6 ways this investment-linked policy makes retirement planning a breeze

Are you ready to retire smart? PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Did you know that only 1 in 4 Singaporeans have a retirement insurance plan, and 2 in 3 of retirees regret not planning earlier for retirement?

Instead of getting excited about their work-free years, some Singaporeans are feeling anxious about their retirement simply because they are not prepared for it. These are some of the findings - and insights drawn - from a retirement survey conducted by Manulife in January 2021.

According to Manulife's Retirement Gap survey 2021, a quarter of the 1,000 respondents agree that their standard of living has declined after retirement, and about 1 in 2 Singaporean retirees wish they had invested in an insurance plan as preparation for their future.

Although personal savings and savings in the Central Provident Fund can cover some bills, having a retirement insurance plan may better support your desired lifestyle upon retirement.

For those who do not yet have an insurance plan, Manulife SmartRetire (II) is a whole-life, regular premium investment-linked policy that is customised to your goals and budget, in addition to providing an insurance protection for you right from the start of the plan.

From your chosen retirement age and budget, your plan is designed to help you achieve your retirement goals. The insurance aspect also protects you and your family in case of mishaps1.

Manulife SmartRetire (II) is designed to support you in your retirement plans, no matter your needs or which stage in life you may be. Whether you plan to retire as early as age 40, have a specific budget in mind, or worry that it is too late to start planning for old age, Manulife SmartRetire (II) is geared to help you get there.

Ready to start? Here are six reasons why Manulife SmartRetire (II) makes retirement planning a little less daunting.

It offers flexibility

Manulife SmartRetire (II) offers flexibility by letting you choose your ideal retirement age - between 40 and 70 years old - and plan your journey to the tee with professionally-managed funds based on your risk appetite.

You can also set your retirement goals based on your preferred premium payment option and the minimum investment period2. Premium payment starts from S$2003 per month, and the MIP starts from five years.

At any point during your policy term, you can withdraw or reinvest dividends paid out from your fund if you had chosen dividend-paying funds. Dividends can also be reinvested and drawn out at a later stage.

One of the most important segments of the workforce Manulife SmartRetire (II) was designed for would be freelancers, gig workers and sole proprietors. This is a growing segment in Singapore vulnerable to a compromised level of coverage and CPF savings enjoyed by full-time employees. This is where Manulife SmartRetire (II) comes in. It helps build towards one's retirement goal, while patching the protection gap for the policy owner.

You can start your investment journey at an early age

Manulife SmartRetire (II) allows you to kick-start your retirement planning from as early as the age of 18, thanks to its low investment threshold (which means a smaller sum of investment is required to kickstart your plan). Starting at a young age usually means you have a longer time to accumulate and enjoy a more favourable dollar cost averaging over a longer investment period.

It gives you control of your investments

With unlimited free fund switching, Manulife SmartRetire (II) gives you control over how your account value grows. This control allows you to grow its value depending on market performance and conditions.With access to the different funds offered under this plan, you can optimise your investment returns by switching your investments to another fund as and when you deem fit.

Manulife SmartRetire (II) has a curated list of funds run by accredited fund managers that fits different retirement planning needs and accommodates different levels of risk appetite. With your Financial Consultant on hand to provide you information on fund performances, the control of your account is in your hands to pick, mix and switch between funds anytime based on your risk appetite.

It covers protection for death, total and permanent disability

Besides the potential to grow your investments, you can rest assured that your retirement plan also covers4 protection for death, waiver of premium benefit on cancer (for the policy owner), and total and permanent disability.

Additionally, you can also purchase a Loss of Independence rider, which will pay a 50 per cent of your target monthly retirement income in the event you meet the LOI definition4 where you require help on Activities of Daily Living (ADL).

It refunds Cost of Insurance for no claims

For some policies, you will be charged the cost of insurance, even if you have no claims. However, Manulife SmartRetire (II) will refund the cost of insurance5 back into your policy if no claim has been made on your protection benefits. This amount can further boost your investment. The refunds will be in the form of additional fund units.

You can enjoy welcome and loyalty bonuses

Manulife SmartRetire (II) will pay out a welcome bonus6 from the start of your plan, as well as yearly loyalty bonuses during accumulation and retirement period to give your investment a boost. For a limited period of time, there is an additional welcome bonus of up to 25%, depending on your annual regular basic premium and your minimum investment period.

Whatever your age or stage in life, it's never too early or too late to begin planning for your retirement and long-term goals. With Manulife SmartRetire (II), you can take control of your future and work towards living your desired lifestyle after retirement.

For more information, visit

Terms and Conditions apply. Manulife SmartRetire (II) and its supplementary benefits are underwritten by Manulife (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (Reg. No. 198002116D). This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Buying a life insurance policy is a long-term commitment. There may be high costs involved if you terminate the policy early, and your policy's surrender value (if any) may be zero or less than the total premiums paid. Your investments are subject to investment risks, and you may lose the principal amount invested. The performance of the Manulife SmartRetire (II) Fund(s) is not guaranteed. The unit prices and any income accruing to it may fall as well as rise. The Fund Managers shall have the absolute discretion to determine whether a distribution is to be made in respect of the Manulife SmartRetire (II) Fund(s) as well as the rate and frequency of distributions to be made. The intention of the Fund Managers to make the distribution and the distribution yield for the Manulife SmartRetire (II) Fund(s) is not guaranteed, and the Fund Managers may review the distribution policy depending on prevailing market conditions. Distributions may be made out of income, net capital gains and/or capital. Past distribution yields and payments are not necessarily indicative of future distribution yields and payments. Any payment of distributions by the Manulife SmartRetire (II) Fund(s) may result in an immediate decrease in the net asset value per unit. You should read the prospectus and the product highlights sheet and seek financial advice before deciding whether to purchase units in the Manulife SmartRetire (II) Fund(s). A copy of the prospectus and the product highlights sheet can be obtained from a Manulife Financial Consultant or its Appointed Distributors.

Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.

Information is correct as of 10 March 2021.

1 Refers to protection for death, Total and Permanent Disability (TPD), and Waiver of Premium Benefit on Cancer (for the policy owner). Terms and conditions apply. Please refer to Product Summary for specific definitions.

2Refers to the period that charges will be imposed if premiums are missed or partial/full surrender is made.

3Applies to plans with MIP of 16 years.

4Terms and conditions apply. Please refer to respective Product Summaries for specific definitions.

5 If the death and waiver of premium benefit on cancer are not claimed during Minimum Investment Period, the cost of insurance charged will be refunded in units during Accumulation Period over 5 policy years. If the death and TPD benefit are not claimed during Accumulation Period, the cost of insurance charged will be refunded in units during Retirement Period over 5 policy years.

6Welcome bonus will be credited into your account in the first 12 months upon receipt of each regular basic premium payment in the form of additional units. Yearly Loyalty Bonus will be paid starting from the next policy anniversary immediately after the end of Minimum Investment Period and every year thereafter until the end of the policy term in form of additional units. Terms and Conditions apply. Please refer to Product Summaries for specific definitions.

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