JOHN HANCOCK STRATEGIC SERIES
  
Prospectus
John Hancock
Income Fund
Fixed income
October 1, 2023
A
C
I
R2
R4
R5
R6
JHFIX
JSTCX
JSTIX
JSNSX
JSNFX
JSNVX
JSNWX
As with all mutual funds, the Securities and Exchange Commission has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

Table of contents
Fund summary
The summary section is a concise look at the investment objective, fees and expenses, principal investment strategies, principal risks, past performance, and investment management.
Fund details
More about topics covered in the summary section, including descriptions of the investment strategies and various risk factors that investors should understand before investing.
Your account
How to place an order to buy, sell, or exchange shares, as well as information about the business policies and any distributions that may be paid.
For more information See back cover

Fund summary
John Hancock Income Fund
Investment objective
To seek a high level of current income.
Fees and expenses
This table describes the fees and expenses you may pay if you buy, hold, and sell shares of the fund. You may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the tables and examples below. You may qualify for sales charge discounts on Class A shares if you and your family invest, or agree to invest in the future, at least $100,000 in the John Hancock family of funds. Intermediaries may have different policies and procedures regarding the availability of front-end sales charge waivers or contingent deferred sales charge (CDSC) waivers (See Appendix 1 - Intermediary sales charge waivers, which includes information about specific sales charge waivers applicable to the intermediaries identified therein). More information about these and other discounts is available from your financial professional and beginning on page 26 of the prospectus under “Sales charge reductions and waivers” or page 111 of the fund’s Statement of Additional Information under “Sales Charges on Class A and Class C Shares.”
Shareholder fees (%) (fees paid directly from your investment)
A
C
I
R2
R4
R5
R6
Maximum front-end sales charge (load) on purchases, as a % of
purchase price
4.00
None
None
None
None
None
None
Maximum deferred sales charge (load) as a % of purchase or sale
price, whichever is less
1.00
1.00
None
None
None
None
None
(on certain
purchases,
including those of
$1 million or more)
Small account fee (for fund account balances under $1,000) ($)
20
20
None
None
None
None
None
Annual fund operating expenses (%) (expenses that you pay each year as a
percentage of the value of your investment)
A
C
I
R2
R4
R5
R6
Management fee
0.35
0.35
0.35
0.35
0.35
0.35
0.35
Distribution and service (Rule 12b-1) fees
0.30
1.00
0.00
0.25
0.25
0.00
0.00
Other expenses
Service plan fee
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.25
0.10
0.05
0.00
Additional other expenses
0.19
0.19
0.19
0.07
0.08
0.08
0.08
Total other expenses
0.19
0.19
0.19
0.32
0.18
0.13
0.08
Total annual fund operating expenses
0.84
1.54
0.54
0.92
0.78
0.48
0.43
Contractual expense reimbursement
-0.01
1
-0.01
1
-0.01
1
-0.01
1
-0.11
1,2
-0.01
1
-0.01
1
Total annual fund operating expenses after expense reimbursements
0.83
1.53
0.53
0.91
0.67
0.47
0.42
1
The advisor contractually agrees to waive a portion of its management fee and/or reimburse expenses for the fund and certain other John Hancock funds according to an asset level breakpoint schedule that is based on the aggregate net assets of all the funds participating in the waiver or reimbursement, including the fund (the participating portfolios). This waiver equals, on an annualized basis, 0.0100% of that portion of the aggregate net assets of all the participating portfolios that exceeds $75 billion but is less than or equal to $125 billion; 0.0125% of that portion of the aggregate net assets of all the participating portfolios that exceeds $125 billion but is less than or equal to $150 billion; 0.0150% of that portion of the aggregate net assets of all the participating portfolios that exceeds $150 billion but is less than or equal to $175 billion; 0.0175% of that portion of the aggregate net assets of all the participating portfolios that exceeds $175 billion but is less than or equal to $200 billion; 0.0200% of that portion of the aggregate net assets of all the participating portfolios that exceeds $200 billion but is less than or equal to $225 billion; and 0.0225% of that portion of the aggregate net assets of all the participating portfolios that exceeds $225 billion. The amount of the reimbursement is calculated daily and allocated among all the participating portfolios in proportion to the daily net assets of each participating portfolio. During its most recent fiscal year, the fund’s reimbursement amounted to 0.01% of the fund’s average daily net assets. This agreement expires on July 31, 2025, unless renewed by mutual agreement of the fund and the advisor based upon a determination that this is appropriate under the circumstances at that time.
2
The distributor contractually agrees to limit its Rule 12b-1 fees for Class R4 shares to 0.15%. This agreement expires on September 30, 2024, unless renewed by mutual agreement of the fund and the distributor based upon a determination that this is appropriate under the circumstances at that time.
Expense example
This example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. Please see below a hypothetical example showing the expenses of a $10,000 investment for the time periods indicated and then, except as shown below, assuming you sell all of your shares at the end of those periods. The example assumes a 5% average annual return and that fund expenses will not change over the periods. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions, your costs would be:
1

Fund summary
 
Shares Sold
Shares
Not Sold
Expenses ($)
A
C
I
R2
R4
R5
R6
C
1 year
481
256
54
93
68
48
43
156
3 years
656
485
172
292
238
153
137
485
5 years
846
838
301
508
422
268
240
838
10 years
1,395
1,834
676
1,130
956
603
541
1,834
Portfolio turnover
The fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, affect the fund’s performance. During its most recent fiscal year, the fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 51% of the average value of its portfolio.
Principal investment strategies
Under normal market conditions, the fund invests primarily in the following types of securities: foreign government and corporate debt securities from developed and emerging markets, U.S. government and agency securities, and domestic high-yield bonds. The fund may also invest in preferred securities and other types of debt securities, including mortgage- and asset-backed securities and loans. Some loans may be illiquid.
Although the fund may invest up to 10% of its total assets in securities rated as low as D (in default) by S&P Global Ratings (S&P), Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (Moody’s), Fitch Ratings, Inc. (Fitch Ratings), or comparable rating by any nationally recognized statistical rating organization (NRSRO), or their unrated equivalents, it generally intends to keep its average credit quality in the investment-grade range (AAA to BBB). The fund’s investment policies are based on credit ratings at the time of purchase. There is no limit on the fund’s average maturity.
The manager allocates assets among the three major types of securities based on analysis of economic factors such as projected international interest-rate movements, industry cycles, and political trends. The manager may invest up to 100% of the fund’s assets in any one sector. In making investment decisions, the manager looks at relative yield, credit quality, structure, industry distribution, and risk/reward ratios, among other factors.
The manager considers environmental, social, and/or governance (ESG) factors, alongside other relevant factors, as part of its investment process. ESG factors may include, but are not limited to, matters regarding board diversity, climate change policies, and supply chain and human rights policies. The ESG characteristics utilized in the fund’s investment process may change over time and one or more characteristics may not be relevant with respect to all issuers that are eligible fund investments.
The fund may use certain higher-risk investments, including restricted or illiquid securities and derivatives. Derivatives may be used to reduce risk, obtain efficient market exposure, and/or enhance investment returns, and may include futures contracts on securities, indexes, and foreign currency; options on futures contracts, securities, indexes, and foreign currency; interest-rate, foreign currency, and credit default swaps; and foreign currency forward contracts. The fund may invest up to 10% of its net assets in domestic or foreign common stocks. The fund may trade securities actively.
Principal risks
An investment in the fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Many factors affect performance, and fund shares will fluctuate in price, meaning you could lose money. The fund’s investment strategy may not produce the intended results.
The fund’s main risks are listed below in alphabetical order, not in order of importance. Before investing, be sure to read the additional descriptions of these risks beginning on page 6 of the prospectus.
Changing distribution levels risk. The fund may cease or reduce the level of its distribution if income or dividends paid from its investments declines.
Credit and counterparty risk. The issuer or guarantor of a fixed-income security, the counterparty to an over-the-counter derivatives contract, or a borrower of fund securities may not make timely payments or otherwise honor its obligations. U.S. government securities are subject to varying degrees of credit risk depending upon the nature of their support. A downgrade or default affecting any of the fund’s securities could affect the fund’s performance.
Defaulted debt risk. Investing in defaulted debt securities is speculative and involves substantial risks in addition to those of non-defaulted high-yield securities. Defaulted debt securities generally do not generate interest payments. Principal on defaulted debt might not be repaid, and a fund could lose up to its entire investment.
2

Fund summary
Economic and market events risk. Events in the U.S. and global financial markets, including actions taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve or foreign central banks to stimulate or stabilize economic growth, may at times result in unusually high market volatility, which could negatively impact performance. Reduced liquidity in credit and fixed-income markets could adversely affect issuers worldwide. Banks and financial services companies could suffer losses if interest rates rise or economic conditions deteriorate.
Equity securities risk. The price of equity securities may decline due to changes in a company’s financial condition or overall market conditions.
ESG integration risk. The manager considers ESG factors that it deems relevant or additive, along with other material factors and analysis, when managing the fund. ESG factors may include, but are not limited to, matters regarding board diversity, climate change policies, and supply chain and human rights policies. The manager may consider these ESG factors on all or a meaningful portion of the fund’s investments. Incorporating ESG criteria and making investment decisions based on certain ESG characteristics, as determined by the manager, carries the risk that the fund may perform differently, including underperforming, funds that do not utilize ESG criteria, or funds that utilize different ESG criteria.
Fixed-income securities risk. A rise in interest rates typically causes bond prices to fall. The longer the average maturity or duration of the bonds held by a fund, the more sensitive it will likely be to interest-rate fluctuations. An issuer may not make all interest payments or repay all or any of the principal borrowed. Changes in a security’s credit quality may adversely affect fund performance.
Foreign securities risk. Less information may be publicly available regarding foreign issuers, including foreign government issuers. Foreign securities may be subject to foreign taxes and may be more volatile than U.S. securities. Currency fluctuations and political and economic developments may adversely impact the value of foreign securities. The risks of investing in foreign securities are magnified in emerging markets. If applicable, depositary receipts are subject to most of the risks associated with investing in foreign securities directly because the value of a depositary receipt is dependent upon the market price of the underlying foreign equity security. Depositary receipts are also subject to liquidity risk.
Hedging, derivatives, and other strategic transactions risk. Hedging, derivatives, and other strategic transactions may increase a fund’s volatility and could produce disproportionate losses, potentially more than the fund’s principal investment. Risks of these transactions are different from and possibly greater than risks of investing directly in securities and other traditional instruments. Under certain market conditions, derivatives could become harder to value or sell and may become subject to liquidity risk (i.e., the inability to enter into closing transactions). Derivatives and other strategic transactions that the fund intends to utilize include: credit default swaps; foreign currency forward contracts; foreign currency swaps; futures contracts; interest-rate swaps; options on futures; and options. Foreign currency forward contracts, futures contracts, options, and swaps generally are subject to counterparty risk. In addition, swaps may be subject to interest-rate and settlement risk, and the risk of default of the underlying reference obligation. Derivatives associated with foreign currency transactions are subject to currency risk.
High portfolio turnover risk. Trading securities actively and frequently can increase transaction costs (thus lowering performance) and taxable distributions.
Illiquid and restricted securities risk. Illiquid and restricted securities may be difficult to value and may involve greater risks than liquid securities. Illiquidity may have an adverse impact on a particular security’s market price and the fund’s ability to sell the security.
Liquidity risk. The extent (if at all) to which a security may be sold or a derivative position closed without negatively impacting its market value may be impaired by reduced market activity or participation, legal restrictions, or other economic and market impediments. Liquidity risk may be magnified in rising interest rate environments due to higher than normal redemption rates. Widespread selling of fixed-income securities to satisfy redemptions during periods of reduced demand may adversely impact the price or salability of such securities. Periods of heavy redemption could cause the fund to sell assets at a loss or depressed value, which could negatively affect performance. Redemption risk is heightened during periods of declining or illiquid markets.
Loan participations risk. Participations and assignments involve special types of risks, including credit risk, interest-rate risk, counterparty risk, liquidity risk, risks associated with extended settlement, and the risks of being a lender.
Lower-rated and high-yield fixed-income securities risk. Lower-rated and high-yield fixed-income securities (junk bonds) are subject to greater credit quality risk, risk of default, and price volatility than higher-rated fixed-income securities, may be considered speculative, and can be difficult to resell.
Mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities risk. Mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities are subject to different combinations of prepayment, extension, interest-rate, and other market risks. Factors that impact the value of these securities include interest rate changes, the reliability of available information, credit quality or enhancement, and market perception.
Operational and cybersecurity risk. Cybersecurity breaches may allow an unauthorized party to gain access to fund assets, customer data, or proprietary information, or cause a fund or its service providers to suffer data corruption or lose operational functionality. Similar incidents affecting issuers of a fund’s securities may negatively impact performance. Operational risk may arise from human error, error by third parties, communication errors, or technology failures, among other causes.
3

