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Friday, November 30, 2001

Hancock Reverses Fields

Reported by Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Less then 12 months after pulling the plug on its full-service 401(k) business, John Hancock has taken the wraps off a new full-service defined benefit product. The insurer plans to target the 412(i) plans to small business owners.

The new product will use investments, including annuities, from Hancock's product lineup. Berkshire Retirement Services is providing the administration and documents for the plan.

Hancock executives hope the new product will successfully exploit changes in the tax code that take effect in January and make this type of plan more appealing. The target buyer will be a small business owner who is more than 45 years old, is without an existing qualified plan and employs fewer than 25 workers.

The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) will greatly expand retirement contributions and benefits, resulting in higher tax deductions and amounts of insurance that can be used in these plans" explained James Magner, vice president, Estate and Business Planning Group.  

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