John Hancock Annuities, a Boston unit of Toronto's Manulife Financial Corp., plans to start offering a new optional guaranteed withdrawal benefit rider today.

The Principal Returns rider, meant to complement Hancock's lifetime withdrawal benefits, provides an 8% withdrawal rate for clients seeking "income now" and an accumulation benefit feature for those seeking principal protection while investing in the markets.

Manulife and its subsidiaries had $386 billion of assets under management as of June 30.

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