Nearly Half of Investors Expect a Federal Tax Refund, and About 60 Percent Plan to Save That

One quarter say they will pay off debt

BOSTON, April 11, 2017 – A recent survey of investors by John Hancock Financial found that 48 percent expect to receive a Federal tax refund this year, and nearly sixty percent of those investors plan to direct that cash into a savings account. Thirty percent believe they will owe federal income taxes.

This year's survey results found that compared with 2016, fewer investors plan to pay down debt with a refund (24 percent this year versus 29 percent in 2016) or to spend the money (15 percent plan to spend it in 2017 versus 21 percent last year). Thirteen percent of those who expect a refund say they will invest the funds outside of a work-related retirement plan.

Of those who plan to spend any tax refund, 42 percent said they would use the money to take a vacation, while a quarter planned to direct the cash to basic household needs. About one in eight said the money was earmarked for home improvements or a luxury item.

Most investors said they expected their tax rate to remain the same in 2017, while 26 percent anticipated a higher rate and 16 percent are expecting a decrease.

The findings were drawn from the first quarter 2017 John Hancock Investor Sentiment Survey, a poll of affluent investors. The survey measures investors' feelings about the current economic climate and their evaluations of what represents a good or bad investment given the current environment. The poll also asks consumers about their confidence in reaching key financial goals and likelihood of purchasing financial products and services.

About the John Hancock Investor Sentiment Survey
John Hancock's Investor Sentiment Survey is a poll of affluent investors. The survey measures investors' feelings about the current economic climate and their evaluations of what represents a good or bad investment given the current environment. The poll also asks consumers about their confidence in reaching key financial goals and their attitudes toward specific financial products and services. This online survey was conducted by independent research firm Greenwald & Associates. A total of 1,017 investors were surveyed from February 6th to February 17th, 2017. Respondents were selected from among members of Research Now's online research panel. To qualify, respondents were required to participate at least to some extent in their household's financial decision-making process, have a household income of at least $75,000, and assets of $100,000 or more. The data were weighted by age and education to reflect the population of Americans matching the survey's qualification requirements. In a similarly-sized random sample survey, the margin of error would be plus or minus 3.14 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. Due to rounding and missing categories, numbers presented may not always total to 100 percent.

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife
John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, our group of companies offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were $977 billion (US $728 billion) as at December 31, 2016. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.

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PR-2017-31