Fund summary
Preferred and convertible securities risk. Preferred stock dividends are payable only if declared by the issuer’s board. Preferred stock may be subject to redemption provisions. The market values of convertible securities tend to fall as interest rates rise and rise as interest rates fall. Convertible preferred stock’s value can depend heavily upon the underlying common stock’s value.
Sector risk. When a fund focuses its investments in certain sectors of the economy, its performance may be driven largely by sector performance and could fluctuate more widely than if the fund were invested more evenly across sectors.
U.S. government agency obligations risk. The fund invests in obligations issued by agencies and instrumentalities of the U.S. government. Government-sponsored entities such as Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) and the Federal Home Loan Banks, although chartered or sponsored by Congress, are not funded by congressional appropriations and the debt securities that they issue are neither guaranteed nor issued by the U.S. government. Such debt securities are subject to the risk of default on the payment of interest and/or principal, similar to the debt securities of private issuers. The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some U.S. government obligations may greatly exceed their current resources, including any legal right to support from the U.S. government. Although the U.S. government has provided financial support to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the past, there can be no assurance that it will support these or other government-sponsored entities in the future.
Past performance
The following information illustrates the variability of the fund’s returns and provides some indication of the risks of investing in the fund by showing changes in the fund’s performance from year to year and by showing how the fund’s average annual returns compared with a broad-based market index.Past performance (before and after taxes) does not indicate future results. All figures assume dividend reinvestment. Performance information is updated daily, monthly, and quarterly and may be obtained at our website, jhinvestments.com, or by calling 800-225-5291 (Class A and Class C), Monday to Thursday, 8:00a.m.—7:00p.m., and Friday, 8:00a.m.—6:00p.m., Eastern time, or 888-972-8696 (Class I, Class R2, Class R4, Class R5, and Class R6) between 8:30a.m. and 5:00p.m., Eastern time, on most business days.
Please note that after-tax returns (shown for Class A shares only) reflect the highest individual federal marginal income-tax rate in effect as of the date provided and do not reflect any state or local taxes.Your actual after-tax returns may be different. After-tax returns are not relevant to shares held in an IRA, 401(k), or other tax-advantaged investment plan. After-tax returns for other share classes would vary. The returns for Class A shares have been adjusted to reflect the reduction in the maximum sales charge from 4.50% to 4.00%, effective February 3, 2014.
Calendar year total returns (%)—Class A (sales charges are not reflected in the bar chart and returns would have been lower if they were)
Year-to-date total return through:
Q2 2023
3.05%
Best quarter:
Q2 2020
6.08%
Worst quarter:
Q2 2022
-6.76%
Average annual total returns (%)—as of 12/31/2022
1 year
5 year
10 year
Class A (before tax)
-13.89
-0.31
1.17
after tax on distributions
-15.02
-1.49
-0.18
after tax on distributions, with sale
-8.20
-0.69
0.32
Class C
-11.85
-0.19
0.87
Class I
-10.10
0.81
1.89
Class R2
-10.46
0.41
1.50
Class R4
-10.21
0.67
1.74
Class R5
-10.05
0.87
1.94
Class R6
-10.14
0.88
2.00
Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index (reflects no deduction for fees, expenses, or taxes)
-13.01
0.02
1.06
4

Fund summary
Investment management
Investment advisor John Hancock Investment Management LLC
Subadvisor Manulife Investment Management (US) LLC
Portfolio management
The following individuals are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the fund’s portfolio.
Christopher M. Chapman, CFA
Thomas C. Goggins
Bradley L. Lutz, CFA
Kisoo Park
Senior Portfolio Manager, Co-Head
of Global Multi-Sector Fixed
Income
Managed the fund since 2017
Senior Portfolio Manager
Managed the fund since 2009
Senior Portfolio Manager
Managed the fund since 2022
Senior Portfolio Manager
Managed the fund since 2015
Purchase and sale of fund shares
The minimum initial investment requirement for Class A and Class C shares is $1,000 ($250 for group investments), except that there is no minimum for certain group retirement plans, certain fee-based or wrap accounts, or certain other eligible investment product platforms. The minimum initial investment requirement for Class I shares is $250,000, except that the fund may waive the minimum for any category of investors at the fund’s sole discretion. There are no minimum initial investment requirements for Class R2, Class R4, or Class R5 shares. The minimum initial investment requirement for Class R6 shares is $1 million, except that there is no minimum for: qualified and nonqualified plan investors; certain eligible qualifying investment product platforms; Trustees, employees of the advisor or its affiliates, employees of the subadvisor, members of the fund’s portfolio management team and the spouses and children (under age 21) of the aforementioned. There are no subsequent minimum investment requirements.
Class A, Class C, Class I, and Class R6 shares may be redeemed on any business day by mail: John Hancock Signature Services, Inc., P.O. Box 219909, Kansas City, MO 64121-9909; or for most account types through our website: jhinvestments.com; or by telephone: 800-225-5291 (Class A and Class C); 888-972-8696 (Class I and Class R6). Class R2, Class R4, and Class R5 shares may be redeemed on any business day by contacting your retirement plan administrator or recordkeeper.
Taxes
The fund’s distributions are taxable, and will be taxed as ordinary income and/or capital gains, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or individual retirement account. Withdrawals from such tax-deferred arrangements may be subject to tax at a later date.
Payments to broker-dealers and other financial intermediaries
If you purchase the fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank, registered investment advisor, financial planner, or retirement plan administrator), the fund and its related companies may pay the broker-dealer or other intermediary for the sale of fund shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the fund over another investment. These payments are not applicable to Class R6 shares. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.
5

Fund details
Principal investment strategies
Investment Objective: The fund seeks a high level of current income.
The Board of Trustees can change the fund’s strategy without shareholder approval.
Under normal market conditions, the fund invests primarily in the following types of securities: foreign government and corporate debt securities from developed and emerging markets, U.S. government and agency securities, and domestic high-yield bonds.
The fund may also invest in preferred securities and other types of debt securities, including mortgage- and asset-backed securities and loans. Direct investments in loans may be illiquid and holding a loan could expose the fund to the risks of being a direct lender.
Although the fund may invest up to 10% of its total assets in securities rated as low as D (in default) by S&P Global Ratings (S&P), Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (Moody’s), Fitch Ratings, Inc. (Fitch Ratings), or comparable rating by any nationally recognized statistical rating organization (NRSRO), or their unrated equivalents, it generally intends to keep its average credit quality in the investment-grade range (AAA to BBB). The fund’s investment policies are based on credit ratings at the time of purchase. There is no limit on the fund’s average maturity.
In managing the fund, the manager allocates assets among the three major types of securities based on analysis of economic factors, such as projected international interest-rate movements, industry cycles, and political trends. However, the manager may invest up to 100% of the fund’s assets in any one sector. Within each type of security, the manager looks for investments that are appropriate for the overall fund in terms of yield, credit quality, structure, and industry distribution. In selecting securities, relative yields and risk/reward ratios are the primary considerations.
The manager considers environmental, social, and/or governance (ESG) factors, alongside other relevant factors, as part of its investment process. ESG factors may include, but are not limited to, matters regarding board diversity, climate change policies, and supply chain and human rights policies. The ESG characteristics utilized in the fund’s investment process may change over time and one or more characteristics may not be relevant with respect to all issuers that are eligible fund investments.
The fund may use certain higher-risk investments, including restricted or illiquid securities and derivatives, which include futures contracts on securities, indexes, and foreign currency; options on futures contracts, securities, indexes, and foreign currency; interest-rate, foreign currency, and credit default swaps; and foreign currency forward contracts, in each case for the purposes of reducing risk, obtaining efficient market exposure, and/or enhancing investment returns. In addition, the fund may invest up to 10% of its net assets in domestic or foreign common stocks.
The fund may trade securities actively, which could increase its transaction costs (thus lowering performance) and increase your taxable distributions.
The fund may temporarily invest its assets in cash or investment-grade short-term securities for the purpose of meeting redemption requests or making other anticipated cash payments.
The fund may deviate from its principal investment strategies during transition periods, which may include the reassignment of portfolio management, a change in investment objective or strategy, a reorganization or liquidation, or the occurrence of large inflows or outflows.
Temporary defensive investing
In abnormal circumstances, the fund may temporarily invest extensively in investment-grade short-term securities, cash, and cash equivalents for the purpose of protecting the fund in the event the manager determines that market, economic, political, or other conditions warrant a defensive posture.
To the extent that the fund is in a defensive position, its ability to achieve its investment objective will be limited.
Principal risks of investing
An investment in the fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. The fund’s shares will go up and down in price, meaning that you could lose money by investing in the fund. Many factors influence a fund’s performance. The fund's investment strategy may not produce the intended results.
Instability in the financial markets has led many governments, including the U.S. government, to take a number of unprecedented actions designed to support certain financial institutions and segments of the financial markets that have experienced extreme volatility and, in some cases, a lack of liquidity. Federal, state, and other governments, and their regulatory agencies or self-regulatory organizations, may take actions that affect the regulation of the instruments in which the fund invests, or the issuers of such instruments, in ways that are unforeseeable. Legislation or regulation may also change the way in which the fund itself is regulated. Such legislation or regulation could limit or preclude the fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. In addition, political events within the United States and abroad could negatively impact financial markets and the fund’s performance. Further, certain municipalities of the United States and its territories are
financially strained and may face the possibility of default on their debt
obligations, which could directly or indirectly detract from the fund’s
performance.
Governments or their agencies may also acquire distressed assets from financial institutions and acquire ownership interests in those institutions. The implications of government ownership and disposition of these assets are unclear, and such a program may have positive or negative effects on the liquidity, valuation, and performance of the fund’s portfolio holdings. Furthermore, volatile financial markets can expose the fund to greater market and liquidity risk, increased transaction costs, and potential difficulty in valuing portfolio instruments held by the fund.
The principal risks of investing in the fund are summarized in its fund summary above. Below are descriptions of the main factors that may play a role in shaping the fund’s overall risk profile. The descriptions appear in
6

