Manulife’s “Insured Retirement Program” – Evolving with an ever changing world

In 1993, Manulife Insurance in conjunction with Manulife Bank introduced the Insured Retirement Program (IRP) to the Canadian insurance marketplace. At that time insurance leverage was in its infancy with few banks willing to lend against the cash value of a life insurance policy. This dramatically changed when Manulife Bank entered the market and now 20 years later many insurance carriers and banks support different leveraged life insurance strategies.

Despite the change and increased competition, Manulife’s Insured Retirement Program linked to Manulife Bank continues to be the preeminent insurance backed retirement income planning strategy in the marketplace. But we are not resting on our laurels. We want to make sure the program evolves as the market evolves. As a result exciting changes have been made to streamline IRP administrative processes.

What are the changes?

Effective immediately, the “Letter of Intent” is eliminated. Manulife Bank will no longer require the “letter” as part of the IRP loan application process but clients will still be required to sign an IRP illustration and IRP Consumer Guide disclosure page. As part of the IRP loan application process clients will now be required to sign a form advising they have signed and reviewed both of these requirements. If the client has not signed off the bank will direct the client to their advisor for completion of these two outstanding requirements. Once completed the loan application process continues.

Should I secure the signed IRP illustration and Consumer Guide at the time of sale?

If the IRP concept was integral to the insurance sale it is still recommended that the clients sign off on the IRP illustration and Consumer Guide at that time. It is recommended that you keep a copy of the signed documents in your file and provide copies to your client. You can also submit copies with the life application for filing at Head Office. If you secure the documents post sale and you want to have them on file at Head Office they should be forwarded to Julie Winfield – Manulife Head Office - 500 King St – Waterloo. Alternatively email pdf copies to and include the policy number.

Can I still order inforce IRP illustrations?

Yes. Clients with inforce policies can still be provided with inforce IRP illustrations. The process is easy. Refer to the Conceptually Speaking article entitled “Does your client want to access the cash value of their inforce life insurance policy?” for step by step instructions.

What if my client already has a “letter of intent”?

If your client has secured a letter of intent in the past and is applying for an IRP loan as part of the application process they will need to sign the bank form confirming they have signed off on the IRP illustration and consumer guide disclosure page.

Bank brochure offers comfort.

With the elimination of the “letter of intent” the attached brochure has been created by the bank to provide your clients with the same comfort around the program that the “letter” might have provided. This brochure shows the breadth of the loan programs available from Manulife Bank when they decide to borrow against the cash value of their policy.

Manulife Bank CSV Lending Brochure

Manulife and Manulife Bank remain committed to the Insured Retirement Program. By eliminating the “letter of intent” we offer a more streamlined approach to administering the program. In the near future you will see all of the IRP marketing materials updated to reflect these changes. If you have more questions on the Insured Retirement Program contact your Manulife insurance wholesaler or email

Date: August 2016