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John Hancock Launches Defined Benefit Program

BOSTON, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- John Hancock Retirement Plan Services (JHRPS) announced today the launch of the John Hancock Defined Benefit Program. A leader in the 401(k) industry, the addition of defined benefits to the John Hancock product roster expands its retirement plans offering. Both cash balance and traditional plans are available through the John Hancock program.

"The Defined Benefit Program broadens our retirement plan offering and is a good strategic fit. John Hancock defined benefit plans will be supported with same service and infrastructure excellence for which John Hancock Retirement Plan Service is known.* We can now provide our clients with defined benefit plans, 401(k) plans or both -- depending on the unique needs of that company," said Ed Eng, Senior Vice President, Product Development. "With the passage of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, we see an opportunity to grow this freshly invigorated market," he commented further.

Early experience suggests increasing interest in cash balance plans from a range of professional-dominated organizations and small businesses. These companies are looking for ways to maximize retirement contributions for their employees beyond the 401(k). Candidates typically include:

-- Professionals seeking to contribute more than $45,000 to their

retirement plan,

-- Highly profitable companies of varying sizes,

-- Owners who are approaching retirement and are seeking ways to maximize


-- Professionals groups (doctors, CPAs, lawyers),

-- Family and closely-held businesses.

As with the 401(k)s that JHRPS provides, the defined benefit plans will be offered exclusively through an unbundled model. Plan design and testing and actuarial support will be provided by pension consultants or third party administrators (TPAs) who constitute a key component of the JHRPS value proposition. John Hancock's Lifestyle Portfolios are expected to be a popular investment selection although the plans do offer a full investment line up.

* Chatham Client Satisfaction Survey 2006.

About John Hancock Retirement Plan Services

Amongst mutual fund, life insurance companies and banks, JHRPS is ranked as the #1 provider to 401(k)s based on number of 401(k) plans managed, according CFO Magazine. (CFO Magazine 401(k) Buyers Guide Study, published May 2007.)

About John Hancock and Manulife Financial

John Hancock is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation (the Company), a leading Canadian-based financial services company serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through 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 Cdn$410 billion (US$386 billion) as at June 30, 2007.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '0945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at

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 whole life, term life, variable life, and universal life insurance, as well as college savings products, fixed and variable annuities, long-term care insurance, mutual funds and various forms of business insurance.

Group annuity contracts are issued by John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) (John Hancock USA). John Hancock Investment Management Services, LLC, a registered investment adviser, provides investment information relating to the contract.

SOURCE John Hancock Retirement Plan Services
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