John Hancock Financial’s planned acquisition of New York Life’s Retirement Plan Services business is expected to grow its private sector retirement plan market to nearly 55,000 retirement plans and 2.5 million plan participants.

Announced on Dec. 23, John Hancock, the U.S. division of Manulife Financial Corporation, explains that deal will increase John Hancock’s retirement plan services total assets by nearly 60% to approximately $135 billion.

While the terms of the transaction were not disclosed, it is expected to close in the first half of 2015. At the time, the company statement notes that all employees of the New York Life retirement business will offer a position with John Hancock RPS.

See also: New 401(k) plan participants drive TDF growth

Peter Gordon, senior vice president and president of John Hancock RPS, says that both John Hancock and New York Life’s RPS businesses “enjoy strong service, cultures, philosophies and a commitment to quality.”

“By bringing the two RPS organizations together, we are joining John Hancock’s leadership in the small-case market with New York Life’s expertise and strength in the mid-plan and large-case markets,” Gordon notes in the announcement. “The result is a leading retirement plan provider serving businesses ranging from start-ups to some of the largest companies in the country.”

See also: Top 20 401(k) plans, part 1

Collectively, John Hancock says the combined RPS business will create a top 15 provider of retirement plan services in the mid-case plan market.

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