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Manulife adds website options for retirement plan

2020-02-19 11:22 ET - News Release

Mr. Patrick Murphy reports


Manulife Financial Corp.'s John Hancock is helping retirement plan participants work toward retirement readiness with two new tools designed to help solve the challenges of unexpected expenses and planning for and financing higher education costs.

"If people are able to manage and prioritize their day-to-day expenses, they are also better able to allocate money toward their retirement savings," said Patrick Murphy, chief executive officer of John Hancock Retirement. "We purposely offer a robust financial wellness program at John Hancock, because if we can help build participants' savvy and confidence, we are in a much better place to help build a successful retirement savings strategy."

Research shows that the impact of these two issues is taking a toll. A national survey from the Federal Reserve reported that 40 per cent of people can't afford a $400 emergency expense such as a car repair or replacing a broken appliance and John Hancock's most recent financial stress survey showed a quarter of respondents had no emergency savings at all.

Now, with the click of a button on John Hancock Retirement's participant site -- where they may already be in a long-term savings mindset -- participants can create an emergency savings account. Once a savings goal is entered, the participant links their checking account and sets up weekly recurring deposits. Participants can track progress toward the savings goal and are able to withdraw funds at any time with no fees. This can help participants prepare for unexpected financial needs and may prevent them from tapping into their retirement account.

When it comes to college planning, while more than half of American households are currently saving for college, planning for college remains a top worry among parents. And fewer than one-third of parents say they have the knowledge needed to guide their children through the application and decision-making process.

The education planning centre, also available on the participant site, allows participants to estimate the costs of higher education and help define financing gaps in current savings strategies. This comprehensive portal offers resources to help with college selection, scholarships and financial aid, navigation of the college application process, and more. In the complementary education planning centre, participants can:

  • Get expert step-by-step guidance based on the prospective student's age;
  • Search for schools that best fit a student's academic profile and compare school details like admissions and tuition costs;
  • Prepare for standardized tests;
  • Find scholarships.

"Everyone's journey to retirement readiness is different," said Sosseh Malkhassian, head of participant experience for John Hancock Retirement. "By offering resources that are easy to access and use, we're making it easier for our participants to make well-informed decisions, manage multiple priorities and take action in their financial lives. And that sets them up to build and meet long-term retirement readiness goals."

About Manulife Financial Corp.

John Hancock is a unit of Manulife Financial, a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. The company operates primarily as John Hancock in the United States and Manulife globally, including Canada, Asia and Europe.

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