John Hancock has agreed to pay $14,000,000 into a Qualified Settlement Fund to resolve the claims of Class Members. The Net Settlement Amount (after deduction of any Court-approved expenses associated with administering the Settlement, Attorneys’ Fees and Costs, and Service Awards to Named Plaintiffs) will be allocated to Class Members according to the Plan of Allocation set forth in the Settlement Agreement. Under the Plan of Allocation, monies will be distributed to Participant Class Members and Former Participant Class Members pro rata based on their account balances for the period of February 27, 2014 to May 31, 2021.
In addition, the Settlement provides that prospectively: (1) Defendants will retain an independent third-party investment consultant to provide ongoing monitoring and review of the investment options in the Plan’s investment lineup for at least five years from the Settlement Effective Date; (2) Defendants will develop and approve an Investment Policy Statement for the Plan; and, (3) at or before the expiration of the Plan’s current recordkeeping contract, Defendants will utilize the services of an independent consultant to assist with negotiating the next recordkeeping agreement and issuing a request for information for recordkeeping services.
All Class Members and anyone claiming through them will fully release the Plan as well as Defendants, Individual Benefits Committee Members, Individual Investment Subcommittee Members, and the Released Parties from Plaintiffs’ Released Claims. The Released Parties include, but are not limited to, Defendant’s past, present, and future parent corporation(s), subsidiaries, divisions, joint ventures, predecessors, successors, successors-in-interest, and assigns, and any individual, partnership, corporation, or any other form of entity or organization that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with any of the foregoing. The Plaintiffs’ Released Claims include, but are not limited to, all claims that were asserted in the Action or could have been asserted in the Action based on any of the allegations, acts, omissions, purported conflicts, representations, misrepresentations, facts, events, matters, transactions, or occurrences asserted in the Action, whether or not pleaded in the Complaints. The Plaintiffs’ Released Claims also include those that relate to the direction to calculate, the calculation of, and/or the method or manner of allocation of the Net Settlement Fund pursuant to the Plan of Allocation and/or that relate to the approval by the Independent Fiduciary of the Settlement Agreement, unless brought against the Independent Fiduciary alone.
This is only a summary of the Released Parties and Plaintiffs’ Released Claims, and is not a binding description of either. The governing releases are found within the Settlement Agreement. Generally, the release means that Class Members will not have the right to sue the Plan, Defendants, or related parties for conduct during the Class Period arising out of or relating to the allegations in the lawsuit. The entire Settlement Agreement is available here.