Fund details
alphabetical order, not in order of importance. For further details about fund risks, including additional risk factors that are not discussed in this prospectus because they are not considered primary factors, see the fund’s Statement of Additional Information (SAI).
Changing distribution levels risk
The distribution amounts paid by the fund generally depend on the amount of income and/or dividends paid by the fund’s investments. As a result of market, interest rate and other circumstances, the amount of cash available for distribution by the fund and the fund’s distribution rate may vary or decline. The risk of such variability is accentuated in currently prevailing market and interest rate circumstances.
Credit and counterparty risk
This is the risk that an issuer of a U.S. government security, the issuer or guarantor of a fixed-income security, the counterparty to an over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives contract (see “Hedging, derivatives, and other strategic transactions risk”), or a borrower of a fund’s securities will be unable or unwilling to make timely principal, interest, or settlement payments, or otherwise honor its obligations. Credit risk associated with investments in fixed-income securities relates to the ability of the issuer to make scheduled payments of principal and interest on an obligation. A fund that invests in fixed-income securities is subject to varying degrees of risk that the issuers of the securities will have their credit ratings downgraded or will default, potentially reducing the fund’s share price and income level. Nearly all fixed-income securities are subject to some credit risk, which may vary depending upon whether the issuers of the securities are corporations, domestic or foreign governments, or their subdivisions or instrumentalities. U.S. government securities are subject to varying degrees of credit risk depending upon whether the securities are supported by the full faith and credit of the United States; supported by the ability to borrow from the U.S. Treasury; supported only by the credit of the issuing U.S. government agency, instrumentality, or corporation; or otherwise supported by the United States. For example, issuers of many types of U.S. government securities (e.g., the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), and Federal Home Loan Banks), although chartered or sponsored by Congress, are not funded by congressional appropriations, and their fixed-income securities, including asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities, are neither guaranteed nor insured by the U.S. government. An agency of the U.S. government has placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship, a statutory process with the objective of returning the entities to normal business operations. It is unclear what effect this conservatorship will have on the securities issued or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. As a result, these securities are subject to more credit risk than U.S. government securities that are supported by the full faith and credit of the United States (e.g., U.S. Treasury bonds). When a fixed-income security is not rated, a manager may have to assess the risk of the security itself. Asset-backed securities, whose principal and interest payments are supported by pools of other assets, such as credit card receivables and automobile loans, are subject to further risks, including the risk that the obligors of the underlying assets default on payment of those assets.
Funds that invest in below-investment-grade securities, also called junk bonds (e.g., fixed-income securities rated Ba or lower by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. or BB or lower by S&P Global Ratings or Fitch Ratings, as applicable, at the time of investment, or determined by a manager to be of comparable quality to securities so rated) are subject to increased credit risk. The sovereign debt of many foreign governments, including their subdivisions and instrumentalities, falls into this category. Below-investment-grade securities offer the potential for higher investment returns than higher-rated securities, but they carry greater credit risk: their issuers’ continuing ability to meet principal and interest payments is considered speculative, they are more susceptible to real or perceived adverse economic and competitive industry conditions, and they may be less liquid than higher-rated securities.
In addition, a fund is exposed to credit risk to the extent that it makes use of OTC derivatives (such as forward foreign currency contracts and/or swap contracts) and engages to a significant extent in the lending of fund securities or the use of repurchase agreements. OTC derivatives transactions can be closed out with the other party to the transaction. If the counterparty defaults, a fund will have contractual remedies, but there is no assurance that the counterparty will be able to meet its contractual obligations or that, in the event of default, a fund will succeed in enforcing them. A fund, therefore, assumes the risk that it may be unable to obtain payments owed to it under OTC derivatives contracts or that those payments may be delayed or made only after the fund has incurred the costs of litigation. While the manager intends to monitor the creditworthiness of contract counterparties, there can be no assurance that the counterparty will be in a position to meet its obligations, especially during unusually adverse market conditions.
Defaulted debt risk
Investing in defaulted debt securities is speculative and involves substantial risks in addition to the risks of investing in high-yield securities that have not defaulted. The fund generally will not receive interest payments on defaulted debt securities, and there is a substantial risk that principal will not be repaid. A fund investing in defaulted debt securities may incur additional expenses to the extent that it is required to seek recovery upon a default in the payment of principal of or interest on the securities. In any reorganization or liquidation proceeding relating to defaulted debt, a fund may lose its entire investment in such securities or may be required to accept cash or securities with a value lower than the fund’s original investment. Defaulted debt securities and any securities received in exchange for defaulted debt securities may be subject to restrictions on resale.
Economic and market events risk
Events in certain sectors historically have resulted, and may in the future result, in an unusually high degree of volatility in the financial markets, both domestic and foreign. These events have included, but are not limited to: bankruptcies, corporate restructurings, and other similar events; governmental efforts to limit short selling and high frequency trading; measures to address U.S. federal and state budget deficits; social, political, and economic instability in Europe; economic stimulus by the Japanese central bank; dramatic changes in energy prices and currency exchange rates; and China’s economic slowdown. Interconnected global economies and financial markets increase the
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possibility that conditions in one country or region might adversely impact issuers in a different country or region. Both domestic and foreign equity markets have experienced increased volatility and turmoil, with issuers that have exposure to the real estate, mortgage, and credit markets particularly affected. Financial institutions could suffer losses as interest rates rise or economic conditions deteriorate.
In addition, relatively high market volatility and reduced liquidity in credit and fixed-income markets may adversely affect many issuers worldwide. Actions taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) or foreign central banks to stimulate or stabilize economic growth, such as interventions in currency markets, could cause high volatility in the equity and fixed-income markets. Reduced liquidity may result in less money being available to purchase raw materials, goods, and services from emerging markets, which may, in turn, bring down the prices of these economic staples. It may also result in emerging-market issuers having more difficulty obtaining financing, which may, in turn, cause a decline in their securities prices.
Beginning in March 2022, the Fed began increasing interest rates and has signaled the potential for further increases. As a result, risks associated with rising interest rates are currently heightened. It is difficult to accurately predict the pace at which the Fed will increase interest rates any further, or the timing, frequency or magnitude of any such increases, and the evaluation of macro-economic and other conditions could cause a change in approach in the future. Any such increases generally will cause market interest rates to rise and could cause the value of a fund’s investments, and the fund’s net asset value (NAV), to decline, potentially suddenly and significantly. As a result, the fund may experience high redemptions and, as a result, increased portfolio turnover, which could increase the costs that the fund incurs and may negatively impact the fund’s performance.
In addition, as the Fed increases the target Fed funds rate, any such rate increases, among other factors, could cause markets to experience continuing high volatility. A significant increase in interest rates may cause a decline in the market for equity securities. These events and the possible resulting market volatility may have an adverse effect on the fund.
Political turmoil within the United States and abroad may also impact the fund. Although the U.S. government has honored its credit obligations, it remains possible that the United States could default on its obligations. While it is impossible to predict the consequences of such an unprecedented event, it is likely that a default by the United States would be highly disruptive to the U.S. and global securities markets and could significantly impair the value of the fund’s investments. Similarly, political events within the United States at times have resulted, and may in the future result, in a shutdown of government services, which could negatively affect the U.S. economy, decrease the value of many fund investments, and increase uncertainty in or impair the operation of the U.S. or other securities markets. In recent years, the U.S. renegotiated many of its global trade relationships and imposed or threatened to impose significant import tariffs. These actions could lead to price volatility and overall declines in U.S. and global investment markets.
Uncertainties surrounding the sovereign debt of a number of European Union (EU) countries and the viability of the EU have disrupted and may in
the future disrupt markets in the United States and around the world. If one or more countries leave the EU or the EU dissolves, the global securities markets likely will be significantly disrupted. On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) left the EU, commonly referred to as “Brexit,” the UK ceased to be a member of the EU, and the UK and EU entered into a Trade and Cooperation Agreement. While the full impact of Brexit is unknown, Brexit has already resulted in volatility in European and global markets. There remains significant market uncertainty regarding Brexit’s ramifications, and the range and potential implications of possible political, regulatory, economic, and market outcomes are difficult to predict.
A widespread health crisis such as a global pandemic could cause substantial market volatility, exchange trading suspensions and closures, which may lead to less liquidity in certain instruments, industries, sectors or the markets generally, and may ultimately affect fund performance. For example, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted and may continue to result in significant disruptions to global business activity and market volatility due to disruptions in market access, resource availability, facilities operations, imposition of tariffs, export controls and supply chain disruption, among others. While many countries have lifted some or all restrictions related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the United States ended the public health emergency and national emergency declarations relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on May 11, 2023, the continued impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) and related variants is uncertain. The impact of a health crisis and other epidemics and pandemics that may arise in the future, could affect the global economy in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen at the present time. A health crisis may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social and economic risks. Any such impact could adversely affect the fund’s performance, resulting in losses to your investment.
Political and military events, including in Ukraine, North Korea, Russia, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, and other areas of the Middle East, and nationalist unrest in Europe and South America, also may cause market disruptions.
As a result of continued political tensions and armed conflicts, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine commencing in February of 2022, the extent and ultimate result of which are unknown at this time, the United States and the EU, along with the regulatory bodies of a number of countries, have imposed economic sanctions on certain Russian corporate entities and individuals, and certain sectors of Russia’s economy, which may result in, among other things, the continued devaluation of Russian currency, a downgrade in the country’s credit rating, and/or a decline in the value and liquidity of Russian securities, property or interests. These sanctions could also result in the immediate freeze of Russian securities and/or funds invested in prohibited assets, impairing the ability of a fund to buy, sell, receive or deliver those securities and/or assets. These sanctions or the threat of additional sanctions could also result in Russia taking counter measures or retaliatory actions, which may further impair the value and liquidity of Russian securities. The United States and other nations or international organizations may also impose additional economic sanctions or take other actions that may adversely affect Russia-exposed issuers and companies in various sectors of the Russian economy. Any or all of these potential results could lead Russia’s economy into a recession. Economic
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sanctions and other actions against Russian institutions, companies, and individuals resulting from the ongoing conflict may also have a substantial negative impact on other economies and securities markets both regionally and globally, as well as on companies with operations in the conflict region, the extent to which is unknown at this time. The United States and the EU have also imposed similar sanctions on Belarus for its support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Additional sanctions may be imposed on Belarus and other countries that support Russia. Any such sanctions could present substantially similar risks as those resulting from the sanctions imposed on Russia, including substantial negative impacts on the regional and global economies and securities markets.
In addition, there is a risk that the prices of goods and services in the United States and many foreign economies may decline over time, known as deflation. Deflation may have an adverse effect on stock prices and creditworthiness and may make defaults on debt more likely. If a country’s economy slips into a deflationary pattern, it could last for a prolonged period and may be difficult to reverse. Further, there is a risk that the present value of assets or income from investments will be less in the future, known as inflation. Inflation rates may change frequently and drastically as a result of various factors, including unexpected shifts in the domestic or global economy, and a fund’s investments may be affected, which may reduce a fund’s performance. Further, inflation may lead to the rise in interest rates, which may negatively affect the value of debt instruments held by the fund, resulting in a negative impact on a fund’s performance. Generally, securities issued in emerging markets are subject to a greater risk of inflationary or deflationary forces, and more developed markets are better able to use monetary policy to normalize markets.
Equity securities risk
Common and preferred stocks represent equity ownership in a company. Stock markets are volatile. The price of equity securities will fluctuate, and can decline and reduce the value of a fund investing in equities. The price of equity securities fluctuates based on changes in a company’s financial condition and overall market and economic conditions. The value of equity securities purchased by a fund could decline if the financial condition of the companies in which the fund is invested declines, or if overall market and economic conditions deteriorate. An issuer’s financial condition could decline as a result of poor management decisions, competitive pressures, technological obsolescence, undue reliance on suppliers, labor issues, shortages, corporate restructurings, fraudulent disclosures, irregular and/or unexpected trading activity among retail investors, or other factors. Changes in the financial condition of a single issuer can impact the market as a whole.
Even a fund that invests in high-quality, or blue chip, equity securities, or securities of established companies with large market capitalizations (which generally have strong financial characteristics), can be negatively impacted by poor overall market and economic conditions. Companies with large market capitalizations may also have less growth potential than smaller companies and may be less able to react quickly to changes in the marketplace.
The fund generally does not attempt to time the market. Because of its exposure to equities, the possibility that stock market prices in general will decline over short or extended periods subjects the fund to
unpredictable declines in the value of its investments, as well as periods of poor performance.
ESG integration risk
The manager considers ESG factors that it deems relevant or additive, along with other material factors and analysis, when managing the fund. The manager may consider these ESG factors on all or a
meaningful portion of the fund’s investments. In certain situations, the extent to which these ESG factors may be applied according to the manager’s integrated investment process may not include U.S. Treasuries, government securities, or other asset classes. ESG factors may include, but are not limited to, matters regarding board diversity, climate change policies, and supply chain and human rights policies. Incorporating ESG criteria and making investment decisions based on certain ESG characteristics, as determined by the manager, carries the risk that the fund may perform differently, including underperforming, funds that do not utilize ESG criteria, or funds that utilize different ESG criteria. Integration of ESG factors into the fund’s investment process may result in a manager making different investments for the fund than for a fund with a similar investment universe and/or investment style that does not incorporate such considerations in its investment strategy or processes, and the fund’s investment performance may be affected. Because ESG factors are one of many considerations for the fund, the manager may nonetheless include companies with low ESG characteristics or exclude companies with high ESG characteristics in the fund’s investments.
The ESG characteristics utilized in the fund’s investment process may change over time, and different ESG characteristics may be relevant to different investments. Although the manager has established its own structure to oversee ESG integration in accordance with the fund’s investment objective and strategies, successful integration of ESG factors will depend on the manager’s skill in researching, identifying, and applying these factors, as well as on the availability of relevant data. The method of evaluating ESG factors and subsequent impact on portfolio composition, performance, proxy voting decisions and other factors, is subject to the interpretation of the manager in accordance with the fund’s investment objective and strategies. ESG factors may be evaluated differently by different managers, and may not carry the same meaning to all investors and managers. The manager may employ active shareowner engagement to raise ESG issues with the management of select portfolio companies. The regulatory landscape with respect to ESG investing in the United States is evolving and any future rules or regulations may require the fund to change its investment process with respect to ESG integration.
Fixed-income securities risk
Fixed-income securities are generally subject to two principal types of risk, as well as other risks described below: (1) interest-rate risk and (2) credit quality risk.
Interest-rate risk. Fixed-income securities are affected by changes in interest rates. When interest rates decline, the market value of fixed-income securities generally can be expected to rise. Conversely, when interest rates rise, the market value of fixed-income securities generally can be expected to decline. The longer the duration or maturity of a fixed-income security, the more susceptible it is to
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interest-rate risk. Duration is a measure of the price sensitivity of a debt security, or a fund that invests in a portfolio of debt securities, to changes in interest rates, whereas the maturity of a security measures the time until final payment is due. Duration measures sensitivity more accurately than maturity because it takes into account the time value of cash flows generated over the life of a debt security. Recent and potential future changes in government monetary policy may affect interest rates.
Beginning in March 2022, the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) began increasing interest rates and has signaled the potential for further increases. It is difficult to accurately predict the pace at which the Fed will increase interest rates any further, or the timing, frequency or magnitude of any such increases, and the evaluation of macro-economic and other conditions could cause a change in approach in the future. Any such increases generally will cause market interest rates to rise and could cause the value of a fund’s investments, and the fund’s net asset value (NAV), to decline, potentially suddenly and significantly. As a result, the fund may experience high redemptions and, as a result, increased portfolio turnover, which could increase the costs that the fund incurs and may negatively impact the fund’s performance.
In response to certain economic disruptions, governmental authorities and regulators typically respond with significant fiscal and monetary policy changes, including considerably lowering interest rates, which, in some cases could result in negative interest rates. These actions, including their reversal or potential ineffectiveness, could further increase volatility in securities and other financial markets and reduce market liquidity. To the extent the fund has a bank deposit or holds a debt instrument with a negative interest rate to maturity, the fund would generate a negative return on that investment. Similarly, negative rates on investments by money market funds and similar cash management products could lead to losses on investments, including on investments of the fund’s uninvested cash.
Credit quality risk. Fixed-income securities are subject to the risk that the issuer of the security will not repay all or a portion of the principal borrowed and will not make all interest payments. If the credit quality of a fixed-income security deteriorates after a fund has purchased the security, the market value of the security may decrease and lead to a decrease in the value of the fund’s investments. An issuer’s credit quality could deteriorate as a result of poor management decisions, competitive pressures, technological obsolescence, undue reliance on suppliers, labor issues, shortages, corporate restructurings, fraudulent disclosures, or other factors. Funds that may invest in lower-rated fixed-income securities, commonly referred to as junk securities, are riskier than funds that may invest in higher-rated fixed-income securities.
Investment-grade fixed-income securities in the lowest rating category risk. Investment-grade fixed-income securities in the lowest rating category (such as Baa by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. or BBB by S&P Global Ratings or Fitch Ratings, as applicable, and comparable unrated securities) involve a higher degree of risk than fixed-income securities in the higher rating categories. While such securities are considered investment-grade quality and are deemed to have adequate capacity for payment of principal and interest, such
securities lack outstanding investment characteristics and have speculative characteristics as well. For example, changes in economic conditions or other circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity to make principal and interest payments than is the case with higher-grade securities.
Prepayment of principal risk. Many types of debt securities, including floating-rate loans, are subject to prepayment risk. Prepayment risk is the risk that, when interest rates fall, certain types of obligations will be paid off by the borrower more quickly than originally anticipated and the fund may have to invest the proceeds in securities with lower yields. Securities subject to prepayment risk can offer less potential for gains when the credit quality of the issuer improves.
Foreign securities risk
Funds that invest in securities traded principally in securities markets outside the United States are subject to additional and more varied risks, as the value of foreign securities may change more rapidly and extremely than the value of U.S. securities. Less information may be publicly available regarding foreign issuers, including foreign government issuers. Foreign securities may be subject to foreign taxes and may be more volatile than U.S. securities. Currency fluctuations and political and economic developments may adversely impact the value of foreign securities. The securities markets of many foreign countries are relatively small, with a limited number of companies representing a small number of industries. Additionally, issuers of foreign securities may not be subject to the same degree of regulation as U.S. issuers. Reporting, accounting, and auditing standards of foreign countries differ, in some cases significantly, from U.S. standards. There are generally higher commission rates on foreign portfolio transactions, transfer taxes, higher custodial costs, and the possibility that foreign taxes will be charged on dividends and interest payable on foreign securities, some or all of which may not be reclaimable. Also, adverse changes in investment or exchange control regulations (which may include suspension of the ability to transfer currency or assets from a country); political changes; or diplomatic developments could adversely affect a fund’s investments. In the event of nationalization, expropriation, confiscatory taxation, or other confiscation, the fund could lose a substantial portion of, or its entire investment in, a foreign security. Some of the foreign securities risks are also applicable to funds that invest a material portion of their assets in securities of foreign issuers traded in the United States.
If applicable, depositary receipts are subject to most of the risks associated with investing in foreign securities directly because the value of a depositary receipt is dependent upon the market price of the underlying foreign equity security. Depositary receipts are also subject to liquidity risk. Additionally, the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (HFCAA) could cause securities of foreign companies, including American depositary receipts, to be delisted from U.S. stock exchanges if the companies do not allow the U.S. government to oversee the auditing of their financial information. Although the requirements of the HFCAA apply to securities of all foreign issuers, the SEC has thus far limited its enforcement efforts to securities of Chinese companies. If securities are delisted, a fund’s ability to transact in such securities will be impaired, and the liquidity and market price of the securities may decline. The fund
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may also need to seek other markets in which to transact in such securities, which could increase the fund’s costs.
Emerging-market risk. Investments in the securities of issuers based in countries with emerging-market economies are subject to greater levels of risk and uncertainty than investments in more-developed foreign markets, since emerging-market securities may present market, credit, currency, liquidity, legal, political, and other risks greater than, or in addition to, the risks of investing in developed foreign countries. These risks include high currency exchange-rate fluctuations; increased risk of default (including both government and private issuers); greater social, economic, and political uncertainty and instability (including the risk of war); more substantial governmental involvement in the economy; less governmental supervision and regulation of the securities markets and participants in those markets; controls on foreign investment and limitations on repatriation of invested capital and on a fund’s ability to exchange local currencies for U.S. dollars; unavailability of currency hedging techniques in certain emerging-market countries; the fact that companies in emerging-market countries may be newly organized, smaller, and less seasoned; the difference in, or lack of, auditing and financial reporting requirements or standards, which may result in the unavailability of material information about issuers; different clearance and settlement procedures, which may be unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions or otherwise make it difficult to engage in such transactions; difficulties in obtaining and/or enforcing legal judgments against non-U.S. companies and non-U.S. persons, including company directors and officers, in foreign jurisdictions; and significantly smaller market capitalizations of emerging-market issuers. In addition, shareholders of emerging market issuers, such as the fund, often have limited rights and few practical remedies in emerging markets. Finally, the risks associated with investments in emerging markets often are significant, and vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and company to company.
Currency risk. Currency risk is the risk that fluctuations in exchange rates may adversely affect the U.S. dollar value of a fund’s investments. Currency risk includes both the risk that currencies in which a fund’s investments are traded, or currencies in which a fund has taken an active investment position, will decline in value relative to the U.S. dollar and, in the case of hedging positions, that the U.S. dollar will decline in value relative to the currency being hedged. Currency rates in foreign countries may fluctuate significantly for a number of reasons, including the forces of supply and demand in the foreign exchange markets, actual or perceived changes in interest rates, intervention (or the failure to intervene) by U.S. or foreign governments or central banks, or currency controls or political developments in the United States or abroad. Certain funds may engage in proxy hedging of currencies by entering into derivative transactions with respect to a currency whose value is expected to correlate to the value of a currency the fund owns or wants to own. This presents the risk that the two currencies may not move in relation to one another as expected. In that case, the fund could lose money on its investment and also lose money on the position designed to act as a proxy hedge. Certain funds may also take active currency positions and may cross-hedge currency exposure represented by
their securities into another foreign currency. This may result in a fund’s currency exposure being substantially different than that suggested by its securities investments. All funds with foreign currency holdings and/or that invest or trade in securities denominated in foreign currencies or related derivative instruments may be adversely affected by changes in foreign currency exchange rates. Derivative foreign currency transactions (such as futures, forwards, and swaps) may also involve leveraging risk, in addition to currency risk. Leverage may disproportionately increase a fund’s portfolio losses and reduce opportunities for gain when interest rates, stock prices, or currency rates are changing.
Hedging, derivatives, and other strategic transactions risk
The ability of a fund to utilize hedging, derivatives, and other strategic transactions to benefit the fund will depend in part on its manager’s ability to predict pertinent market movements and market risk, counterparty risk, credit risk, interest-rate risk, and other risk factors, none of which can be assured. The skills required to utilize hedging and other strategic transactions are different from those needed to select a fund’s securities. Even if the manager only uses hedging and other strategic transactions in a fund primarily for hedging purposes or to gain exposure to a particular securities market, if the transaction does not have the desired outcome, it could result in a significant loss to a fund. The amount of loss could be more than the principal amount invested. These transactions may also increase the volatility of a fund and may involve a small investment of cash relative to the magnitude of the risks assumed, thereby magnifying the impact of any resulting gain or loss. For example, the potential loss from the use of futures can exceed a fund’s initial investment in such contracts. In addition, these transactions could result in a loss to a fund if the counterparty to the transaction does not perform as promised.
A fund may invest in derivatives, which are financial contracts with a value that depends on, or is derived from, the value of underlying assets, reference rates, or indexes. Derivatives may relate to stocks, bonds, interest rates, currencies or currency exchange rates, and related indexes. A fund may use derivatives for many purposes, including for hedging and as a substitute for direct investment in securities or other assets. Derivatives may be used in a way to efficiently adjust the exposure of a fund to various securities, markets, and currencies without a fund actually having to sell existing investments and make new investments. This generally will be done when the adjustment is expected to be relatively temporary or in anticipation of effecting the sale of fund assets and making new investments over time. Further, since many derivatives have a leverage component, adverse changes in the value or level of the underlying asset, reference rate, or index can result in a loss substantially greater than the amount invested in the derivative itself. Certain derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment. When a fund uses derivatives for leverage, investments in that fund will tend to be more volatile, resulting in larger gains or losses in response to market changes. To limit risks associated with leverage, a fund is required to comply with Rule 18f-4 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the Derivatives Rule) as outlined below. For a description of the various derivative instruments the fund may utilize, refer to the SAI.
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The regulation of the U.S. and non-U.S. derivatives markets has undergone substantial change in recent years and such change may continue. In particular, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and regulations promulgated or proposed thereunder require many derivatives to be cleared and traded on an exchange, expand entity registration requirements, impose business conduct requirements on dealers that enter into swaps with a pension plan, endowment, retirement plan or government entity, and required banks to move some derivatives trading units to a non-guaranteed affiliate separate from the deposit-taking bank or divest them altogether. Although the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has released final rules relating to clearing, reporting, recordkeeping and registration requirements under the legislation, many of the provisions are subject to further final rule making, and thus its ultimate impact remains unclear. New regulations could, among other things, restrict the fund’s ability to engage in derivatives transactions (for example, by making certain types of derivatives transactions no longer available to the fund) and/or increase the costs of such derivatives transactions (for example, by increasing margin or capital requirements), and the fund may be unable to fully execute its investment strategies as a result. Limits or restrictions applicable to the counterparties with which the fund engages in derivative transactions also could prevent the fund from using these instruments or affect the pricing or other factors relating to these instruments, or may change the availability of certain investments.
In addition, the regulation of the U.S. and non-U.S. derivatives markets has undergone substantial change in recent years and such change may continue. In particular, effective August 19, 2022 (the Compliance Date), the Derivatives Rule replaced the asset segregation regime of Investment Company Act Release No. 10666 (Release 10666) with a new framework for the use of derivatives by registered funds. As of the Compliance Date, the SEC rescinded Release 10666 and withdrew no-action letters and similar guidance addressing a fund’s use of derivatives and began requiring funds to satisfy the requirements of the Derivatives Rule. As a result, on or after the Compliance Date, the funds will no longer engage in “segregation” or “coverage” techniques with respect to derivatives transactions and will instead comply with the applicable requirements of the Derivatives Rule.
The Derivatives Rule mandates that a fund adopt and/or implement: (i) value-at-risk limitations (VaR); (ii) a written derivatives risk management program; (iii) new Board oversight responsibilities; and (iv) new reporting and recordkeeping requirements. In the event that a fund’s derivative exposure is 10% or less of its net assets, excluding certain currency and interest rate hedging transactions, it can elect to be classified as a limited derivatives user (Limited Derivatives User) under the Derivatives Rule, in which case the fund is not subject to the full requirements of the Derivatives Rule. Limited Derivatives Users are excepted from VaR testing, implementing a derivatives risk management program, and certain Board oversight and reporting requirements mandated by the Derivatives Rule. However, a Limited Derivatives User is still required to implement written compliance policies and procedures reasonably designed to manage its derivatives risks.
The Derivatives Rule also provides special treatment for reverse repurchase agreements, similar financing transactions and unfunded commitment agreements. Specifically, a fund may elect whether to treat
reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions as “derivatives transactions” subject to the requirements of the Derivatives Rule or as senior securities equivalent to bank borrowings for purposes of Section 18 of the Investment Company Act of 1940. In addition, when-issued or forward settling securities transactions that physically settle within 35-days are deemed not to involve a senior security.
At any time after the date of this prospectus, legislation may be enacted that could negatively affect the assets of the fund. Legislation or regulation may change the way in which the fund itself is regulated. The advisor cannot predict the effects of any new governmental regulation that may be implemented, and there can be no assurance that any new governmental regulation will not adversely affect the fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives.
The use of derivative instruments may involve risks different from, or potentially greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities and other, more traditional assets. In particular, the use of derivative instruments exposes a fund to the risk that the counterparty to an OTC derivatives contract will be unable or unwilling to make timely settlement payments or otherwise honor its obligations. OTC derivatives transactions typically can only be closed out with the other party to the transaction, although either party may engage in an offsetting transaction that puts that party in the same economic position as if it had closed out the transaction with the counterparty or may obtain the other party’s consent to assign the transaction to a third party. If the counterparty defaults, the fund will have contractual remedies, but there is no assurance that the counterparty will meet its contractual obligations or that, in the event of default, the fund will succeed in enforcing them. For example, because the contract for each OTC derivatives transaction is individually negotiated with a specific counterparty, a fund is subject to the risk that a counterparty may interpret contractual terms (e.g., the definition of default) differently than the fund when the fund seeks to enforce its contractual rights. If that occurs, the cost and unpredictability of the legal proceedings required for the fund to enforce its contractual rights may lead it to decide not to pursue its claims against the counterparty. The fund, therefore, assumes the risk that it may be unable to obtain payments owed to it under OTC derivatives contracts or that those payments may be delayed or made only after the fund has incurred the costs of litigation. While a manager intends to monitor the creditworthiness of counterparties, there can be no assurance that a counterparty will meet its obligations, especially during unusually adverse market conditions. To the extent a fund contracts with a limited number of counterparties, the fund’s risk will be concentrated and events that affect the creditworthiness of any of those counterparties may have a pronounced effect on the fund. Derivatives are also subject to a number of other risks, including market risk, liquidity risk and operational risk. Since the value of derivatives is calculated and derived from the value of other assets, instruments, or references, there is a risk that they will be improperly valued. Derivatives also involve the risk that changes in their value may not correlate perfectly with the assets, rates, or indexes they are designed to hedge or closely track. Suitable derivatives transactions may not be available in all circumstances. The fund is also subject to the risk that the counterparty closes out the derivatives transactions upon the occurrence of certain triggering events. In addition, a manager may determine not to use
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derivatives to hedge or otherwise reduce risk exposure. Government legislation or regulation could affect the use of derivatives transactions and could limit a fund’s ability to pursue its investment strategies.
A detailed discussion of various hedging and other strategic transactions appears in the SAI. To the extent that the fund utilizes the following list of certain derivatives and other strategic transactions, it will be subject to associated risks. The main risks of each appear below.
Credit default swaps. Counterparty risk, liquidity risk (i.e., the inability to enter into closing transactions), interest-rate risk, risk of default of the underlying reference obligation, and risk of disproportionate loss are the principal risks of engaging in transactions involving credit default swaps.
Foreign currency forward contracts. Counterparty risk, liquidity risk (i.e., the inability to enter into closing transactions), foreign currency risk, and risk of disproportionate loss are the principal risks of engaging in transactions involving foreign currency forward contracts.
Foreign currency swaps. Counterparty risk, liquidity risk (i.e., the inability to enter into closing transactions), foreign currency risk, and risk of disproportionate loss are the principal risks of engaging in transactions involving foreign currency swaps.
Futures contracts. Counterparty risk, liquidity risk (i.e., the inability to enter into closing transactions), and risk of disproportionate loss are the principal risks of engaging in transactions involving futures contracts.
Interest-rate swaps. Counterparty risk, liquidity risk (i.e., the inability to enter into closing transactions), interest-rate risk, and risk of disproportionate loss are the principal risks of engaging in transactions involving interest-rate swaps.
Options. Counterparty risk, liquidity risk (i.e., the inability to enter into closing transactions), and risk of disproportionate loss are the principal risks of engaging in transactions involving options. Counterparty risk does not apply to exchange-traded options.
Options on futures. Counterparty risk, liquidity risk (i.e., the inability to enter into closing transactions), and risk of disproportionate loss are the principal risks of engaging in transactions involving options on futures. Counterparty risk does not apply to exchange-traded options.
High portfolio turnover risk
A high fund portfolio turnover rate (over 100%) generally involves correspondingly greater brokerage commission and tax expenses, which must be borne directly by a fund and its shareholders, respectively. The portfolio turnover rate of a fund may vary from year to year, as well as within a year.
Illiquid and restricted securities risk
Certain securities are considered illiquid or restricted due to a limited trading market, legal or contractual restrictions on resale or transfer, or are otherwise illiquid because they cannot be sold or disposed of in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. Securities that have limitations on their resale are referred to as “restricted securities.”
Certain restricted securities that are eligible for resale to qualified institutional purchasers may not be regarded as illiquid. Illiquid and restricted securities may be difficult to value and may involve greater risks than liquid securities. Market quotations for such securities may be volatile and/or subject to large spreads between bid and ask price. Illiquidity may have an adverse impact on market price and the fund’s ability to sell particular securities when necessary to meet the fund’s liquidity needs or in response to a specific economic event. The fund may incur additional expense when disposing of illiquid or restricted securities, including all or a portion of the cost to register the securities.
Liquidity risk
The extent (if at all) to which a security may be sold or a derivative position closed without negatively impacting its market value may be impaired by reduced market activity or participation, legal restrictions, or other economic and market impediments. Funds with principal investment strategies that involve investments in securities of companies with smaller market capitalizations, foreign securities, derivatives, or securities with substantial market and/or credit risk tend to have the greatest exposure to liquidity risk. Exposure to liquidity risk may be heightened for funds that invest in securities of emerging markets and related derivatives that are not widely traded, and that may be subject to purchase and sale restrictions.
The capacity of traditional dealers to engage in fixed-income trading has not kept pace with the bond market’s growth. As a result, dealer inventories of corporate bonds, which indicate the ability to “make markets,” i.e., buy or sell a security at the quoted bid and ask price, respectively, are at or near historic lows relative to market size. Because market makers provide stability to fixed-income markets, the significant reduction in dealer inventories could lead to decreased liquidity and increased volatility, which may become exacerbated during periods of economic or political stress.
Loan participations risk
A fund’s ability to receive payments of principal and interest and other amounts in connection with loans (whether through participations, assignments, or otherwise) will depend primarily on the financial condition of the borrower. The failure by a fund to receive scheduled interest or principal payments on a loan or a loan participation, because of a default, bankruptcy, or any other reason, would adversely affect the income of the fund and would likely reduce the value of its assets. Transactions in loan investments may take a significant amount of time (i.e., seven days or longer) to settle. This could pose a liquidity risk to the fund and, if the fund’s exposure to such investments is substantial, could impair the fund’s ability to meet shareholder redemptions in a timely manner. Investments in loan participations and assignments present the possibility that a fund could be held liable as a co-lender under emerging legal theories of lender liability. Even with secured loans, there is no assurance that the collateral securing the loan will be sufficient to protect a fund against losses in value or a decline in income in the event of a borrower’s nonpayment of principal or interest, and in the event of a bankruptcy of a borrower, the fund could experience delays or limitations in its ability to realize the benefits of any collateral securing the loan. Unless, under the terms of the loan or other indebtedness, a fund has direct recourse against the corporate borrower, the fund may have to rely
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Fund details
on the agent bank or other financial intermediary to apply appropriate credit remedies against a corporate borrower. Furthermore, the value of any such collateral may decline and may be difficult to liquidate. The amount of public information available with respect to loans may be less extensive than that available for registered or exchange-listed securities. Because a significant percent of loans and loan participations are not generally rated by independent credit rating agencies, a decision by a fund to invest in a particular loan or loan participation could depend exclusively on the manager’s credit analysis of the borrower, and in the case of a loan participation, the intermediary. A fund may have limited rights to enforce the terms of an underlying loan.
It is unclear whether U.S. federal securities laws afford protections against fraud and misrepresentation, as well as market manipulation, to investments in loans and other forms of direct indebtedness under certain circumstances. In the absence of definitive regulatory guidance, a fund relies on the manager’s research in an attempt to avoid situations where fraud, misrepresentation, or market manipulation could adversely affect the fund.
A fund also may be in possession of material non-public information about a borrower as a result of owning a floating-rate instrument issued by such borrower. Because of prohibitions on trading in securities of issuers while in possession of such information, a fund might be unable to enter into a transaction in a publicly traded security issued by that borrower when it would otherwise be advantageous to do so.
Lower-rated and high-yield fixed-income securities risk
Lower-rated fixed-income securities are defined as securities rated below investment grade (such as Ba and below by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. and BB and below by S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, as applicable) (also called junk bonds). The general risks of investing in these securities are as follows:
Risk to principal and income. Investing in lower-rated fixed-income securities is considered speculative. While these securities generally provide greater income potential than investments in higher-rated securities, there is a greater risk that principal and interest payments will not be made. Issuers of these securities may even go into default or become bankrupt.
Price volatility. The price of lower-rated fixed-income securities may be more volatile than securities in the higher-rated categories. This volatility may increase during periods of economic uncertainty or change. The price of these securities is affected more than higher-rated fixed-income securities by the market’s perception of their credit quality, especially during times of adverse publicity. In the past, economic downturns or increases in interest rates have, at times, caused more defaults by issuers of these securities and may do so in the future. Economic downturns and increases in interest rates have an even greater effect on highly leveraged issuers of these securities.
Liquidity. The market for lower-rated fixed-income securities may have more limited trading than the market for investment-grade fixed-income securities. Therefore, it may be more difficult to sell these securities, and these securities may have to be sold at prices below their market value in order to meet redemption requests or to respond to changes in market conditions.
Dependence on manager’s own credit analysis. While a manager may rely on ratings by established credit rating agencies, it will also supplement such ratings with its own independent review of the credit quality of the issuer. Therefore, the assessment of the credit risk of lower-rated fixed-income securities is more dependent on the manager’s evaluation than the assessment of the credit risk of higher-rated securities.
Additional risks regarding lower-rated corporate fixed-income securities. Lower-rated corporate fixed-income securities (and comparable unrated securities) tend to be more sensitive to individual corporate developments and changes in economic conditions than higher-rated corporate fixed-income securities. Issuers of lower-rated corporate fixed-income securities may also be highly leveraged, increasing the risk that principal and income will not be repaid.
Additional risks regarding lower-rated foreign government fixed-income securities. Lower-rated foreign government fixed-income securities are subject to the risks of investing in foreign countries described under “Foreign securities risk.” In addition, the ability and willingness of a foreign government to make payments on debt when due may be affected by the prevailing economic and political conditions within the country. Emerging-market countries may experience high inflation, interest rates, and unemployment, as well as exchange-rate fluctuations which adversely affect trade and political uncertainty or instability. These factors increase the risk that a foreign government will not make payments when due.
Mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities risk
Mortgage-backed securities. Mortgage-backed securities represent participating interests in pools of residential mortgage loans, which are guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies, or its instrumentalities. However, the guarantee of these types of securities relates to the principal and interest payments, and not to the market value of such securities. In addition, the guarantee only relates to the mortgage-backed securities held by the fund and not the purchase of shares of the fund.
Mortgage-backed securities are issued by lenders, such as mortgage bankers, commercial banks, and savings and loan associations. Such securities differ from conventional debt securities, which provide for the periodic payment of interest in fixed amounts (usually semiannually) with principal payments at maturity or on specified dates. Mortgage-backed securities provide periodic payments which are, in effect, a pass-through of the interest and principal payments (including any prepayments) made by the individual borrowers on the pooled mortgage loans. A mortgage-backed security will mature when all the mortgages in the pool mature or are prepaid. Therefore, mortgage-backed securities do not have a fixed maturity and their expected maturities may vary when interest rates rise or fall.
When interest rates fall, homeowners are more likely to prepay their mortgage loans. An increased rate of prepayments on the fund’s mortgage-backed securities will result in an unforeseen loss of interest income to the fund as the fund may be required to reinvest assets at a lower interest rate. Because prepayments increase when
14

