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Hancock Releases Owner-Only 401(k) Plan

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NU Online News Service, May 6, 3:43 p.m. – John Hancock Funds, Boston, has introduced an individual 401(k) plan for “owner only” businesses.

Hancock, a unit of John Hancock Financial Services Inc., is selling the plan together with ExpertPlan, East Windsor, N.J., a company that provides Web-based retirement plan administrative services.

The plan, the Total 401(k) for Owners, or T(k)O, is available to any business that employs only the owners and the owners’ immediate family members.

Hancock says it introduced the plan because of 401(k) provisions included in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001.

The tax act significantly raised contribution limits for retirement plans across the board, and owner-only 401(k) plans boast the highest limits of all, Hancock says.

Hancock cites three other major advantages to the owner-only plans: availability of tax-free loans against the plan assets; widespread consumer familiarity with the 401(k) plan structure; and new, simplified administrative requirements.

T(k)O participants can choose from more than 30 Hancock mutual funds.

The T(k)O plans do accept rollovers from other defined contribution plans, and Hancock will waive all conversion and start-up fees through June 30. There is no minimum initial investment to start an account.