John Hancock’s Retirement Planner Marks First Year of Use With 23% Of Participants Increasing Payroll Contribution Rates

John Hancock’s Retirement, a company of Manulife Investment Management, announced encouraging data resulting from the first year of use of its new retirement planner. Introduced to participants in May 2020, the retirement planner enhanced the online and digital experience 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. Over the past year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 23.6% of retirement planner users made a positive change to their contribution rate and increased their payroll contribution rate by an average of 4.2%.1 Additionally, in the first six months of use, 94% of retirement planner users added information to personalize their projections, with 66% of users making 10 or more changes within the experience to further refine their retirement projections and plan.2

“Our retirement planner is just one of the many tools we offer as a part of comprehensive plan design to help participants achieve the retirement outcomes they envision,” said Sue Reibel, CEO, John Hancock Retirement. “We are confident that helping employees plan and save for retirement through a workplace plan is the best and easiest way for people to reach their individual retirement savings goals. If we want participants to engage with their plans, we need them to be taking these actions to help visualize what their retirements will be.”

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The retirement planner uses proprietary predictive analytics to project a participant’s income and spending needs each year of their retirement3, breaking down expenses into line items such as healthcare4, food, and housing. This detailed view of retirement spending makes the need to save more tangible and relevant to the participant. The results of the first year of the retirement planner’s use are in keeping with the responses from the 2020 John Hancock Financial Stress survey where 95% of respondents said that projections of their estimated income and expenses in retirement would help motivate them to plan.5

The retirement planner can accommodate all types of income sources including defined contribution plans, defined benefit and nonqualified plans that sit with John Hancock Retirement as well as outside accounts including savings, other retirement plans and expected income like rental income to provide the participant a realistic holistic retirement picture.

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“We could not be happier to mark the one-year anniversary of the retirement planner with these results,” added Lynda Abend, head of strategy & transformation, John Hancock Retirement. “We are all aware of how difficult the past year has been on both plan sponsors and participants and are really encouraged by the increased activity we have seen – including higher contribution rates and the addition of personalized information into individual plans. These changes help make retirement projections more accurate for participants and also show that participants are becoming more aware of the impact the planning they can do now to achieve their individual retirement outcomes and goals.”

  1. John Hancock internal data based on the 116,589 active participants on John Hancock’s Open Architecture platform, who used the retirement planner from June 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021.
  2. John Hancock internal data based on participants on John Hancock’s Group Annuity and Open Architecture platforms, who used the retirement planner from May – November 2020.
  3. The projected retirement income estimates for current John Hancock accounts, future contributions, employer contributions (if applicable), and other accounts set aside for retirement used in this calculator are hypothetical, and for illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute investment advice. Results are not guaranteed and do not represent the current or future performance of any specific account or investment. All investments carry a degree of risk, and past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Due to market fluctuations and other factors, it is possible that investment objectives may not be met.
  4. Health data is not retained due to privacy reasons, but the impact of the health information is retained in the projection.
  5. In July 2020, John Hancock commissioned our seventh annual financial stress survey with the respected research firm Greenwald & Associates. An online survey of 589 workers was conducted between 7/28/20 and 8/14/20 to learn more about individual stress levels, their causes and effects, and strategies for relief. John Hancock and Greenwald & Associates are not affiliated, and neither is responsible for the liabilities of the other.

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