– Staffed with specialists to assist 401(k) plan participants seeking to consolidate retirement accounts

– New unit makes it easier for advisers to serve clients and build their business

John Hancock Retirement Income & Rollover Solutions (RIRS) has announced the formation of its Consolidation Services group, a new unit designed to assist 401(k) plan participants who wish to consolidate their retirement accounts into their qualified retirement plans with John Hancock.

Consolidation Services was formed in January of 2011, in order to provide assistance to plan participants who want to become better organized and to simplify their financial lives.  By offering this assistance, the new unit also will be relieving some of the administrative burden from plan sponsors and their financial advisers, who often try to provide such guidance, but for whom it is a major distraction from their main responsibilities.

“More than 50 percent of plan participants have more than one 401(k) or other qualified retirement plan,” said Art Creel, Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing, John Hancock Retirement Plan Services. “Many of these participants have told us that they want to consolidate accounts, but that they find the process daunting, slow and cumbersome. With Consolidation Services, we offer a value-added service to participants that helps increase satisfaction among the participant, the plan sponsor, and the adviser.”

“Offering this unique service, we believe, will differentiate John Hancock Retirement Plan Services in the marketplace,” Mr. Creel added. “John Hancock is dedicated to making retirement plans work better, and Consolidation Services is an example of how we are achieving that goal. By making it easier for advisers to partner with John Hancock, we help advisers focus on building plan assets and help sponsors focus on managing their plans.”

Consolidation Services is staffed with specialists whose sole purpose is to support participants throughout the process of moving outside retirement accounts into their qualified retirement plans with John Hancock. Participants are given the opportunity, on their enrollment forms, to indicate that they would like assistance, or they may directly call John Hancock’s Consolidation Center. Specialists help answer questions, support participants through the process, and help with all the necessary paperwork. Then, once the paperwork is submitted, the assets are rolled over into the John Hancock plan.

“Participants have account balances of $30,000 on average that they wish to consolidate, without creating additional work for themselves or the plan sponsor,” said Rahim Rajpar, Vice President, John Hancock Consolidation Center. “Once a participant tells us they want assistance, we work with them, and depending on the situation, we may even get on the phone with former plan providers in order to complete the transfers.”

“The opportunity is significant and we are experiencing some exciting early success,” Mr. Rajpar noted. Consolidation Services, which presently includes 13 employees, is planning to add another three positions in the near future. “We anticipate further growth,” he said, “as we are committed to this business and to making transfers go more smoothly for participants.”

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial Corporation

John Hancock Financial is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 22 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and in most of Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, Manulife Financial Corporation offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. For more than 120 years, clients have looked to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$478 billion (US$492 billion) as at March 31, 2011.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial may be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers a broad range of financial products and services, including life insurance, fixed and variable annuities, fixed products, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at www.johnhancock.com.

Both John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) and John Hancock Life Insurance Company of New York do business under certain instances using the John Hancock Retirement Plan Services name. Group annuity contracts and recordkeeping agreements 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.


© 2011 John Hancock. All rights reserved.


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