. The underlying funds are managed by RBC Asset Management.

Standard Life

Standard Life offers the guarantee at maturity for RRIFs and payment of guaranteed income equal to 75% of premiums (less proportional surrenders) if the initial premium associated with the fund or the latest reset request dates back at least 10 years.

Like Empire Life and Industrial Alliance, the insurer calculates the capital guarantee at maturity per policy and not based on premiums paid (deposits).

If the annuitant is at least 80 years old when the policy is established, the guarantee at death is reduced to 75%.

Reset is offered on Ideal No Load segregated funds with the reset option and on Ideal segregated funds, Platinum Option.

Transamerica Life Canada

Transamerica Life Canada notes that the maturity of its segregated fund contracts is age 100 (or the prescribed limit in the case of RRSPs). Deposits mature every 10 years. Automatic reset has no impact on the contract or maturity of the deposit or the guarantee. It does not combine years of deposits.

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