Manulife Adds 529 Investment Options
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Wednesday, October 2, 2002

Manulife Adds 529 Investment Options

After listening to client feedback, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) has decided to enhance its multi-managed 529 plan, Manulife College Savings.

Among the offerings is a stable value option designed to provide shelter from the stormy equity markets for participants. Earlier this year, Delaware Investments was one of the first 529 providers to add a stable option to its plan. MetLife is also eyeing this market for its stable value product.

Along with the Stable Principal Portfolio the insurer is adding four Individual Portfolios, which are comprised of Manulife College Savings' existing mutual funds -- the T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth 529 Portfolio, the AIM Aggressive Growth 529 Portfolio, the T. Rowe Price Mid-Cap Value 529 Portfolio and the Templeton Foreign 529 Portfolio.

The lineup is intended to allow investors to match their particular educational savings needs and existing asset allocation strategies, said a company spokesperson.

"We are continually upgrading our product in order to bring the most comprehensive, multi-managed 529 plan to our clients, and these enhancements reflect the feedback we have received," said Bill Burrow, senior vice president and general manager, Manulife College Savings, in a release.

The options are also available with Manulife's Employee Select payroll deduction 529 plan.

Manulife's nationally-distributed 529 plan offering was launched in July of 2001, and as of June 30, held nearly $280 million in assets under management in 35,600 accounts. The plan is managed by T. Rowe Price and sponsored by the Education Trust of Alaska.

The mutual fund managers available with Manulife College Savings are A I M Advisors, Davis Selected Advisors, Franklin Templeton, MFS Investment Management, OppenheimerFunds, Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) and T. Rowe Price Associates.

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