Frequently Asked Questions About Rollover IRAs

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Roth IRA

1. What investment options will I have in my new John Hancock Rollover IRA? Will they be the same as the investment options I now have in my 401(k)?

There are a variety of John Hancock mutual funds available to help suit your needs for your John Hancock Rollover IRA. These choices include the popular Lifestyle and Retirement Living funds. It is possible that many of the investment options available in the new IRA rollover program are similar to those that you now have in your 401(k) plan. It is also possible that some of your 401(k) account choices will not exactly “match up” to the mutual fund choices available in the John Hancock IRA rollover program. However, all major asset classes are covered, and a broad selection of funds are available for you to use.

2. Am I required to keep the same investment options in my new IRA rollover account as I currently hold in my 401(k)?

You are not required to keep the same investment options when you create a new rollover IRA. Because your life situation may now be different, you might want to review your short-term and long-term goals and select a new portfolio that may be a better match for the future than your existing 401(k) portfolio.

3. What are the costs of opening a John Hancock Rollover IRA? Is there a charge for this service?

No matter which choices you make, all of your 401(k) account balance rollover will transfer at “Net Asset Value.” This means that you are not required to pay a sales charge or front-end load to invest in the mutual funds to your John Hancock Rollover IRA.

There is a $15 annual maintenance fee that pays for the annual tax reporting and servicing of the Rollover IRA.

All mutual funds in the John Hancock Rollover IRA are subject to the underlying management expenses charged by each fund. For specific details, please see the fund prospectuses available in the product information section of

4. Do I have to sell the investments I currently own in my 401(k)? Can I "Transfer in Kind" the account?

Yes, your investment options in your 401(k) account must be sold before the proceeds may be rolled over and invested into your new John Hancock IRA Rollover portfolio.

Your 401(k) account balance will be directly transferred into a new IRA rollover account. John Hancock will process your distribution if your request is received in good order before 4:00 p.m. Eastern time on a normal business day. The amount rolled over will be moved into your new John Hancock Rollover IRA the following business day. Our call center can facilitate the opening of your John Hancock Rollover IRA and work with your plan sponsor to process the distribution. That administrative work will be done for you based on your new investment option choices.

Also, because this amount is a direct rollover you do not take receipt of the money. With direct rollovers all the income taxes will be deferred and no tax withholding will apply. There are no additional fees associated with this transfer process.

5. I'm interested in rolling over to a John Hancock Rollover IRA because I thought this would be the easiest option for me, in terms of investment options and paperwork. What can John Hancock do for me to keep this as simple as possible?

Rolling over to a John Hancock Rollover IRA is an easy process. All you need to do is make selection investment options, sign the forms and return the forms to us. Upon receipt of the signed forms, John Hancock will move the money from your 401(k) account into your new John Hancock IRA Rollover Account.

6. How do the charges for this service compare with what I'm paying now under my 401(k) Plan?

For the most part, the internal fund charges in the IRA Rollover program are comparable to the fund charges that exist inside of your existing 401(k), but could potentially be higher. You should refer to the fund prospectus for exact details on fund charges. Please visit the product information section of for more specific details.

7. What are the advantages of keeping my account with John Hancock, rather than transferring to another financial institution?

John Hancock is a name that you know and trust. When you invest with John Hancock Investments, you are investing with one of the most recognized and respected names in the financial services industry. Our parent company has been helping individuals and institutions build, protect and sustain wealth since 1862.

If you have invested in John Hancock’s Lifestyle or Retirement Living funds and have been pleased with this diversified asset allocation approach to investing, then you can enjoy those exact same benefits in the new John Hancock IRA Rollover program. If you want to invest in other John Hancock Rollover IRA mutual funds, you can do so with no front end sales charges. If you choose Lifestyle, Retirement Living or other IRA mutual funds, remember that your money will be put to work for your retirement savings as soon as the rollover is made.

John Hancock offers equity, income and international investment options managed by in-house and external investment managers. Each of your fund choices utilizes a disciplined, team approach to portfolio management and research, leveraging the expertise of seasoned investment professionals.

We want you to keep your retirement funds working for you, and therefore we are here to help. Our Retirement Education Specialists are your support unit in this process, and can be reached by calling 1-888-695-4472. Please call between 8:30AM and 7PM Eastern time.

8. Will my new Rollover IRA account have on-line access that is similar to the access I have now with my existing 401(k)?

Yes, you will have secure and protected on-line access to your John Hancock IRA Rollover account by visiting the You can view your account balances and transaction history, purchase additional shares, sign up for electronic delivery of account statements and order duplicate tax forms.