Fund details
interest rates fall, the prices of mortgage-backed securities do not increase as much as other fixed-income securities when interest rates fall.
When interest rates rise, homeowners are less likely to prepay their mortgage loans. A decreased rate of prepayments lengthens the expected maturity of a mortgage-backed security. Therefore, the prices of mortgage-backed securities may decrease more than prices of other fixed-income securities when interest rates rise.
The yield of mortgage-backed securities is based on the average life of the underlying pool of mortgage loans. The actual life of any particular pool may be shortened by unscheduled or early payments of principal and interest. Principal prepayments may result from the sale of the underlying property or the refinancing or foreclosure of underlying mortgages. The occurrence of prepayments is affected by a wide range of economic, demographic, and social factors and, accordingly, it is not possible to accurately predict the average life of a particular pool. The actual prepayment experience of a pool of mortgage loans may cause the yield realized by the fund to differ from the yield calculated on the basis of the average life of the pool. In addition, if the fund purchases mortgage-backed securities at a premium, the premium may be lost in the event of early prepayment, which may result in a loss to the fund.
Prepayments tend to increase during periods of falling interest rates, while during periods of rising interest rates, prepayments are likely to decline. Monthly interest payments received by a fund have a compounding effect, which will increase the yield to shareholders as compared to debt obligations that pay interest semiannually. Because of the reinvestment of prepayments of principal at current rates, mortgage-backed securities may be less effective than U.S. Treasury bonds of similar maturity at maintaining yields during periods of declining interest rates. Also, although the value of debt securities may increase as interest rates decline, the value of these pass-through types of securities may not increase as much, due to their prepayment feature.
Collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs). A fund may invest in mortgage-backed securities called CMOs. CMOs are issued in separate classes with different stated maturities. As the mortgage pool experiences prepayments, the pool pays off investors in classes with shorter maturities first. By investing in CMOs, a fund may manage the prepayment risk of mortgage-backed securities. However, prepayments may cause the actual maturity of a CMO to be substantially shorter than its stated maturity.
Asset-backed securities. Asset-backed securities include interests in pools of debt securities, commercial or consumer loans, or other receivables. The value of these securities depends on many factors, including changes in interest rates, the availability of information concerning the pool and its structure, the credit quality of the underlying assets, the market’s perception of the servicer of the pool, and any credit enhancement provided. In addition, asset-backed securities have prepayment risks similar to mortgage-backed securities.
Operational and cybersecurity risk
With the increased use of technologies, such as mobile devices and “cloud”-based service offerings and the dependence on the internet and computer systems to perform necessary business functions, the fund’s service providers are susceptible to operational and information or cybersecurity risks that could result in losses to the fund and its shareholders. Intentional cybersecurity breaches include unauthorized access to systems, networks, or devices (such as through “hacking” activity or “phishing”); infection from computer viruses or other malicious software code; and attacks that shut down, disable, slow, or otherwise disrupt operations, business processes, or website access or functionality. Cyber-attacks can also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing denial-of-service attacks on the service providers’ systems or websites rendering them unavailable to intended users or via “ransomware” that renders the systems inoperable until appropriate actions are taken. In addition, unintentional incidents can occur, such as the inadvertent release of confidential information (possibly resulting in the violation of applicable privacy laws).
A cybersecurity breach could result in the loss or theft of customer data or funds, loss or theft of proprietary information or corporate data, physical damage to a computer or network system, or costs associated with system repairs. Such incidents could cause a fund, the advisor, a manager, or other service providers to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs, litigation costs or financial loss. In addition, such incidents could affect issuers in which a fund invests, and thereby cause the fund’s investments to lose value.
Cyber-events have the potential to materially affect the fund and the advisor’s relationships with accounts, shareholders, clients, customers, employees, products, and service providers. The fund has established risk management systems reasonably designed to seek to reduce the risks associated with cyber-events. There is no guarantee that the fund will be able to prevent or mitigate the impact of any or all cyber-events.
The fund is exposed to operational risk arising from a number of factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the fund’s service providers, counterparties, or other third parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or system failures.
In addition, other disruptive events, including (but not limited to) natural disasters and public health crises may adversely affect the fund’s ability to conduct business, in particular if the fund’s employees or the employees of its service providers are unable or unwilling to perform their responsibilities as a result of any such event. Even if the fund’s employees and the employees of its service providers are able to work remotely, those remote work arrangements could result in the fund’s business operations being less efficient than under normal circumstances, could lead to delays in its processing of transactions, and could increase the risk of cyber-events.
Preferred and convertible securities risk
Unlike interest on debt securities, preferred stock dividends are payable only if declared by the issuer’s board. Also, preferred stock may be subject to optional or mandatory redemption provisions. The market values of convertible securities tend to fall as interest rates rise and rise
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Fund details
as interest rates fall. The value of convertible preferred stock can depend heavily upon the value of the security into which such convertible preferred stock is converted, depending on whether the market price of the underlying security exceeds the conversion price.
Sector risk
When a fund’s investments are focused in one or more sectors of the economy, they are less broadly invested across industries or sectors than other funds. This means that focused funds tend to be more volatile than other funds, and the values of their investments tend to go up and down more rapidly. In addition, a fund that invests in particular sectors is particularly susceptible to the impact of market, economic, political, regulatory, and other conditions and risks affecting those sectors. From time to time, a small number of companies may represent a large portion of a single sector or a group of related sectors as a whole.
U.S. government agency obligations risk
Government-sponsored entities such as Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) and the Federal Home Loan Banks, although chartered or sponsored by Congress, are not funded by congressional appropriations and the debt securities that they issue are neither guaranteed nor issued by the U.S. government. Such debt securities are subject to the risk of default on the payment of interest and/or principal, similar to the debt securities of private issuers. The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some U.S. government obligations may greatly exceed their current resources, including any legal right to support from the U.S. government. Although the U.S. government has provided financial support to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the past, there can be no assurance that it will support these or other government-sponsored entities in the future.
Who’s who
The following are the names of the various entities involved with the fund’s investment and business operations, along with brief descriptions of the role each entity performs.
Board of Trustees
The Trustees oversee the fund’s business activities and retain the services of the various firms that carry out the fund’s operations.
Investment advisor
The investment advisor manages the fund’s business and investment activities.
John Hancock Investment Management LLC
200 Berkeley Street
Boston, MA 02116
Founded in 1968, the advisor is an indirect principally owned subsidiary of John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.), which in turn is a subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation.
The advisor’s parent company has been helping individuals and institutions work toward their financial goals since 1862. The advisor offers investment solutions managed by leading institutional money managers, taking a disciplined team approach to portfolio management
and research, leveraging the expertise of seasoned investment professionals. As of June 30, 2023 the advisor had total assets under management of approximately $153.4 billion.
Subject to general oversight by the Board of Trustees, the advisor manages and supervises the investment operations and business affairs of the fund. The advisor selects, contracts with and compensates one or more subadvisors to manage all or a portion of the fund’s portfolio assets, subject to oversight by the advisor. In this role, the advisor has supervisory responsibility for managing the investment and reinvestment of the fund’s portfolio assets through proactive oversight and monitoring of the subadvisor and the fund, as described in further detail below. The advisor is responsible for developing overall investment strategies for the fund and overseeing and implementing the fund’s continuous investment programs and provides a variety of advisory oversight and investment research services. The advisor also provides management and transition services associated with certain fund events (e.g., strategy, portfolio manager, or subadvisor changes) and coordinates and oversees services provided under other agreements.
The advisor has ultimate responsibility to oversee a subadvisor and recommend to the Board of Trustees its hiring, termination, and replacement. In this capacity, the advisor, among other things: (i) monitors on a daily basis the compliance of the subadvisor with the investment objectives and related policies of the fund; (ii) monitors significant changes that may impact the subadvisor’s overall business and regularly performs due diligence reviews of the subadvisor; (iii) reviews the performance of the subadvisor; and (iv) reports periodically on such performance to the Board of Trustees. The advisor employs a team of investment professionals who provide these ongoing research and monitoring services.
The fund relies on an order from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) permitting the advisor, subject to approval by the Board of Trustees, to appoint a subadvisor or change the terms of a subadvisory agreement without obtaining shareholder approval. The fund, therefore, is able to change subadvisors or the fees paid to a subadvisor, from time to time, without the expense and delays associated with obtaining shareholder approval of the change. This order does not, however, permit the advisor to appoint a subadvisor that is an affiliate of the advisor or the fund (other than by reason of serving as a subadvisor to the fund), or to increase the subadvisory fee of an affiliated subadvisor, without the approval of the shareholders.
Management fee
The fund pays the advisor a management fee for its services to the fund. The advisor in turn pays the fees of the subadvisor. The management fee is stated as an annual percentage of the aggregate net assets of the fund (together with the assets of any other applicable fund identified in the advisory agreement) determined in accordance with the following schedule, and that rate is applied to the average daily net assets of the fund.
Average daily net assets ($)
Annual rate (%)
First 100 million
0.600
Next 150 million
0.450
Next 250 million
0.400
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Fund details
Average daily net assets ($)
Annual rate (%)
Next 150 million
0.350
Excess over 650 million
0.300
During its most recent fiscal period, the fund paid the advisor a management fee equal to 0.34% of average daily net assets (including any waivers and/or reimbursements).
The basis for the Board of Trustees’ approval of the advisory fees, and of the investment advisory agreement overall, including the subadvisory agreement, is discussed in the fund’s most recent semiannual shareholder report for the period ended November 30.
Additional information about fund expenses
The fund’s annual operating expenses will likely vary throughout the period and from year to year. The fund’s expenses for the current fiscal year may be higher than the expenses listed in the fund’s “Annual fund operating expenses” table, for some of the following reasons: (i) a significant decrease in average net assets may result in a higher advisory fee rate if any advisory fee breakpoints are not achieved; (ii) a significant decrease in average net assets may result in an increase in the expense ratio because certain fund expenses do not decrease as asset levels decrease; or (iii) fees may be incurred for extraordinary events such as fund tax expenses.
The advisor voluntarily agrees to reduce its management fee for the fund, or if necessary make payment to the fund, in an amount equal to the amount by which the “other expenses” of the fund exceed 0.15% of the average daily net assets of the fund. For purposes of this agreement, “other expenses” means all the expenses of the fund, excluding (a) taxes, (b) brokerage commissions, (c) interest expense, (d) litigation and indemnification expenses and other extraordinary expenses not incurred in the ordinary course of the fund’s business, (e) investment management fees, (f) class-specific expenses, (g) borrowing costs, (h) prime brokerage fees, (i) acquired fund fees and expenses paid indirectly, and (j) short dividend expense. The advisor may terminate this voluntary waiver at any time upon notice to the fund.
Subadvisor
The subadvisor handles the fund’s portfolio management activities, subject to oversight by the advisor.
Manulife Investment Management (US) LLC
197 Clarendon Street
Boston, MA 02116
Manulife Investment Management (US) LLC (Manulife IM (US)) provides investment advisory services to individual and institutional investors. Manulife IM (US) is a wholly owned subsidiary of John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) (a subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation) and, as of June 30, 2023, had total assets under management of approximately $193.10 billion.
The following are brief biographical profiles of the leaders of the fund’s investment management team, in alphabetical order. These managers are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the fund’s portfolio. These managers are employed by Manulife IM (US). For more details about these individuals, including information about
their compensation, other accounts they manage, and any investments they may have in the fund, see the SAI.
Christopher M. Chapman, CFA
Senior Portfolio Manager, Co-Head of Global Multi-Sector Fixed Income
Managed the fund since 2017
Primarily responsible for fund management and research of global sovereign debt and currencies
Joined Manulife IM (US) in 2005
Began business career in 1999
Thomas C. Goggins
Senior Portfolio Manager
Managed the fund since 2009
Co-Founder and Director of Research, Fontana Capital (2005–2009)
Primarily responsible for portfolio management, asset allocation, and capital structure research
Joined Manulife IM (US) in 2009
Began business career in 1989
Bradley L. Lutz, CFA
Senior Portfolio Manager
Managed the fund since 2022
Joined Manulife IM (US) in 2002
Began business career in 1992
Kisoo Park
Senior Portfolio Manager
Managed the fund since 2015
Primarily responsible for fund management and research of global bonds and currencies
Joined Manulife IM (US) in 2011
Custodian
The custodian holds the fund’s assets, settles all portfolio trades, and collects most of the valuation data required for calculating the fund’s net asset value.
State Street Bank and Trust Company
One Congress Street, Suite 1
Boston, MA 02114
Principal distributor
The principal distributor markets the fund and distributes shares through selling brokers, financial planners, and other financial professionals.
John Hancock Investment Management Distributors LLC
200 Berkeley Street
Boston, MA 02116
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Fund details
Transfer agent
The transfer agent handles shareholder services, including recordkeeping and statements, distribution of dividends, and processing of buy-and-sell requests.
John Hancock Signature Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 219909
Kansas City, MO 64121-9909
Additional information
The fund has entered into contractual arrangements with various parties that provide services to the fund, which may include, among others, the advisor, subadvisor, custodian, principal distributor, and transfer agent, as described above and in the SAI. Fund shareholders are not parties to, or intended or “third-party” beneficiaries of, any of these contractual arrangements. These contractual arrangements are not intended to, nor do they, create in any individual shareholder or group of shareholders any right, either directly or on behalf of the fund, to either: (a) enforce such contracts against the service providers; or (b) seek any remedy under such contracts against the service providers.
The advisor internally credits a portion of its profits to an affiliated business, John Hancock Retirement (JHR), which is the record keeper for certain 401(k) plans that invest in Class R6 shares. JHR may reduce the record keeping fees paid to it by such 401(k) plans by a commensurate amount. JHR may discontinue this practice with adequate notice to plan sponsors.
This prospectus provides information concerning the fund that you should consider in determining whether to purchase shares of the fund. Each of this prospectus, the SAI, or any contract that is an exhibit to the fund’s registration statement, is not intended to, nor does it, give rise to an agreement or contract between the fund and any investor. Each such document also does not give rise to any contract or create rights in any individual shareholder, group of shareholders, or other person. The foregoing disclosure should not be read to suggest any waiver of any rights conferred by federal or state securities laws.
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Fund details
Financial highlights
These tables detail the financial performance of each share class described in this prospectus, including total return information showing how much an investment in the fund has increased or decreased for the periods shown below (assuming reinvestment of all dividends and distributions). Certain information reflects financial results for a single fund share.
The financial statements of the fund as of May 31, 2023, have been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC), the fund’s independent registered public accounting firm. The report of PwC, along with the fund’s financial statements in the fund’s annual report for the fiscal period ended May 31, 2023, has been incorporated by reference into the SAI. Copies of the fund’s most recent annual report are available upon request.
Income Fund Class A Shares
Per share operating performance Period ended
5-31-23
5-31-22
5-31-21
5-31-20
5-31-19
Net asset value, beginning of period
$6.01
$6.73
$6.39
$6.28
$6.25
Net investment income1
0.18
0.16
0.14
0.17
0.20
Net realized and unrealized gain (loss) on investments
(0.23
)
(0.66
)
0.37
0.11
0.03
Total from investment operations
(0.05
)
(0.50
)
0.51
0.28
0.23
Less distributions
From net investment income
(0.19
)
(0.22
)
(0.17
)
(0.17
)
(0.20
)
Net asset value, end of period
$5.77
$6.01
$6.73
$6.39
$6.28
Total return (%)2,3
(0.86
)
(7.72
)
8.17
4.50
3.72
Ratios and supplemental data
Net assets, end of period (in millions)
$482
$536
$618
$543
$541
Ratios (as a percentage of average net assets):
Expenses before reductions
0.84
0.81
0.82
0.85
0.82
Expenses including reductions
0.83
0.80
0.81
0.84
0.81
Net investment income
3.13
2.46
2.14
2.64
3.17
Portfolio turnover (%)
51
40
63
76
58
 
