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Press release from PR Newswire

John Hancock Freedom 529 Tops $4 Billion in Assets

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

John Hancock Freedom 529 Tops $4 Billion in Assets

10:00 EDT Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Strong Performance, Multi-managed Approach, Innovative Tools and Dedicated Sales Specialists Drive 529 Plan's Growth

BOSTON, March 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- John Hancock today announced that assets in its John Hancock Freedom 529 college savings plan have topped $4 billion. The national, multi managed, strong performing 529 college savings plan is sold through financial consultants across the country.

"We are very pleased to have passed this milestone," says John Bryson, head of Product Management and College Savings, John Hancock Investments, which oversees distribution and marketing for John Hancock Freedom 529. "Our account holders have placed a high level of trust in us in helping them save for a college education. We are dedicated to providing the best products and services to help them achieve their goals of improving their future through higher education."

John Hancock's multi-managed approach provides consumers with a choice of 22 investment options and access to more than 25 leading fund  managers, offering a diversification1 of asset class, investment style and fund manager all in one plan. According to savingforcollege.com's plan composite rankings of advisor-sold plans, John Hancock Freedom 529 ranked 2nd among twenty plans after five years and 2nd among eleven plans after ten years, both including and not including sales charges.2

In addition to the plan's multi-managed platform, and excellent long-term performance, Bryson cites the company's strong brand, as well as its innovative tools and support for clients and financial consultants, as key drivers of the growth.

In order to help customers with key questions and concerns about college planning, John Hancock Freedom 529's website offers four calculator tools in one location:

  • College Savings Planner ? looks at how to fund college for one or more students by taking into account total estimated costs, time frames, monthly investments and other key factors
  • Cost of Waiting ? helps demonstrate financial benefits of starting to save for college early and determines how much extra you are likely to need if you wait
  • Financial Aid Estimator ? helps determine potential eligibility for financial aid and how using vehicles treated as a parental asset, such as a 529 plan, may help in qualifying for aid
  • State Tax Calculator ? calculates the value of this benefit if client's state offers tax advantages to residents who purchase their state's 529 plan

And for financial consultants, Bryson says, the difference has been John Hancock Investments' team of 529 Sales Specialists.  This 529-dedicated seven-person 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.

John Hancock Freedom 529

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).  © 2014 John Hancock.  All rights reserved. 

529 plans are not FDIC insured may lose value and are not bank or state guaranteed

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial

John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife Financial, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$599 billion (US$563 billion) as at December 31, 2013. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

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 insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.

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1 Diversification does not guarantee investment returns and does not eliminate risk of loss.

2 Rankings are based on total return of Class A shares and, for the rankings including sales charges, reflect the maximum sales charge for each advisor-sold 529 college savings plan. Savingforcollege.com advisor-sold composite rankings are derived using the plans' relevant portfolio performance in seven asset allocation categories: 100% equity, 80% equity, 60% equity, 40% equity, 20% equity, 100% fixed, and 100% short term. Rankings are determined by averaging the percentile ranking in the seven categories. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

SOURCE John Hancock Freedom 529

For further information: Melissa Berczuk, (617) 663-4750, mberczuk@jhancock.com

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