Fees Lowered for John Hancock Freedom 529

Effective December 1, the annual program management fee for current and future John Hancock Freedom 529 Savings Plan account holders has been decreased.

According to John Hancock College Savings, the program management fee has been lowered on a weighted average basis by approximately 30%, in addition to reductions in other fees and expenses.

The funds have been reduced in the following ways:

  • The annual program management fee will decrease to 0.35 percent for A, B, C and C2 share classes and decrease to 0.30 percent for the JH Money Market Portfolio.
  • The annual account maintenance fee has been lowered to $25.
  • Some of the underlying funds and/or fund share classes are also being changed to reduce underlying fund expenses.
  • Overall reductions in the total annual asset-based fees range from between 10 to 59 basis points, depending on the investment option.

Changes have also been made to how the fees are reported, the firm said. Instead of aggregating the annual program management fee, trust fee, and annual distribution and service fee as done in the past, John Hancock said that now each fee is be displayed separately in the Plan Disclosure Document, allowing for easier comparison of fees among share classes.

“When we surpassed $2 billion in assets under management, we became large enough to benefit from greater expense efficiencies,” said Diana Scott, senior vice president and general manager, John Hancock College Savings, in a press release. “As a result we’ve been able to significantly lower fees, making our 529 plan a more competitive product and a greater value for advisers and their clients. This new fee structure, combined with our industry leading multi-managed approach, continues to position us as a key player in the college savings marketplace.”

John Hancock Freedom 529 is a national Section 529 college savings plan offered by the Education Trust of Alaska, managed by T. Rowe Price, and is distributed by John Hancock Distributors LLC, through other broker/dealers that have a selling agreement with John Hancock Distributors LLC.