 
1
Based on average daily shares outstanding.
2
Total returns would have been lower had certain expenses not been reduced during the applicable periods.
3
Does not reflect the effect of sales charges, if any.
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Fund details
Income Fund Class C Shares
Per share operating performance Period ended
5-31-23
5-31-22
5-31-21
5-31-20
5-31-19
Net asset value, beginning of period
$6.01
$6.73
$6.39
$6.28
$6.25
Net investment income1
0.14
0.11
0.09
0.12
0.15
Net realized and unrealized gain (loss) on investments
(0.24
)
(0.65
)
0.37
0.12
0.03
Total from investment operations
(0.10
)
(0.54
)
0.46
0.24
0.18
Less distributions
From net investment income
(0.14
)
(0.18
)
(0.12
)
(0.13
)
(0.15
)
Net asset value, end of period
$5.77
$6.01
$6.73
$6.39
$6.28
Total return (%)2,3
(1.55
)
(8.37
)
7.41
3.77
2.99
Ratios and supplemental data
Net assets, end of period (in millions)
$12
$20
$30
$95
$146
Ratios (as a percentage of average net assets):
Expenses before reductions
1.54
1.51
1.52
1.55
1.52
Expenses including reductions
1.53
1.50
1.51
1.54
1.51
Net investment income
2.41
1.75
1.39
1.94
2.48
Portfolio turnover (%)
51
40
63
76
58
 
