Manulife Asset Management Services Berhad (formerly known as Manulife Unit Trusts Berhad) has launched the Manulife PRS NEST- EGG Series, a private retirement scheme to help Malaysians adequately plan for their golden years.
It will also help individuals build additional savings and diversify their retirement investment portfolio to support a reasonable quality of post-retirement life.
The launch is in line with the Finan- cial Services National Key Economic Area of the Economic Transfomation Programme, which aims to align the country’s pension system with its demographic and socioeconomic changes.
Manulife Asset Management Services’ Chief Executive Officer Edward Ooi said, “Malaysia shows signs of a demographic dilemma. The rapidly greying population is anything but a transitory concern. There are two million working adults, including the self employed, who are not covered under the Employees’ Provident Fund.
“With the burgeoning cost of financ- ing quality post-retirement lifestyles for a ballooning senior population, the need for individuals to save more has intensified.”
A recent study by Manulife Asset Management Asia focusing on Asia’s retirement landscape shows that Malaysians have high savings, with a gross national saving rate at 35% of the gross domestic product.
Malaysia is also expected to see one of the strongest increases in income levels over the next 40 years.
Despite the high savings rate, a separate survey conducted by TNS for Manulife Malaysia shows that the nation’s retirement investment or savings penetration rate ranked as low as 4%.
“We see this as an indication of significant unawakened demand in the market. The ability of Malaysians to save for retirement is promising. The sad reality, however, is that their investments are simply not fully optimised or are not properly invested,” said Ooi.
The Manulife PRS NESTEGG Series includes the growth, moderate and conservative funds. Its flexibility ensures optimum control for the contributor.
It yields investment–type returns with multiple investment options that suits an individual’s risk appetite and investment profile.
Ooi added, “In the United States, if you compare actual pension contributors who choose a Manulife- managed scheme and those who self manage their own retirement planning, studies have consistently shown that contributions that are managed by Manulife yield returns that are an average of 200 basis points higher per year over a 10-year period.
“As one of the leading global pension providers with a global heritage of 125 years, we are optimistic that the performance of our PRS scheme will provide value to our customers.”
Some key facts about the Manulife PRS NESTEGG Series:
• It includes three core funds to suit the investing needs of different investment profiles.
• The initial offer price for all three core funds within the scheme is RM0.50 per unit.
• 0% sales charge for PRS contributions.
A timely addition to corporate benefit plans
Apart from individual contributions, the Manulife PRS NESTEGG Series can be an employer-sponsored pension where contributions can be made by the employer on behalf of the employee.
The introduction of the Manulife PRS NESTEGG Series is a timely addition to corporate benefits as employers around the region look towards offering holistic employee benefits packages in order to attract and retain quality talent.
Manulife Financial Asia Ltd’s Senior Vice President and Regional Executive David Wong said, “The changing demographics in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region will bring about greater awareness in terms of retirement planning for employees.
“We believe that this is going to prompt domestic ASEAN corpora- tions and companies to act globally. Employers who are able to act on this changing trend will be ahead in attracting and retaining talent.”
Employer contributions to the Manulife PRS NESTEGG Series will qualify for relief against up to 19% of corporate tax while individual employee contributions will qualify for relief against RM3,000 worth of income tax per year.
Manulife is able to assist employers
to develop the necessary processes to enable them to provide a compre- hensive corporate benefits plan that suits their employees’ retirement aspirations.
“Manulife’s global offices have decades of experience and expertise in providing world class financial and retirement solutions. We are able to cater a holistic package with our insurance, pension and financial products to suit each corporation’s needs,” added Wong.
The Manulife PRS NESTEGG Series is available for both Malaysians and non-citizens aged 18 and above via appointed Manulife agencies and financial advisors.
For more information, call toll free at 1300 13 2323 or email [email protected]