Author Topic: Anyone familiar with John Hancock as 401k administrator?  (Read 4904 times)

Pizzabrewer

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Anyone familiar with John Hancock as 401k administrator?
« on: March 24, 2017, 05:57:33 PM »
So I finally got a look at the 401k options that will be available to me starting July 1.  The company will match 25% of the first 6% I contribute.

The fund administrator is John Hancock.  By default they put the money into a target date fund depending on the employee's age.  These all carry 1.1 to 1.2% expense ratios.

There is a whole slew of other funds available covering the gamut that you'd expect.  Almost all of them carry expense ratios of 1.2% or higher.  They do offer a couple of Vanguard funds with listed expenses of 0.89%.  They do not offer Vanguard's Total Stock Market fund but have their own with expenses of 1.12%.

I did not see any fund with expenses less than 0.83%

Any advice here?  Thanks.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 10:14:31 PM by Pizzabrewer »

MDM

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pbkmaine

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Re: Anyone familiar with John Hancock as 401k administrator?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2017, 07:18:21 PM »
This is typical of John Hancock. They tend to do small plans with no economies of scale, so their fees are high to cover plan expenses.

Hargrove

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Re: Anyone familiar with John Hancock as 401k administrator?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2017, 08:29:40 PM »
John Hancock is pretty weak. The bigger problem with John Hancock for me is that the quantities of "cash reserves" (read: money they take from you interest-free to loan to other people) are enormous. They have a fund in mine that totally beats Vanguard fund expense ratios. How great! Except for that 5% cash holding in the stupid fund. FIVE PERCENT??

I don't know if 401ks pay your company to screw its staff or what, but it's amazing to me how shitty so many of these are.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Anyone familiar with John Hancock as 401k administrator?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2017, 08:40:15 PM »
John Hancock fucking sucks.

DW had one through her job. When she quit, they dragged their feet for as long as possible to let her get out.

They suck so bad that John Oliver singled them out on his show.

Fuck John Hancock.

Just reading this thread has made me angry.

Fuck.

tj

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Re: Anyone familiar with John Hancock as 401k administrator?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2017, 09:33:02 PM »
They should have an S&P 5oo index fund, and it'll probably cost around 75bps.

That's the best you can do in a plan like that.

Pizzabrewer

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Re: Anyone familiar with John Hancock as 401k administrator?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2017, 09:46:54 PM »
They should have an S&P 5oo index fund, and it'll probably cost around 75bps.

That's the best you can do in a plan like that.

I don't have the paperwork in front of me but I'm pretty certain the S&P index also carried a ~1.2% expense.

Pizzabrewer

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Re: Anyone familiar with John Hancock as 401k administrator?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2017, 09:51:41 PM »
Hmmm.  Thanks for the feedback but it sounds pretty grim. 

I had planned to stuff the 401k full of cash to jumpstart our 'stache and to minimize our taxes.  But paying 1.12% for an index fund is a bit galling. 

I probably know the answer to this question but I'll ask it anyway.  Can you "roll-over" your 401k while still employed? 

NorCal

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Re: Anyone familiar with John Hancock as 401k administrator?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2017, 10:02:55 PM »
I have John Hancock, and agree they royally suck.  On top of high fees, they don't even sync with Quicken, so I have to manually enter my transactions.  And none of the "funds" you invest in have real ticker symbols either.

It's still better than not investing at all.  But these are the guys you don't want to be with.

I've asked about switching in our company all-hands meeting.  Last year the CFO said we were small enough that the bigger funds weren't any better.  However, this year he apparently got a better offer from Vanguard.  We will see what comes out of it.

Pester your management about switching, and ask others to do the same.  The squeaky wheel is the one that gets fixed.

While I've heard of 401(k) plans that allow roll-overs while employed (it's part of the back-door Roth strategy), I've never seen it myself.  You should ask to be sure, but I would be incredibly surprised if it was allowed.

tj

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Re: Anyone familiar with John Hancock as 401k administrator?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2017, 10:26:27 PM »
They should have an S&P 5oo index fund, and it'll probably cost around 75bps.

That's the best you can do in a plan like that.

I don't have the paperwork in front of me but I'm pretty certain the S&P index also carried a ~1.2% expense.

Whats the fund with the 83bps, then?

Pizzabrewer

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Re: Anyone familiar with John Hancock as 401k administrator?
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2017, 10:32:14 PM »
Whats the fund with the 83bps, then?

I think it was one of the Vanguard funds they offer.  There are about 5 of them (again I don't have the paperwork), and they were all either 0.89% or 0.83%

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: Anyone familiar with John Hancock as 401k administrator?
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2017, 08:02:33 AM »
They have a fund in mine that totally beats Vanguard fund expense ratios.
This sounds like a mistake or at least exaggeration.  Vanguard Total Stock Market Institutional has an expense ratio of 0.04%, and the Institutional Plus version has an 0.02% expense ratio.  How does a 401(k) plan "totally beat" an expense ratio of 0.02%?

Hargrove

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Re: Anyone familiar with John Hancock as 401k administrator?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2017, 08:57:44 AM »
They have a fund in mine that totally beats Vanguard fund expense ratios.
This sounds like a mistake or at least exaggeration.  Vanguard Total Stock Market Institutional has an expense ratio of 0.04%, and the Institutional Plus version has an 0.02% expense ratio.  How does a 401(k) plan "totally beat" an expense ratio of 0.02%?