 
1
Based on average daily shares outstanding.
2
Total returns would have been lower had certain expenses not been reduced during the applicable periods.
3
Does not reflect the effect of sales charges, if any.
Income Fund Class I Shares
Per share operating performance Period ended
5-31-23
5-31-22
5-31-21
5-31-20
5-31-19
Net asset value, beginning of period
$6.00
$6.72
$6.37
$6.27
$6.23
Net investment income1
0.20
0.18
0.16
0.19
0.21
Net realized and unrealized gain (loss) on investments
(0.25
)
(0.66
)
0.38
0.10
0.04
Total from investment operations
(0.05
)
(0.48
)
0.54
0.29
0.25
Less distributions
From net investment income
(0.20
)
(0.24
)
(0.19
)
(0.19
)
(0.21
)
Net asset value, end of period
$5.75
$6.00
$6.72
$6.37
$6.27
Total return (%)2
(0.74
)
(7.32
)
8.51
4.65
4.18
Ratios and supplemental data
Net assets, end of period (in millions)
$415
$480
$602
$530
$595
Ratios (as a percentage of average net assets):
Expenses before reductions
0.54
0.51
0.52
0.55
0.54
Expenses including reductions
0.53
0.50
0.51
0.54
0.53
Net investment income
3.42
2.75
2.43
2.93
3.47
Portfolio turnover (%)
51
40
63
76
58
 
