Comparison Chart

As you can see in the chart below, John Hancock Freedom 529 offers unique advantages over some other college savings vehicles.

 John Hancock Freedom 529Coverdell ESA (Education IRA)UGMA/UTMATaxable Account
Portfolio management style Multimanager or “managing the managers” approach Self-directed Self-directed Self-directed
Income limitations None AGI limits apply None None
Maximum yearly contribution per Beneficiary (individual contributor) $15,000 without exceeding the annual federal gift tax exclusion ($75,000 if accelerated over a five-year period.);1 total contributions cannot exceed $475,000 per Beneficiary $2,000; Can contribute to Coverdell ESA in same year as you contribute to 529 plan2 Unlimited; $15,000 without exceeding the annual federal gift tax exclusion Unlimited; $15,000 without exceeding the annual federal gift tax exclusion
Account earnings Tax free if used for qualified expenses3 Tax free if used for qualified expenses Taxable Taxable to owner
Ability to change Beneficiaries Yes Yes No Not applicable
Control of Distributions Account Holder Account Owner Custodian; transfers to minor upon reaching age of majority Account Owner
Investment Options Enrollment-Based Portfolios; Static Portfolios; Lifestyle Portfolios; Individual Portfolios Range of securities Range of securities Range of securities
Qualified use of proceeds Any eligible college, university or graduate school in the U.S.; equipment or services for special needs students Any eligible college, university or graduate school in the U.S., qualified elementary and secondary school expenses; equipment or services for special needs students Use for minor4 Unlimited
Penalties for non-qualified distributions 10% federal penalty assessed on earnings 10% federal penalty assessed on earnings None None
Taxation of qualified distributions Tax free3 Tax free A portion may be federal tax exempt; some/all income may be taxed at child’s rate Earnings and capital gains taxed at owner’s rate
Ownership of assets for financial aid purposes (may vary with private institutions) Typically the Account Holder Account Owner Student Account Owner

1The donor must elect that the gift be treated as having occurred over a five-year period in order for it to qualify for the federal gift tax exclusion. If additional gifts are made to the same Beneficiary during this five-year period, a federal gift tax may apply. If the donor dies within this five-year period, a pro rata share will be included in the donor’s estate for federal estate tax purposes. State gift and estate tax laws may vary.

2Contributions below the $2,000 limit will not trigger excise tax, but gift tax rules still apply.

3Earnings on non-qualified distributions will be subject to income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax and are taxed at the recipient's (Account Holder's or Beneficiary's) rate. State tax laws and treatment will vary.

4If used by the custodian before the minor reaches the age of majority, use must be for the benefit of the minor. No restrictions on minor’s use once age of majority reached.



John Hancock Freedom 529 is distributed by John Hancock Distributors LLC, which is an affiliate of John Hancock Funds LLC, the distributor of John Hancock Investments.

There may be 529 plans offered by the account holder’s or beneficiary’s home state that offer potential state income tax or other state benefits, such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors, to its residents that should be considered before investing. Please call 866-626-8529 to obtain a Plan Disclosure Document or prospectus for any of the underlying funds. The Plan Disclosure Document contains complete details on investment objectives, risks, fees, charges, and expenses, as well as more information about municipal fund securities and the underlying investment companies that should be considered before investing. Your clients should read the Plan Disclosure Document carefully prior to investing.

John Hancock Freedom 529 is a college savings plan offered by the Education Trust of Alaska, managed by T. Rowe Price, and distributed by John Hancock Distributors LLC through other broker/dealers that have a selling agreement with John Hancock Distributors LLC. John Hancock Distributors LLC is a member of FINRA and is listed with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). © 2018. John Hancock. All rights reserved.

529 PLANS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED, MAY LOSE VALUE, AND ARE NOT BANK OR STATE GUARANTEED.

Click here to view the John Hancock Freedom 529 Privacy Policy.

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