John Hancock Announces Severance Changes

November 22, 2002 ( - John Hancock Financial Services has changed its severance package to bring policies more in line with that of its competitors.

Employees who are fired or laid off by an acquiring firm within six months of the acquisition and employees accepting “comparable” positions with an acquirer, defined as one with a ”similar salary, competitive benefit offerings, and a work location within 50 miles of the current work location,” will no longer be eligible for John Hancock’s severance package.

Severance package changes were outlined in an internal memo sent to John Hancock’s 8,000 employees, according to a Boston Globe report.  The severance adjustment memo comes as Hancock says it is considering selling or outsourcing some of its divisions in the future, or as the memo states, to “support necessary and strategic divestitures.”    

Hancock has recently announced plans to sell its corporate office holdings and to close a New Mexico call center employing 130 workers.   Since 1999, 1,225 employees at Hancock have been terminated in cost cutting moves, according to regulatory filings in August.