 
1
Based on average daily shares outstanding.
2
Total returns would have been lower had certain expenses not been reduced during the applicable periods.
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Fund details
Income Fund Class R2 Shares
Per share operating performancePeriod ended
5-31-23
5-31-22
5-31-21
5-31-20
5-31-19
Net asset value, beginning of period
$6.00
$6.72
$6.38
$6.27
$6.24
Net investment income1
0.17
0.15
0.14
0.16
0.19
Net realized and unrealized gain (loss) on investments
(0.23
)
(0.65
)
0.36
0.12
0.03
Total from investment operations
(0.06
)
(0.50
)
0.50
0.28
0.22
Less distributions
From net investment income
(0.18
)
(0.22
)
(0.16
)
(0.17
)
(0.19
)
Net asset value, end of period
$5.76
$6.00
$6.72
$6.38
$6.27
Total return (%)2
(0.95
)
(7.82
)
8.07
4.41
3.61
Ratios and supplemental data
Net assets, end of period (in millions)
$8
$11
$10
$3
$6
Ratios (as a percentage of average net assets):
Expenses before reductions
0.92
0.91
0.91
0.94
0.92
Expenses including reductions
0.91
0.90
0.91
0.93
0.91
Net investment income
3.03
2.36
2.09
2.57
3.07
Portfolio turnover (%)
51
40
63
76
58
 
 
1
Based on average daily shares outstanding.
2
Total returns would have been lower had certain expenses not been reduced during the applicable periods.
Income Fund Class R4 Shares
Per share operating performancePeriod ended
5-31-23
5-31-22
5-31-21
5-31-20
5-31-19
Net asset value, beginning of period
$6.01
$6.73
$6.39
$6.28
$6.25
Net investment income1
0.19
0.17
0.15
0.18
0.20
Net realized and unrealized gain (loss) on investments
(0.25
)
(0.66
)
0.37
0.11
0.04
Total from investment operations
(0.06
)
(0.49
)
0.52
0.29
0.24
Less distributions
From net investment income
(0.19
)
(0.23
)
(0.18
)
(0.18
)
(0.21
)
Net asset value, end of period
$5.76
$6.01
$6.73
$6.39
$6.28
Total return (%)2
(0.87
)
(7.58
)
8.34
4.67
3.87
Ratios and supplemental data
Net assets, end of period (in millions)
$1
$1
$3
$3
$3
Ratios (as a percentage of average net assets):
Expenses before reductions
0.78
0.75
0.76
0.78
0.77
Expenses including reductions
0.67
0.65
0.66
0.67
0.67
Net investment income
3.24
2.56
2.29
2.80
3.30
Portfolio turnover (%)
51
40
63
76
58
 
 
1
Based on average daily shares outstanding.
2
Total returns would have been lower had certain expenses not been reduced during the applicable periods.
21

Fund details
Income Fund Class R5 Shares
Per share operating performancePeriod ended
5-31-23
5-31-22
5-31-21
5-31-20
5-31-19
Net asset value, beginning of period
$6.00
$6.72
$6.38
$6.27
$6.24
Net investment income1
0.20
0.18
0.17
0.19
0.22
Net realized and unrealized gain (loss) on investments
(0.23
)
(0.66
)
0.36
0.11
0.03
Total from investment operations
(0.03
)
(0.48
)
0.53
0.30
0.25
Less distributions
From net investment income
(0.21
)
(0.24
)
(0.19
)
(0.19
)
(0.22
)
Net asset value, end of period
$5.76
$6.00
$6.72
$6.38
$6.27
Total return (%)2
(0.51
)
(7.41
)
8.57
4.88
4.08
Ratios and supplemental data
Net assets, end of period (in millions)
$5
$6
$10
$7
$7
Ratios (as a percentage of average net assets):
Expenses before reductions
0.48
0.46
0.46
0.49
0.47
Expenses including reductions
0.47
0.45
0.45
0.48
0.47
Net investment income
3.47
2.80
2.50
3.01
3.54
Portfolio turnover (%)
51
40
63
76
58
 
 
1
Based on average daily shares outstanding.
2
Total returns would have been lower had certain expenses not been reduced during the applicable periods.
Income Fund Class R6 Shares
Per share operating performance Period ended
5-31-23
5-31-22
5-31-21
5-31-20
5-31-19
Net asset value, beginning of period
$6.01
$6.73
$6.38
$6.27
$6.24
Net investment income1
0.20
0.19
0.17
0.19
0.22
Net realized and unrealized gain (loss) on investments
(0.24
)
(0.66
)
0.37
0.12
0.03
Total from investment operations
(0.04
)
(0.47
)
0.54
0.31
0.25
Less distributions
From net investment income
(0.21
)
(0.25
)
(0.19
)
(0.20
)
(0.22
)
Net asset value, end of period
$5.76
$6.01
$6.73
$6.38
$6.27
Total return (%)2
(0.63
)
(7.21
)
8.61
4.93
4.13
Ratios and supplemental data
Net assets, end of period (in millions)
$908
$914
$869
$582
$461
Ratios (as a percentage of average net assets):
Expenses before reductions
0.43
0.40
0.41
0.44
0.42
Expenses including reductions
0.42
0.40
0.41
0.43
0.42
Net investment income
3.54
2.86
2.54
3.04
3.58
Portfolio turnover (%)
51
40
63
76
58
 
 
1
Based on average daily shares outstanding.
2
Total returns would have been lower had certain expenses not been reduced during the applicable periods.
22

Your account
Choosing an eligible share class
Class A, Class C, Class R2, and Class R4 shares have a Rule 12b-1 plan that allows the class to pay fees for the sale, distribution, and service of its shares. Class I and Class R6 shares do not have a Rule 12b-1 plan. Class R5 shares have a Rule 12b-1 plan, but do not pay any fees under the Rule 12b-1 plan. Your financial professional can help you decide which share class you are eligible to buy and is best for you. Each class’s eligibility guidelines are described below.
Class A shares
Class A shares are not available to group retirement plans that do not currently hold Class A shares of the fund and that are eligible to invest in Class I shares or any of the R share classes, except as provided below. Such group retirement plans include defined benefit plans, 401(k) plans, 457 plans, 403(b)(7) plans, pension and profit-sharing plans, and nonqualified deferred compensation plans. Individual retirement accounts (IRAs), Roth IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, individual (“solo” or “single”) 401(k) plans, individual profit sharing plans, individual 403(b) plans, individual defined benefit plans, simplified employee pensions (SEPs), SAR-SEPs, 529 tuition programs and Coverdell Educational Savings Accounts are not considered group retirement plans and are not subject to this restriction on the purchase of Class A shares.
Investment in Class A shares by such group retirement plans will be permitted in the following circumstances:
The plan currently holds assets in Class A shares of the fund or any John Hancock fund;
Class A shares of the fund or any other John Hancock fund were established as an investment option under the plan prior to January 1, 2013, and the fund’s representatives have agreed that the plan may invest in Class A shares after that date;
Class A shares of the fund or any other John Hancock fund were established as a part of an investment model prior to January 1, 2013, and the fund’s representatives have agreed that plans utilizing such model may invest in Class A shares after that date; and
Such group retirement plans offered through an intermediary brokerage platform that does not require payments relating to the provisions of services to the fund, such as providing omnibus account services, transaction-processing services, or effecting portfolio transactions for the fund, that are specific to assets held in such group retirement plans and vary from such payments otherwise made for such services with respect to assets held in non-group retirement plan accounts.
Class C shares
The maximum amount you may invest in Class C shares with any single purchase is $999,999.99. John Hancock Signature Services, Inc. (Signature Services), the transfer agent for the fund, may accept a purchase request for Class C shares for $1,000,000 or more when the purchase is pursuant to the reinstatement privilege (see “Sales charge reductions and waivers”). Class C shares automatically convert to Class A shares after eight years, provided that the fund or the financial intermediary through which a shareholder purchased or holds Class C shares has records verifying that the Class C shares have been held for at least eight years. Group retirement plan recordkeeping platforms of
certain intermediaries that hold Class C shares with the fund in an omnibus account do not track participant level share lot aging and, as such, these Class C shares would not satisfy the conditions for the automatic Class C to Class A conversion.
Class I shares
Class I shares are offered without any sales charge to the following types of investors if they also meet the minimum initial investment requirement for purchases of Class I shares (see “Opening an account”):
Clients of financial intermediaries who: (i) charge such clients a fee for advisory, investment, consulting, or similar services; (ii) have entered into an agreement with the distributor to offer Class I shares through a no-load program or investment platform; or (iii) have entered into an agreement with the distributor to offer Class I shares to clients on certain brokerage platforms where the intermediary is acting solely as an agent for the investor who may be required to pay a commission and/or other forms of compensation to the intermediary. Other share classes of the fund have different fees and expenses.
Retirement and other benefit plans
Endowment funds, foundations, donor advised funds, and other charitable entities
Any state, county, or city, or its instrumentality, department, authority, or agency
Accounts registered to insurance companies, trust companies, and bank trust departments
Any entity that is considered a corporation for tax purposes
Investment companies, both affiliated and not affiliated with the advisor
Trustees, employees of the advisor or its affiliates, employees of the subadvisor, members of the fund’s portfolio management team and the spouses and children (under age 21) of the aforementioned
Class R2, Class R4, and Class R5 shares
Class R2, Class R4, and Class R5 shares are available to certain types of investors, as noted below:
Qualified tuition programs under Section 529 (529 plans) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Code), distributed by John Hancock or one of its affiliates
Retirement plans, including pension, profit-sharing, and other plans qualified under Section 401(a) or described in Section 403(b) or 457 of the Code, and nonqualified deferred compensation plans
Retirement plans, Traditional and Roth IRAs, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, SEPs, SARSEPs, and SIMPLE IRAs where the shares are held on the books of the fund through investment-only omnibus accounts (either at the plan level or at the level of the financial service firm) that trade through the National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC)
Except as noted above, Class R2, Class R4, and Class R5 shares are not available to retail or institutional non-retirement accounts, Traditional and Roth IRAs, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, SEPs, SARSEPs, SIMPLE IRAs, individual 403(b) plans, or other individual retirement accounts.
23

