John Hancock Investments Reduces Expenses across a Range of Mutual Funds

BOSTON, Feb. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- John Hancock Investments is reducing sales charges for Class A shares on 16 fixed-income funds, including the elimination of the front-end sales charges on the John Hancock Floating Rate Income Fund (Class A: JFIAX) and the John Hancock Short Duration Credit Opportunities Fund (Class A: JMBAX) for investments of $250,000 or more.  John Hancock Investments is also modifying the CDSC schedule for Class A shares of John Hancock Floating Rate Income Fund and John Hancock Short Duration Credit Opportunities Fund, as described below. In addition, the firm is contractually lowering expenses for nearly all of their funds with Class R6 institutional share classes.  These expense reductions and modifications are effective immediately.

"We're pleased to open the New Year by continuing our program of fund expense reductions, this time on nearly our entire fixed-income fund lineup. These latest fee cuts will help put more of our shareholders' investment dollars to work more quickly," said Andrew G. Arnott, President & CEO. "John Hancock Investments is committed to delivering real investment value for our shareholders, because we know the only way we can be successful as asset managers is if our shareholders are successful."

For the John Hancock Floating Rate Fund, initial investments between $250,000 and $499,999 and between $500,000 and $999,999, which had two percent and 1.5 percent sales charges respectively, will now have no sales charge. Initial investments of $1 million or more will continue to carry no sales charge. For investments of less than $100,000 sales charges will drop from three percent to 2.5 percent, and for investments between $100,000 to $249,999 will go from 2.5 percent to two percent.

The John Hancock Short Duration Credit Opportunities Fund will see investments between $250,000 and $499,999 and between $500,000 and $999,999, which had 2.75 percent and two percent sales charges respectively, now have no sales charge. Initial investments of $1 million or more continue to carry no sales charge. For investments of less than $100,000 the sales charge will drop from 4.5 percent to 2.5 percent, and for investments of between $100,000 to $249,999, the fee will drop from 3.75 percent to two percent.

Additionally, as of February 1, 2014, for nearly all R6 shares, an institutional share class that includes qualified 401(k) plans, endowments and foundations, among others, the funds' advisor has agreed to contractually waive and/or reimburse all class-specific expenses.  This expense reduction has been in place on a voluntary basis since January 1, 2014.  As a result, fund expenses have decreased on average by eight basis points, and some funds have decreased up to 20 basis points. 

In addition to the John Hancock Floating Rate and Short Duration Credit Opportunities funds, fourteen other fixed-income funds will see charges for initial investments up to $100,000 decrease from 4.5 percent to four percent.  For investments between $100,000 and $249,000 sales charges will drop from 3.75 percent to 3.50 percent.  Investments between $250,000 and $499,999 will now have a sales charge of 2.50 percent.  Investments between $500,000 and $999,999 will continue to have a sales charge of two percent and investments of $1 million or more will continue to carry no sales charge.

The funds with this new sales charge schedule are as follows:  John Hancock Bond Fund, John Hancock Core High Yield Fund, John Hancock Emerging Markets Debt Fund, John Hancock Global Income Fund, John Hancock Government Income Fund, John Hancock Focused High Yield Fund, John Hancock Income Fund, John Hancock Investment Grade Bond Fund, John Hancock Strategic Income Opportunities Fund, John Hancock California Tax-Free Income Fund, John Hancock High Yield Municipal Bond Fund, John Hancock Massachusetts Tax-Free Income Fund, John Hancock New York Tax-Free Income Fund, John Hancock Tax-Free Bond Fund.

Purchases of Class A shares at net asset value where a front end sales charge is not imposed are subject to a contingent deferred sales charge (CDSC). Effective February 3, 2014, for John Hancock Floating Rate Income Fund and John Hancock Short Duration Credit Opportunities Fund, the CDSC rate imposed on Class A shares will be lowered from one percent to 0.50 percent for purchases of $250,000 or more that are not subject to a front end sales charge and the period of time for which a CDSC may be collected will be extended from 12 months to 18 months from the date of purchase. For the other 14 fixed-income funds, the CDSC remains one percent for purchases of Class A shares of $1million or more that were not subject to a front end sales charge and are sold within 12 months from the date of purchase.

Moreover, effective February 3, 2014, any exchanges into Class A shares will remain subject to the original CDSC schedule associated with the initial purchase of shares that are being exchanged.  For purposes of determining the holding period for calculating the CDSC, shares will continue to age from their original purchase date.  Please see review the funds' prospectuses before considering an exchange.

Details about the expense reductions and front-end load changes for each individual fund can be found in the fund's prospectus.

About John Hancock Investments
John Hancock Investments provides asset management services to individuals and institutions through a unique manager-of-managers approach. We combine unbiased asset management with vigorous investment oversight to offer investors a deeper level of diversification and proven results across asset classes. A wealth management business of John Hancock Financial, we managed more than $100 billion in assets as of September 30, 2013, across mutual funds, college savings plans, and retirement plans. 

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial
John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife Financial, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$575 billion (US$559 billion) as at September 30, 2013. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments,  401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.

SOURCE John Hancock Investments



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