Lol... first of all, read just the next few words, and you'll discover it does not...

Second, on a purely expense-ratio basis, it was .03% compared to Vanguard's similar .05%. But... as I posted above... the actual cost is much higher.

frugalnacho

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Re: Anyone familiar with John Hancock as 401k administrator?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2017, 07:22:10 AM »
I have john hancock.  There is a 1.2% base fee from john hancock, before you even invest in any funds.  The ER of any funds they offer are on top of the 1.2% base fee.  They don't even have the courtesy to use vasoline.

I petitioned my employer to change 401k providers, and recommended vanguard hardcore in the presentation I gave them.  They decided to move to john hancock.  It's actually a step up from our previous 401k, but not much. 

Proud Foot

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Re: Anyone familiar with John Hancock as 401k administrator?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2017, 09:01:28 AM »
I have John Hancock, and agree they royally suck.  On top of high fees, they don't even sync with Quicken, so I have to manually enter my transactions.  And none of the "funds" you invest in have real ticker symbols either.

If you don't mind waiting and doing an import quarterly then you don't have to manually enter everything.  When you go to your statement you can select to download it as a QFX file and then import it into Quicken.

OP, like the others have said, the high fee is figured through how your company set up the plan and how the fees from JH are structured.  You should be able to look at the investment fact sheets for each option and find the ER of the underlying fund and compare to the stated ER of the fund.  For example, my Vanguard Mid-Cap ETF has an ER of .14 but the underlying fund has an ER of .08.

Scandium

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Re: Anyone familiar with John Hancock as 401k administrator?
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2017, 09:21:25 AM »
I have john hancock. There is a 1.2% base fee from john hancock, before you even invest in any funds.  The ER of any funds they offer are on top of the 1.2% base fee.  They don't even have the courtesy to use vasoline.

I petitioned my employer to change 401k providers, and recommended vanguard hardcore in the presentation I gave them.  They decided to move to john hancock.  It's actually a step up from our previous 401k, but not much.

Does this apply to all JH plans? I couldn't find anything about this 1.2% fee in my statements or online account. THe statement just says

Quote
The plan's administrative expenses for the quarter were paid from the total annual operating expenses of the investment options in
which you are invested.

The options are truly shitty though. I ended up going 100% into a S&P500 fund with an 0.88% ER, as the least-terrible option. I debating if/how I should start to bug people here about this.

frugalnacho

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Re: Anyone familiar with John Hancock as 401k administrator?
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2017, 10:17:45 AM »
I have john hancock. There is a 1.2% base fee from john hancock, before you even invest in any funds.  The ER of any funds they offer are on top of the 1.2% base fee.  They don't even have the courtesy to use vasoline.

I petitioned my employer to change 401k providers, and recommended vanguard hardcore in the presentation I gave them.  They decided to move to john hancock.  It's actually a step up from our previous 401k, but not much.

Does this apply to all JH plans? I couldn't find anything about this 1.2% fee in my statements or online account. THe statement just says

Quote
The plan's administrative expenses for the quarter were paid from the total annual operating expenses of the investment options in
which you are invested.

The options are truly shitty though. I ended up going 100% into a S&P500 fund with an 0.88% ER, as the least-terrible option. I debating if/how I should start to bug people here about this.

I have no idea if it applies to all plans or if it just applies to my specific plan. 

We went over it thoroughly before the plan though because I am hyper concerned about ER.   Our previous 401k was through mutual of omaha and it was something like a 2.2% base fee, plus ER of the actual funds.  I petitioned my employer and made a presentation showing how ridiculous that is, how it will eat away the profits of everyone's account, and how everyone would be better off switching to a lower cost alternative to vanguard.  A few weeks later the company switched to JH with whom my boss has his personal finances with.  It was sold to us as a much better alternative to mutual of omaha.  I pointed out that instead of getting fucked in the ass by an XXL large fee, we are now just getting fucked by a large fee, which is still not as good as just not getting fucked in the ass at all, but it fell on deaf ears.  My boss isn't gaining anything from the relationship, but has told me "1% is a perfectly reasonable fee to have someone manage your money". 

I think it's about time to petition them to change it again.  I've mentioned it before, and I have gotten one of my bosses to switch almost all of his personal investments into vanguard, but the 401k is still at JH.  With ER of the individual funds my 401k is at around 1.7% ER total.  Sure would be nice to have that 1.7% stay in my account!

chris316

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Re: Anyone familiar with John Hancock as 401k administrator?
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2017, 10:07:04 PM »
I'll be first mate on the FUCK JH boat...

My employer offers JH class C funds and they fucking suck... best is 1.1 or 1.2 ER's...

Luckily our piece of shit financial advisor dropped the whole company because that scam artist wasn't making enough money off of us...

So we're in the midst of restructuring our retirement investment accounts and switching... so I've been pumping up the Vanguard option...

What im doing in the meantime is contributing only the match in the lowest offered ER fund...
then im contributing a ton to my Roth an traditional, saving for a house and paying off Student loans until the company figures out what their doing...

I think my Boss and co workers were just too complacent and just went with what the advisor told them... I did and now I'm waking up, try and motivate them and get them to see the light like you....  all you can really do is educate and badger...
...that or find a new job that has better benefit options...