Canada-based Manulife Financial’s US division John Hancock Financial has signed an agreement with New York Life Insurance to acquire its Retirement Plan Services (RPS) business.


Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Manulife Financial president and CEO Donald Guloien said: "Manulife is a major player in the pensions business in Canada, the United States, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

"This transaction, similar to our recently announced acquisition of Standard Life’s Canadian operations, will significantly increase our retirement plans business overall."

The deal is said to expand John Hancock’s RPS assets under administration by around 60%, increasing its expansion into the mid-case to large-case private sector retirement plan markets.

According to John Hancock, the resulting combined RPS businesses will include around $135bn in assets under administration, 55,000 retirement plans and 2.5 million plan participants.

New York Life has also signed an agreement to acquire 60% of John Hancock’s closed block comprised primarily of participating whole life insurance, through reinsurance.

The block of 1.3 million policies is in line with John Hancock’s demutualization in 2000, and includes around $11bn in liabilities.
New York Life will assume $7bn of those liabilities through a reinsurance arrangement, while the policies have a face amount of around $25bn.

New York Life Insurance chairman and CEO Ted Mathas said: "This agreement is a strategic complement to the strong year over year organic growth we achieve through our career agency system, bringing a significant infusion of high-quality, whole life insurance reserves."

Subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, the transactions are expected to be completed in the first half of 2015.

Image: John Hancock to acquire Retirement Plan Services business from New York Life Insurance. Photo: courtesy of Stuart Miles/