John Hancock Freedom 529 tops $5 billion in assets

Multimanager approach, recent enhancements that help customers save more, and a team of dedicated sales specialists spur 529 plan’s growth

BOSTON, December 21, 2017—John Hancock today announced that assets in its John Hancock Freedom 529 college savings plan have topped $5 billion. The national, multimanaged, 529 college savings plan is sold through financial advisors across the country.

“This is an important milestone for us,” said Andrew G. Arnott, president and CEO of John Hancock Investment Management. “We think customers appreciate our search to find proven portfolio teams with specialized expertise for every strategy we offer. We’re very proud of our offering and the growth it’s seen.”

John Hancock Investment Management handles the marketing and distribution of the John Hancock Freedom 529 plan. Together with partner T. Rowe Price, they jointly research, select, and monitor asset managers for the plan, following overall investment guidelines established by the plan’s sponsor, the Education Trust of Alaska. John Hancock’s platform gives consumers a wide variety of investment options that combine multiple investment strategies from different managers in a single portfolio, providing a deeper level of diversification.

According to John P. Bryson, head of investment consulting and college savings at John Hancock Investment Management, recent enhancements to the 529 plan itself have also had a positive impact. In September, John Hancock Investment Management decreased John Hancock Freedom 529’s annual account maintenance fee, increased its maximum contribution amount from $400,000 to $475,000, and added a new benefit that allows any John Hancock Freedom 529 beneficiary to attend the University of Alaska at in-state tuition rates.1

For financial advisors, Mr. Bryson said, the difference has been John Hancock Investment Management’ team of 529 sales specialists. This 529-dedicated team, one of the largest and most experienced in the industry, specializes in college savings plans and offers advisors expert advice on creating strategies and providing tools to help clients with college savings needs.

1 To qualify, the beneficiary needs to be accepted and the account holder needs to have held the account for at least the two years immediately preceding enrollment.

About John Hancock Investment Management
John Hancock has helped individuals and institutions build and protect wealth since 1862. Today, we are one of the strongest and most-recognized financial brands. We serve investors globally through a unique multimanager approach: We search the world to find proven portfolio teams with specialized expertise for every strategy we offer, then we apply robust investment oversight to ensure they continue to meet our uncompromising standards and serve the best interests of our shareholders. Our approach to asset management has led to a diverse set of investments deeply rooted in investor needs, along with strong risk-adjusted returns across asset classes.

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife
John Hancock is a division of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading international financial services group that helps people achieve their dreams and aspirations by putting customers’ needs first and providing the right advice and solutions. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere. We provide 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 over CAD$1 trillion (US$806 billion) as of September 30, 2017. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as MFC on the TSX, NYSE, and PSE, and under 945 on the SEHK. Manulife can be found at

One of the largest life insurers in the United States, John Hancock supports approximately 10 million Americans with a broad range of financial products, including life insuranceannuitiesinvestments401(k) plans, and college savings plans, and certain forms of business insurance. We also offer advice through Signator, a network of independent financial advisors. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at

Diversification does not guarantee a profit or eliminate the risk of a loss.

If your state or your designated beneficiary's state offers a 529 plan, you may want to consider what, if any, potential state income-tax or other state benefits it offers, such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors, before investing. State tax or other benefits should be one of many factors to be considered prior to making an investment decision. Please consult with your financial, tax, or other advisor about how these state benefits, if any, may apply to your specific circumstances. You may also contact your state 529 plan or any other 529 college savings plan to learn more about their features. Please contact your financial advisor or call 866-222-7498 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. Please 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).