The Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service released new guidance that is “designed to expand the use of income annuities in 401(k) plans.”
BOSTON, March 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --John Hancock Retirement Plan Services (JH RPS) announced today that it will implement a new way of pricing its 401(k) plan services that will help plan sponsors directly address the issue of fairness in the allocation of plan expenses among participants. Driven by a set of strong core values to help ensure retirement plans are built and run for the benefit of all participants, this enhancement is squarely focused on putting participants first.
In 2013, John Hancock launched the JH Enterprise platform which employs innovative technology to allow revenue sharing to be allocated so that all participants share plan costs equitably, in an open architecture, mutual fund based retirement plan.
"The response to JH Enterprise and specifically, interest in our ability to give plans the means to ensure a fair allocation of plan expenses among participants, has been tremendous," said Peter Gordon, president, John Hancock Retirement Plan Services. "Today we are announcing JH Signature 2.0, our separate account based platform which has an extremely elegant way of addressing this same objective. We are taking this bold action because we believe that this is an important and emerging issue for plan sponsors and want to clearly demonstrate our commitment to helping them achieve this objective."
This sentiment is echoed by Fred Reish (#3 on 401k Wire's 2013 Hundred Most Influential People in Defined Contribution). "The new 408(b)(2) disclosures have focused the attention of plan sponsors, lawyers and advisers on fees. In turn, that focus has raised questions about some participants paying, through their investments, more fees than others. Therefore, many plan sponsors are investigating ways to equitably allocate plan costs over the accounts of the participants. I think John Hancock - for both their JH Enterprise and JH Signature 2.0 platforms - has captured the momentum of this focus and is well positioned to help plan sponsors directly address this issue of fairness in the allocation of plan expenses among participants."
Effective in May 2014, JH Signature 2.0 will introduce pricing based on John Hancock's "required revenue" to pay for recordkeeping services. This plan-specific amount will be completely independent of any investment choices or flow of assets. This model will also allow plan sponsors and participants to better understand how their fees are collected and ensure that all participants are sharing plan expenses equitably.
"We think this is a huge step forward," said Gordon. "We see this as another example of John Hancock continuing to lead the industry by putting the participant first."
About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial
John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife Financial, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$599 billion (US$563 billion) as at December 31, 2013. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.
The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities,investments, 401(k) plans,long-term care insurance,college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.
John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) (John Hancock USA), John Hancock Life Insurance Company of New York (John Hancock New York), and John Hancock Retirement Plan Services LLC are collectively referred to as "John Hancock"
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John Hancock Retirement Plan Services LLC and Manulife Asset Management Trust Company (conducting business as "John Hancock Trust Company") offer service programs for retirement plans through which a sponsor or administrator of a plan may invest in mutual funds, ETFs and collective investment trusts on behalf of plan participants. Mutual funds, ETFs and collective investment trusts available through Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC ("Fidelity") have not been individually selected by John Hancock or Fidelity Investments®. Administrative and recordkeeping services are provided by John Hancock Retirement Plan Services LLC. Group annuity contracts are issued by: John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.), Boston, MA 02210 (not licensed in New York) and John Hancock Life Insurance Company of New York, Valhalla, NY 10595. Product features and availability may differ by state. John Hancock Trust Company provides trust and custodial services. Securities products, when offered, are offered through John Hancock Distributors LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.
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SOURCE John Hancock Retirement Plan Services