John Hancock Financial Services, Inc. slashed 160 jobs at its corporate headquarters in Boston, amounting to approximately 2% of its workforce, the company said.

Most of the positions affected were in the technology and retail product areas of the firm, a person close to the situation said. The cuts, which are "part of an ongoing cost reduction program," did not affect Hancock’s fund business, the source said.

The firm reported strong third quarter results, posting a 12.5% increase in after-tax operating income compared to the same period a year ago. Also, the firm posted third quarter sales growth in its life and health insurance businesses as well as its retail annuities business, the company said. The firm’s fourth quarter results will be issued Feb. 6, 2002.

Affected employees will receive severance benefits and outplacement services, the company said. 

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