John Hancock has made its recently renamed "Retirement Choices At" series of target date funds available to retirement plan sponsors. Share classes R1, R2, and R6 are now available, following the launch of R4 shares last spring.

Effective in May of 2012, John Hancock renamed its two target date funds series to make a clearer distinction between funds that are managed "to" and "through" retirement. Formerly named "Retirement 2010 – 2050 Portfolios," the target date funds spanning 2010 to 2050 are now called "Retirement Choices At" (e.g., "Retirement Choices At 2015"). This emphasizes that the portfolios are managed "to" a specific year.

The former "Lifecycle Portfolios," also spanning 2010 to 2050, are now called "Retirement Living Through" portfolios. This reinforces that the portfolios are managed "through" retirement.

"The role of target date funds, glide path construction and retirement income adequacy has increasingly become a central theme for many plan sponsors," stated Todd Cassler, senior managing director and head of institutional sales, John Hancock Funds. "When deciding between a 'To' or 'Through' retirement approach, there is no right or wrong answer. However, understanding the implications and nuances of each approach and clearly communicating the differences to plan sponsors and participants is essential."

Steven Medina, portfolio manager with John Hancock Asset Management, sub-adviser to the funds, added that John Hancock is one of the few firms offering both “to” and “through” retirement funds. He also said that the actively managed portfolios offer asset allocation at an “attractive expense level” and that they have attracted $2.5 billion in assets in the past two years.

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