John Hancock Investment Management adds fee-based share class to its John Hancock Freedom 529 Plan

Series of communications planned to highlight college savings plans during May, leading up to 529 Day

BOSTON, May 22, 2017—John Hancock Investment Management expanded the share classes available in its college savings plan, John Hancock Freedom 529, to include a fee-based share class, Class F, for all of its 22 unique portfolios. Class F units are available for account holders who open an account and purchase shares through the fee-based programs of broker-dealers and investment advisor firms, and they have no initial sales charge or annual distribution and service fee.

"We strive to provide our customers with products and education to help them achieve important financial goals, including retirement and college savings,” said John Hancock Investment Management President and CEO Andrew G. Arnott. “Given the continued rise in fee-based investment programs, we felt it was time to add Class F shares, allowing advisors to offer a lower-cost option suitable for clients in an advisory fee-based program.”

Mr. Arnott added that college savings plans, such as John Hancock Freedom 529, have helped raise awareness about the importance of planning and the many benefits designed to make saving easier. National 529 Day, which falls on May 29, was created by the industry to continue that work by focusing attention throughout the month of May on saving for college and the benefits of using a 529 plan. John Hancock will be promoting 529 Day and 529 plans in general with a series of emails to advisors; promotion on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn; and sharing a College Coach webinar series focusing on the admissions process and financial aid. For more information on the importance of saving for higher education and the benefits of John Hancock Freedom 529, please visit us at

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 and Manulife
John Hancock is a division of Manulife, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, our group of companies offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were $1 trillion (US $754 billion) as at March 31, 2017. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife 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 and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insuranceannuitiesinvestments401(k) planslong-term care insurancecollege savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at

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 benefits it offers 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 consultant 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). © 2017 John Hancock. All rights reserved. Information included in this material is believed to be accurate as of May 2017.