John Hancock to Offer both “To” and “Through” Lifecycle Choices

John Hancock Retirement Plan Services (RPS) announced it will offer two suites of Lifecycle portfolios, providing participants a choice in 401(k) asset allocation options.

The new Retirement Choices target-date porfolios, expected to be available in mid-September, are designed to take participants “to” retirement and accomodate the participant whwo wishes to select another investment strategy at retirement, The asset mix is made up of index funds and the design features a lower amount of equities near retirement.

According to the announcement, Retirement Choices joins John Hancock RPS’s original Lifecycle suite, which was introduced in 2006 and has been renamed Retirement Living.  The Retirement Living Lifecycle Portfolios are designed to allow investors to stay in the same portfolio through their retirement years. The portfolios allocate to managers and offer more potential for growth by maintaining higher overall exposure to equities.  

Ed Eng, Senior Vice President, Product Development, John Hancock RPS, explained: “The glide path for Retirement Choices portfolios features a lower allocation to equities and slopes down at a faster pace than it does for the Retirement Living portfolios.”  

John Hancock RPS said that prior to launching Retirement Choices, it commissioned a survey of almost 1,000 participants and found more than four in five (83%) feel it is important for their plan to offer a choice of target-date funds designed to meet the needs of different types of investors. When asked about preference for “to” retirement versus “through” retirement lifecycle options, respondents were split almost evenly between the two choices.    

“Offering these two suites together will help plan sponsors meet the diverse needs of their participants,” said Arthur Creel, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, John Hancock RPS, in the announcement. “We have also spent a lot of time designing educational and enrollment materials to help employees understand their choices and decide whether they are in the investment options that best meet their needs.  

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