A Settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit against John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) (“John Hancock”) and the John Hancock US Benefits Committee (“Benefits Committee”) (together, “Defendants”). The class action lawsuit involves whether or not Defendants complied with their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) in managing the Plan.
You are included as a Class Member if you participated in the Plan at any time from February 27, 2014 to June 2, 2021 (the “Class Period”).
The terms and conditions of the Settlement are set forth in the Settlement Agreement dated June 1, 2021, and are summarized below. Capitalized terms used in the Notices but not defined in the Notices have the meanings assigned to them in the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement is available HERE.
Under the Settlement, John Hancock has agreed to pay $14,000,000.00 into a settlement fund. Class Members are eligible to receive a pro rata share of the amount in the settlement fund remaining after payment of Administrative Expenses, any Attorneys’ Fees and Costs that the Court awards to Class Counsel, and any Service Awards to the Named Plaintiffs. The amount of each Class member’s payment is based on a Plan of Allocation that takes into account each Class Member’s account balances for the period of February 27, 2014 to May 31, 2021. Payments to Class Members who had a Plan account with a balance greater than $0.00 as of June 2, 2021 (referred to herein as “Participant Class Members”) will be deposited into their respective Plan accounts. Payments to former Plan participants will be made directly to former Plan participants by check, or former Plan participants can instead elect to receive their payment through a rollover to a qualified retirement account. Participant Class Members who are determined to no longer have a Plan account with a balance greater than $0.00 as of the date of their Settlement payments will be treated as Former Participant Class Members and will receive an allocation by check.
The Court still has to decide whether to give its Final Approval to the Settlement. A Fairness Hearing has been scheduled for September 29, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. before the Court in Courtroom 21 of the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse, 1 Courthouse Way, Boston, Massachusetts. Payments under the Settlement will be made only if the Court finally approves the Settlement and that Final Approval is upheld in the event of any appeal.