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Education savings plan helped more than 100K students save for college since 2001

BOSTON, July 2, 2021 /CNW/ - John Hancock Investment Management, a company of Manulife Investment Management, today celebrates the 20-year anniversary of the John Hancock Freedom 529 education savings plan, an offering that has helped American families save towards higher education since 2001. The education savings plan has helped more than 100,000 students pay for college and currently has approximately 230,0001 accounts in the program, with assets totalling over $6.4 billion.2

We are proud to mark 20 years of success with the John Hancock Freedom 529 plan and remain focused on helping families save for college, said Andrew G. Arnott, CEO, John Hancock Investment Management and head of wealth and asset management, Manulife Investment Management, United States and Europe. As college costs only continue to increase, we are pleased to offer this option to investors that brings our multimanager expertise and, in partnership with T. Rowe Price and the Education Trust of Alaska, a level of investment oversight that is hard to match with other 529 plans.

Through the utilization and implementation of the overall investment guidelines established by the Education Trust of Alaska, John Hancock Investment Management and T. Rowe Price jointly research and select asset managers for the plans investment options. The managers are continually monitored to help keep investments on track.  

The 20-year partnership we have had with both John Hancock Investment Management and T. Rowe Price is a noteworthy anniversary for any education savings plan offering consistency to our account holders. Simultaneously, the plan has also made a significant difference to families and their ability to pay for college, said Tammi Weaver, Trust Administrator for the Education Trust of Alaska. We are pleased to help families pursue their childrens education goals.

For the past 50 years, the annual pay gap between those who earn at least a bachelors degree and those who dont has grown increasingly wider. At the same time, college costs have increased at a rate that has far outpaced the rise in cost of food, housing, and medical care, which in turn has pushed each generation to take on larger loans as a way to finance this cost. It is estimated that 34% of Gen Xers and 48% of Millennials have taken out a college loan and are faced with debt ranging from $17,950 to $39,400,3 depending on the state, upon graduation.

There are also reasons to contribute to a 529 savings plan that go beyond helping to save for a four-year university tuition for a child – or what people traditionally think of when it comes to 529 savings plans. Education savings plans may also help with apprenticeships, and estate and legacy planning, said John Bryson, head of investment consulting and education savings at John Hancock Investment Management. Speaking with a financial professional can help investors decide which 529 plan may be the best fit for their family and help manage the investment options, determine how much to invest, and oversee the distribution phase when the time comes.

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1

As of 12/31/20. Source: T. Rowe Price

2

As of 5/30/21. Source: T. Rowe Price

3

 Student Debt and the Class of 2019, The Institute for College Access and Success, 2020.

About John Hancock Investment Management

A company of Manulife Investment Management, we serve investors through a unique multimanager approach, complementing our extensive in-house capabilities with an unrivaled network of specialized asset managers, backed by some of the most rigorous investment oversight in the industry. The result is a diverse lineup of time-tested investments from a premier asset manager with a heritage of financial stewardship.

About Manulife Investment Management

Manulife Investment Management is the global wealth and asset management segment of Manulife Financial Corporation. We draw on more than a century of financial stewardship and the full resources of our parent company to serve individuals, institutions, and retirement plan members worldwide. Headquartered in Toronto, our leading capabilities in public and private markets are strengthened by an investment footprint that spans 17 countries and territories. We complement these capabilities by providing access to a network of unaffiliated asset managers from around the world. Were committed to investing responsibly across our businesses. We develop innovative global frameworks for sustainable investing, collaboratively engage with companies in our securities portfolios, and maintain a high standard of stewardship where we own and operate assets, and we believe in supporting financial well-being through our workplace retirement plans. Today, plan sponsors around the world rely on our retirement plan administration and investment expertise to help their employees plan for, save for, and live a better retirement.

As of March 31, 2021, Manulife Investment Management had CAD $764.1 billion (US $607.6 billion) in assets under management and administration. Not all offerings are available in all jurisdictions. For additional information, please visit manulifeim.com

About T. Rowe Price

Founded in 1937, T. Rowe Price (NASDAQ-GS: TROW) is an independent global asset management company with $1.34 trillion in assets under management as of August 31, 2020. The organization is focused on delivering investment excellence and retirement services for institutional, intermediary, and individual investors. Our strategic investing approach, driven by independent thinking and guided by rigorous research, helps clients feel confident in pursuing financial goals. For more information, visit troweprice.com, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook

About the Education Trust of Alaska

The Education Trust of Alaska helps families provide for the increasing cost of education through tax advantaged savings and investments in accordance with the provisions of Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. The University of Alaska serves as trustee and T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. serves as program manager. The Trust offers three separately marketed 529 savings plans: Alaska 529, marketed directly to investors within Alaska; the T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan, marketed directly to investors nationwide; and the John Hancock Freedom 529, marketed nationally through financial advisers. To learn more, visit educationtrustAK.com.

John Hancock Freedom 529 is an education 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). © 2021 John Hancock. All rights reserved.

If your state or your designated beneficiarys state offers a 529 plan, you may want to consider what, if any, potential state income-tax or other state benefits it offers, such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors, 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 professional 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 education savings plan to learn more about their features. Please contact your financial professional 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.

SOURCE John Hancock Investment Management

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