Mr. Patrick Murphy reports
JOHN HANCOCK INTRODUCES NEW RETIREMENT PLANNER TOOL
As part of its enhancements to the on-line and digital experience for participants, Manulife Financial Corp.'s John Hancock Retirement has recently introduced a new digital tool for individuals in its retirement plans to help them easily project their own retirement readiness and model the impact of taking different steps to improve it.
The retirement planner, located on the newly redesigned participant website, goes beyond providing projections based on a flat income replacement ratio. Instead it shows retirement readiness based on an individual's personal projected spending in retirement using key demographic and behavioural data points that consider shifts in lifestyle over the course of one's retirement. Helping participants better understand their expenses in retirement allows them to implement the most appropriate withdrawal strategy based on individual income sources and needs such as health,* lifestyle and other assets.
"Despite recent market swings, we have found that clear investment goals and a proactive plan can help participants put short-term market fluctuations into context and continue to work toward the retirement they want," said Patrick Murphy, chief executive officer of John Hancock Retirement. "The retirement planner addresses top concerns and satisfies the needs of participants as they plan and prepare for retirement, giving them a realistic and tangible retirement goal."
Using each participant's current retirement funds and savings strategy, John Hancock's retirement planner provides insight into longevity risk, future spending patterns and predictive analytics to generate a personalized projection of how income in retirement compares with the anticipated costs over the course of the participant's retirement years. Participants receive a personalized action plan with steps that will help them get on track if they are behind or improve their general financial health if they are retirement ready.
"We know from our research that more than half of participants feel they are behind in savings for retirement -- and nine out of 10 participants agree that projections of their retirement expenses would motivate them to save more. The retirement planner has the potential to encourage greater engagement and to drive more positive action resulting in better preparation for participants when it comes to their retirement," said Sosseh Malkhassian, head of participant experience, John Hancock Retirement. "We're using customer-centric design to enhance our participant experience and this tool makes planning personal for each participant and provides suggested contribution level guidance that can be easily implemented in just two clicks."
Participants can also adjust and model several variables in the retirement planner, such as when and where they plan to retire, health status,* lifestyle, and outside savings, to see how different inputs can impact their specific retirement outcomes. According to John Hancock's most recent financial stress survey, 80 per cent of participants have given some consideration to potential wealth and health issues in retirement. Addressing these considerations -- the retirement planner factors personal health data into both the analysis tool and actual needs projection. This helps provide a unique and more accurate scenario for individual participants, rather than relying on base assumptions using the same income replacement ratio for everyone.
"Everything we do comes down to helping participants become financially prepared for the retirement they want," continued Mr. Murphy. "And in times of increased uncertainty, we want to reinforce that having a plan is the very best way to stay focused on what can be controlled and alleviate the stress that can accompany the unknown."
* Health data are not retained due to privacy reasons, but the impact of the health information is retained in the projection.
John Hancock financial stress survey methodology
The 2019 John Hancock financial stress survey was commissioned by John Hancock and conducted by Greenwald & Associates. An on-line survey of 3,547 John Hancock plan participants was conducted in June, 2019.
About John Hancock and 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. It operates primarily as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife globally, including Canada, Asia and Europe. It provides financial advice, insurance and wealth, and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were $1.2-trillion ($800-million (U.S.)) as of March 31, 2020.
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