Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. is offering employers a new service that will allow their employees to automatically invest in a 529 college savings plan.

Called College Savings Employee Select, the new service allows investors to choose from seven 529 plans offered by: AIM Advisors, Davis Select Advisors, Franklin Templeton, Pacific Investment Management Co., Oppenheimer Funds and T. Rowe Price. It allows investors to contribute as little as $50 a month to one of these plans.

"By including both a college and retirement savings option in their benefits program, employers offer a powerful incentive to attract and retain good employees," said Kendall Kay, chief strategy officer of group pensions for Manulife.

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