John Hancock Class Action Settlement Over Violating ERISA
John Hancock has agreed to pay a $14 million settlement to select participants in the company’s investment incentive plan.
Class Action Lawsuit Overview
The class consists of all participants and beneficiaries in the John Hancock investment incentive plan between February 27, 2014, to June 2, 2021, excluding the John Hancock United States Benefits Committee members and the John Hancock United States Investment Subcommittee.
In a class action lawsuit, Plaintiffs accused John Hancock of violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by offering John Hancock-affiliated investment options, failing to monitor those funds’ fees and performance, and failing to monitor class members’ recordkeeping fees appropriately.
John Hancock, an annuity provider, college savings programs, retirement plans, life insurance, and other products, has rejected all allegations of wrongdoing, stating that the plan is properly managed and generous. However, the company consented to the settlement to avoid the cost and hardship of further litigation.
After attorneys’ fees are deducted — and other expenses — class members will get a part of the settlement fund.
Payments will be given in line with the class member’s account balance from February 27, 2014, to May 31, 2021.
In addition, claimants are not required to file a claim form to be eligible to receive benefits under the John Hancock ERISA settlement.
Benefits shall be distributed automatically if the Court confirms the settlement.
On the other hand, class members who wish to receive their benefit via a rollover to an eligible retirement account must file a Former Participant Rollover Form.
Those who will not file this form will be sent a check for their distribution.
Additionally, the John Hancock ERISA settlement agreement requires the company to engage an independent third-party investment consultant to oversee and assess the plan’s investment lineup for a minimum of five years following the settlement’s effective date.
Furthermore, the company will develop and approve an investment policy statement for the plan. At or before the expiration of the plan’s current recordkeeping contract, will engage an independent consultant to negotiate the plan’s next recordkeeping contract; it will then issue a proposal for information for recordkeeping services.
On September 29, 2021, a final fairness hearing for the John Hancock ERISA Settlement is scheduled.
Objections to the settlement must be made by September 8, 2021.
Former Participant Rollover Forms must be submitted by September 15, 2021.
Editor’s Note on John Hancock ERISA Settlement 2021:
This article is written to inform you of the class action settlement against John Hancock for violating ERISA. Similarly, IBM was also involved in a class action lawsuit over its staff’s retirement plans.
Case Name & No.: Jennifer Baker, et al. v. John Hancock Life Insurance Company (USA), et al., Civil Action 1:20-cv-10397-RGS
Jurisdiction: United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
Products/Services: Labor Retirement Plans: ERISA.
Allegations: John Hancock allegedly violated ERISA by failing to monitor investment options
Status: To be settled
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