- Written By Jennifer Schell
Jennifer Schell is a professional writer focused on demystifying annuities and other financial topics including banking, financial advising and insurance. She is proud to be a member of the National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) as well as the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA).Read More
- Edited BySavannah Hanson
Senior Financial Editor
Savannah Hanson is an accomplished writer, editor and content marketer. She joined Annuity.org as a financial editor in 2021 and uses her passion for educating readers on complex topics to guide visitors toward the path of financial literacy.Read More
- Updated: December 19, 2022
- 4 min read time
- This page features 6 Cited Research Articles
- Edited By
About John Hancock Annuities
John Hancock Financial Services was founded in 1862 in Boston, Massachusetts. In its 160-year history, the company expanded beyond its initial offering of life insurance to a variety of products including mutual funds, 401(k) plans and annuities.
In 2003, John Hancock Financial Services was acquired by the Canadian-based Manulife Financial Corp. for $15 billion. The acquisition expanded Manulife to become the second-largest life insurer in North America.
John Hancock Annuities formerly sold a range of annuity products including immediate, fixed and variable annuities. The challenging economic conditions that followed the 2008 recession prompted the company to halt its annuity offerings in 2012, but customers may still hold the annuity products that they purchased before this time.
Credit ratings, which are also called financial strength ratings, are issued by independent agencies. These agencies grade annuity providers on their financial stability, and the scores reflect how likely the provider is to be able to meet their current obligations.
The four major credit rating agencies are AM Best, Fitch Ratings, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. John Hancock has received strong credit ratings from all four of these organizations.
|Standard & Poor’s||AA-|
John Hancock Annuities
Prior to withdrawing their annuity products in 2012, John Hancock sold three main types of annuities: immediate, fixed and variable annuities. If purchased prior to 2012, John Hancock Annuity customers may still hold legacy contracts.
Immediate annuities differ from most other types of annuities in that they skip the accumulation phase, which is when the value of the annuity grows over time. As the name suggests, an immediate annuity converts a single premium into a stream of income payments immediately once the contract begins.
This type of annuity is best suited for those who want guaranteed income they can’t outlive. Immediate annuities are popularly used in conjunction with retirement accounts later in a person’s life.
Fixed annuities also provide guaranteed lifetime income payments, but these payments are deferred to be paid after an accumulation period. During this period, the annuity earns interest based on a fixed rate that you agree to when you purchase the annuity.
For some fixed annuities, the interest rate is guaranteed for the entire term of the annuity contract. Products of this type are called multi-year guaranteed annuities (MYGAs). Other fixed annuities have an initial guaranteed period at the beginning of an annuity contract, after which the rate may be adjusted.
A variable annuity also grows in value over an accumulation period. The value of this type of annuity is tied to an investment portfolio, so it’s a great way to diversify your retirement investments.
Because the value of the annuity is linked to investment performance, there is some risk that the annuity could lose a bit of its value in tough market years. For this reason, variable annuities are best suited for somewhat younger customers who can withstand some market risk in exchange for potentially higher returns than a fixed annuity offers.
Although they no longer directly sell annuities, John Hancock offers a wealth of online resources for existing annuity owners. The company’s Help Center features a Frequently Asked Questions section, as well as a step-by-step guide to filing an annuity claim and information on tax issues related to annuities.
John Hancock annuity customers can access a comprehensive collection of annuity forms online, including:
- Change of Beneficiary
- Defer Maturity Date
- Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT)
- Investment Option Change
- Required Minimum Distribution Request
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6 Cited Research Articles
Annuity.org writers adhere to strict sourcing guidelines and use only credible sources of information, including authoritative financial publications, academic organizations, peer-reviewed journals, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports, court records and interviews with qualified experts. You can read more about our commitment to accuracy, fairness and transparency in our editorial guidelines.
- CBC News. (2003, December 4). Manulife Buying John Hancock for $15 Billion. Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/manulife-buying-john-hancock-for-15-billion-1.398274
- John Hancock Financial Services. (n.d.). About Us. Retrieved from https://www.johnhancock.com/about-us.html
- John Hancock Financial Services. (n.d.). Annuities. Retrieved from https://www.johnhancock.com/help-center/annuities.html
- John Hancock Financial Services. (n.d.). Annuities Forms. Retrieved from https://www.johnhancock.com/help-center/annuities/forms.html#numberOfResults=100
- Manulife. (2022, March 31). Credit Ratings. Retrieved from https://www.manulife.com/en/investors/ratings.html
- Mercado, D. (2012, January 18). John Hancock Latest to Yank Annuity Offerings, Pare Distribution. Retrieved from https://www.investmentnews.com/john-hancock-latest-to-yank-annuity-offerings-pare-distribution-2-40394
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