9. I want to continue making contributions. Can I make new and ongoing contributions into this Rollover IRA?

Yes, you may make new contributions to your new Rollover IRA account if you are eligible. You can also use this account for money that is being consolidated from other “qualified” accounts like other 401(k) accounts from other employers or old IRA accounts.

10. Can I also open a traditional IRA with John Hancock for my annual after-tax contribution?

Yes, you can also open a new traditional IRA account if you want to make non-deductible after-tax contributions to an IRA. It is a good idea to keep after-tax contributions separate from pre-tax contributions. Please contact our call center at 1-888-695-4472 for more information.

11. Can I obtain a loan like I can under my 401(k) plan? Can I transfer my loan?

Because of IRS rules, loans are not available from IRA accounts. In addition, only the “net” amount of your 401(k) balance can be rolled over. If you have an existing 401(k) loan, you will need to either repay the loan prior to the rollover, or take a taxable distribution for the amount of the loan prior to the transfer. A taxable distribution may also subject you to a 10% early withdrawal tax penalty in addition to the income tax due on the withdrawal.

12. Will I be able to transfer this account into to my new employer's 401(k) when I'm eligible to participate? I just want to use this account as a “conduit” account to facilitate the transfer.

Yes, you can use this new John Hancock Rollover IRA as a conduit account to make the transfer of your 401(k) balance into your new employer’s plan. However, your new employer’s plan must permit the transfer of the money. Also, if you transfer the money from your IRA into your new employer’s plan, the investment options may not be the same.

13. Why can't I leave the money where it is?

In general, if you have a balance of more than $5,000 you may leave your assets in your old employer’s plan. Please check with your plan administrator. All of the plan administration will be handled by your former employer. You will be limited to the investment options provided by your old employer. If you want your account to be under your total control, you will need to roll over the account balance into a new Rollover IRA.

14. I'm retiring this year. What type of annuity products does John Hancock offer?

John Hancock has a full complement of annuity options for you to consider. Annuity decisions should be made with a good understanding of your needs and long-term goals. Annuities provide you with a unique retirement advantage- income for life. The amount of income you receive will be based on several factors, including the value of your annuity, your age and the type of annuity option you choose.

For more information you should call 1-888-695-4472.

15. Will I incur a current tax liability if I rollover my 401(k) account balance into a John Hancock Rollover IRA?

No, there will be no current tax liability if you do a direct rollover. A direct rollover means that you do not receive a check personally. Rather, the money is sent directly from your 401(k) plan to the new rollover IRA. The direct rollover method for an IRA rollover eliminates the mandatory 20% income tax withholding requirement that would exist if you took the money personally. It also eliminates the 10% early withdrawal penalty if you are under 59 1/2 and it does not subject the withdrawal to immediate income taxation.

If you personally take a cash distribution from your employer and want to create an IRA Rollover account with John Hancock, you have 60 days from the time you received the money to complete the rollover. Completing the rollover in 60 days allows the money to continue to grow tax deferred in the new IRA rollover account. It does not eliminate the 20% income tax withholding. You may have to pay the 20% withholding taxes out of your own pocket. This amount, however, may be credited against your taxes when you complete your tax form. Please see the rollover tutorial on this web site for more information.

16. Can I create a rollover Roth IRA with my Roth 401(k) funds?

Yes, your Roth 401(k) balance may be rolled over into a Roth Rollover IRA. If you are eligible you may also convert an existing IRA into a Roth IRA.

17. What happens if I need money from my Rollover IRA at some point in the future?

Any withdrawal of pretax money from an IRA is subject to ordinary income tax no matter when it is taken. In addition, if you are under 59½ years of age, the withdrawal may be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty tax. State and local taxes may apply.

There are special circumstances that might eliminate the early withdrawal tax penalties but nothing will eliminate the ordinary income tax treatment. Please see your tax advisor for the details'.

18. How much money do I need to open an IRA Rollover Account with John Hancock?

The minimum initial investment to open an IRA Rollover Account with John Hancock is $1,000.

19. How do I get more information about a John Hancock IRA rollover?

You can speak with a Rollover Education Specialist by calling the John Hancock Rollover Center at 1-888-695-4472, or you can visit other areas of

A fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses should be considered carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other important information about the fund. To obtain a prospectus, visit our web site at or call the Rollover Education Center at 1-888-695-4472. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing or sending money.

This material does not constitute tax, legal or accounting advice and neither John Hancock nor any of its agents, employees or registered representatives are in the business of offering such advice. It was not intended or written for use and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding any IRS penalty. It was written to support the marketing of the transactions or topics it addresses. Anyone interested in these transactions or topics should seek advice based on his or her particular circumstances from independent professional advisors.