Your account
Class R6 shares
Class R6 shares are offered without any sales charge and are generally made available to the following types of investors if they also meet the minimum initial investment requirement for purchases of Class R6 shares. (See “Opening an account.”)
Qualified 401(a) plans (including 401(k) plans, Keogh plans, profit-sharing pension plans, money purchase pension plans, target benefit plans, defined benefit pension plans, and Taft-Hartley multi-employer pension plans) (collectively, qualified plans)
Endowment funds and foundations
Any state, county, or city, or its instrumentality, department, authority, or agency
403(b) plans and 457 plans, including 457(a) governmental entity plans and tax-exempt plans
Accounts registered to insurance companies, trust companies, and bank trust departments
Investment companies, both affiliated and not affiliated with the advisor
Any entity that is considered a corporation for tax purposes, including corporate nonqualified deferred compensation plans of such corporations
Trustees, employees of the advisor or its affiliates, employees of the subadvisor, members of the fund’s portfolio management team and the spouses and children (under age 21) of the aforementioned
Financial intermediaries utilizing fund shares in certain eligible qualifying investment product platforms under a signed agreement with the distributor
Class R6 shares may not be available through certain investment dealers.
The availability of Class R6 shares for qualified plan investors will depend upon the policies of your financial intermediary and/or the recordkeeper for your qualified plan.
Class R6 shares also are generally available only to qualified plan investors where plan level or omnibus accounts are held on the books of the fund.
Class R6 shares are not available to retail non-retirement accounts, Traditional and Roth individual retirement accounts (IRAs), Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, SEPs, SARSEPs, SIMPLE IRAs, and 529 college savings plans.
Class cost structure
Class A shares
A front-end sales charge, as described in the section “How sales charges for Class A and Class C shares are calculated”
Distribution and service (Rule 12b-1) fees of 0.30%
A 1.00% CDSC on certain shares sold within one year of purchase
Class C shares
No front-end sales charge; all your money goes to work for you right away
Rule 12b-1 fees of 1.00%
A 1.00% CDSC on shares sold within one year of purchase
Automatic conversion to Class A shares after eight years, thus reducing future annual expenses (certain exclusions may apply)
Class I shares
No front-end or deferred sales charges; however, if you purchase Class I shares through a broker acting solely as an agent on behalf of its customers, you may be required to pay a commission to the broker
No Rule 12b-1 fees
Class R2 shares
No front-end or deferred sales charges; all your money goes to work for you right away
Rule 12b-1 fees of 0.25%
Class R4 shares
No front-end or deferred sales charges; all your money goes to work for you right away
Rule 12b-1 fees of 0.15% (under the Rule 12b-1 plan, the distributor has the ability to collect 0.25%; however, the distributor has contractually agreed to waive 0.10% of these fees through September 30, 2024)
Class R5 shares
No front-end or deferred sales charges; all your money goes to work for you right away
No Rule 12b-1 fees
Class R6 shares
No front-end or deferred sales charges; all your money goes to work for you right away
No Rule 12b-1 fees
Rule 12b-1 fees
Rule 12b-1 fees will be paid to the fund’s distributor, John Hancock Investment Management Distributors LLC, and may be used by the distributor for expenses relating to the sale, distribution of, and shareholder or administrative services for holders of the shares of the class, and for the payment of service fees that come within Rule 2341 of the Conduct Rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Because Rule 12b-1 fees are paid out of the fund’s assets on an ongoing basis, over time they will increase the cost of your investment and may cost shareholders more than other types of sales charges.
Your broker-dealer or agent may charge you a fee to effect transactions in fund shares. Other share classes of the fund, which have their own expense structure, may be offered in separate prospectuses.
Class R service plan
In addition to the Rule 12b-1 plans, the fund has adopted service plans for Class R2, Class R4, and Class R5 shares that authorize the fund to pay affiliated and unaffiliated entities a service fee for providing certain recordkeeping and other administrative services in connection with investments in the fund by retirement plans. The service fee is a specified percentage of the average daily net assets of the fund’s share class held by plan participants and is up to 0.25% for Class R2 shares, 0.10% for Class R4 shares, and 0.05% for Class R5 shares.
24

Your account
The performance and expense information included in this prospectus does not reflect fees and expenses of any plan that may use a fund as its underlying investment option. If such fees and expenses had been reflected, performance would be lower.
Additional payments to financial intermediaries
Class A, Class C, Class R2, Class R4, and Class R5 shares of the fund are primarily sold through financial intermediaries, such as brokers, banks, registered investment advisors, financial planners, and retirement plan administrators. These firms may be compensated for selling shares of the fund in two principal ways:
directly, by the payment of sales commissions, if any; and
indirectly, as a result of the fund paying Rule 12b-1 fees.
Class I shares do not carry sales commissions or pay Rule 12b-1 fees. However, if you purchase Class I shares through a broker acting solely as an agent on behalf of its customers, you may be required to pay a commission to the broker.
No dealer compensation is paid from fund assets on sales of Class R6 shares. Class R6 shares do not carry sales commissions, pay Rule 12b-1 fees, or make payments to financial intermediaries to assist in the distributor’s efforts to promote the sale of the fund’s shares. Neither the fund nor its affiliates make any type of administrative or service payments in connection with investments in Class R6 shares.
Except with respect to Class R6 shares, certain firms may request, and the distributor may agree to make, payments in addition to sales commissions and Rule 12b-1 fees, if applicable, out of the distributor’s own resources.
These additional payments are sometimes referred to as revenue sharing. These payments assist in the distributor’s efforts to promote the sale of the fund’s shares. The distributor agrees with the firm on the methods for calculating any additional compensation, which may include the level of sales or assets attributable to the firm. Not all firms receive additional compensation, and the amount of compensation varies. These payments could be significant to a firm. The distributor determines which firms to support and the extent of the payments it is willing to make. The distributor generally chooses to compensate firms that have a strong capability to distribute shares of the fund and that are willing to cooperate with the distributor’s promotional efforts.
The distributor hopes to benefit from revenue sharing by increasing the fund’s net assets, which, as well as benefiting the fund, would result in additional management and other fees for the advisor and its affiliates. In consideration for revenue sharing, a firm may feature the fund in its sales system or give preferential access to members of its sales force or management. In addition, the firm may agree to participate in the distributor’s marketing efforts by allowing the distributor or its affiliates to participate in conferences, seminars, or other programs attended by the intermediary’s sales force. Although an intermediary may seek revenue-sharing payments to offset costs incurred by the firm in servicing its clients who have invested in the fund, the intermediary may earn a profit on these payments. Revenue-sharing payments may provide your firm with an incentive to favor the fund.
The SAI discusses the distributor’s revenue-sharing arrangements in more detail. Your intermediary may charge you additional fees other than those disclosed in this prospectus. You can ask your firm about any payments it receives from the distributor or the fund, as well as about fees and/or commissions it charges.
The distributor, advisor, and their affiliates may have other relationships with your firm relating to the provisions of services to the fund, such as providing omnibus account services, transaction-processing services, or effecting portfolio transactions for the fund. If your intermediary provides these services, the advisor or the fund may compensate the intermediary for these services. In addition, your intermediary may have other compensated relationships with the advisor or its affiliates that are not related to the fund.
How sales charges for Class A and Class C shares are calculated
Class A sales charges are as follows:
Your investment ($)
As a % of
offering price*
As a % of
your investment
Up to 99,999
4.00
4.17
100,000–249,999
3.50
3.63
250,000–499,999
2.50
2.56
500,000–999,999
2.00
2.04
1,000,000 and over
See below
 
*
Offering price is the net asset value per share plus any initial sales charge.
You may qualify for a reduced Class A sales charge if you own or are purchasing Class A, Class C, Class I, Class R2, Class R4, Class R5, or Class R6 shares of a John Hancock open-end mutual fund. To receive the reduced sales charge, you must tell your broker or financial professional at the time you purchase the fund’s Class A shares about any other John Hancock mutual funds held by you, your spouse, or your children under the age of 21. This includes investments held in an individual retirement account, in an employee benefit plan, or with a broker or financial professional other than the one handling your current purchase. John Hancock will credit the combined value, at the current offering price, of all eligible accounts to determine whether you qualify for a reduced sales charge on your current purchase. You may need to provide documentation for these accounts, such as an account statement. For more information about sales charges, reductions, and waivers, you may visit the fund’s website at jhinvestments.com, which includes hyperlinks to facilitate access to this information. You may also consult your broker or financial professional, or refer to the section entitled “Sales Charges on Class A and Class C Shares” in the fund’s SAI. You may request an SAI from your broker or financial professional by accessing the fund’s website at jhinvestments.com or by calling Signature Services at 800-225-5291.
Investments of $1 million or more
Class A shares are available with no front-end sales charge on investments of $1 million or more. There is a CDSC on any Class A shares upon which a commission or finder’s fee was paid that are sold within one year of purchase, as follows:
25

Your account
Class A deferred charges on investments of $1 million or more
Years after purchase
CDSC (%)
1st year
1.00
After 1st year
None
For purposes of this CDSC, all purchases made during a calendar month are counted as having been made on the first day of that month.
The CDSC is based on the lesser of the original purchase cost or the current market value of the shares being sold, and is not charged on shares you acquired by reinvesting your dividends. To keep your CDSC as low as possible, each time you place a request to sell shares, we will first sell any shares in your account that are not subject to a CDSC.
Class C shares
Shares are offered at their net asset value per share, without any initial sales charge.
A CDSC may be charged if a commission has been paid and you sell Class C shares within a certain time after you bought them, as described in the table below. There is no CDSC on shares acquired through reinvestment of dividends. The CDSC is based on the original purchase cost or the current market value of the shares being sold, whichever is less. The CDSC is as follows:
Class C deferred charges
Years after purchase
CDSC (%)
1st year
1.00
After 1st year
None
For purposes of this CDSC, all purchases made during a calendar month are counted as having been made on the first day of that month.
To keep your CDSC as low as possible, each time you place a request to sell shares, we will first sell any shares in your account that carry no CDSC.
Sales charge reductions and waivers
The availability of certain sales charge waivers and discounts will depend on whether you purchase your shares directly from the fund or through a financial intermediary. Intermediaries may have different policies and procedures regarding the availability of front-end sales charge waivers or CDSC waivers (See Appendix 1 - Intermediary sales charge waivers, which includes information about specific sales charge waivers applicable to the intermediaries identified therein).
Reducing your Class A sales charges
There are several ways you can combine multiple purchases of shares of John Hancock funds to take advantage of the breakpoints in the sales charge schedule. The first three ways can be combined in any manner.
Accumulation privilege—lets you add the value of any class of shares of any John Hancock open-end fund you already own to the amount of your next Class A investment for purposes of calculating the sales charge. However, Class A shares of money market funds will not qualify unless you have already paid a sales charge on those shares.
Letter of intention—lets you purchase Class A shares of a fund over a
13-month period and receive the same sales charge as if all shares had been purchased at once. You can use a letter of intention to qualify for reduced sales charges if you plan to invest at least to the first breakpoint level (generally $50,000 or $100,000 depending on the specific fund) in a John Hancock fund’s Class A shares during the next 13 months. Completing a letter of intention does not obligate you to purchase additional shares. However, if you do not buy enough shares to qualify for the lower sales charges by the earlier of the end of the 13-month period or when you sell your shares, your sales charges will be recalculated to reflect your actual amount purchased. It is your responsibility to tell John Hancock Signature Services Inc. or your financial professional when you believe you have purchased shares totaling an amount eligible for reduced sales charges, as stated in your letter of intention. Further information is provided in the SAI.
Combination privilege—lets you combine shares of all funds for purposes of calculating the Class A sales charge.
To utilize any reduction, you must complete the appropriate section of your application, or contact your financial professional or Signature Services. Consult the SAI for additional details (see the back cover of this prospectus).
Group investment program
A group may be treated as a single purchaser under the accumulation and combination privileges. Each investor has an individual account, but the group’s investments are lumped together for sales charge purposes, making the investors potentially eligible for reduced sales charges. There is no charge or obligation to invest (although initial investments per account opened must satisfy minimum initial investment requirements specified in the section entitled “Opening an account”), and individual investors may close their accounts at any time.
To utilize this program, you must contact your financial professional or Signature Services to find out how to qualify. Consult the SAI for additional details (see the back cover of this prospectus).
CDSC waivers
As long as Signature Services is notified at the time you sell, any CDSC for Class A or Class C shares will be waived in the following cases, as applicable:
to make payments through certain systematic withdrawal plans
redemptions pursuant to the fund’s right to liquidate an account that is below the minimum account value stated below in “Dividends and account policies,” under the subsection “Small accounts”
redemptions of Class A shares by a group retirement plan that continues to offer the same or another John Hancock mutual fund as an investment to its participants
redemptions made under certain liquidation, merger or acquisition transactions involving other investment companies or personal holding companies
to make certain distributions from a retirement plan
because of shareholder death or disability
rollovers, contract exchanges, or transfers of John Hancock custodial 403(b)(7) account assets required by John Hancock as a result of its decision to discontinue maintaining and administering 403(b)(7) accounts
26

Your account
To utilize a waiver, you must contact your financial professional or Signature Services. Consult the SAI for additional details (see the back cover of this prospectus). Please note, these waivers are distinct from those described in Appendix 1, “Intermediary sales charge waivers.”
Reinstatement privilege
If you sell shares of a John Hancock fund, you may reinvest some or all of the proceeds back into the same share class of the same fund and account from which it was removed, within 120 days without a sales charge, subject to fund minimums, as long as Signature Services or your financial professional is notified before you reinvest. If you paid a CDSC when you sold your shares, you will be credited with the amount of the CDSC. Consult the SAI for additional details.
To utilize this privilege, you must contact your financial professional or Signature Services. Consult the SAI for additional details (see the back cover of this prospectus).
Waivers for certain investors
Class A shares may be offered without front-end sales charges or CDSCs to the following individuals and institutions:
Selling brokers and their employees and sales representatives (and their Immediate Family, as defined in the SAI)
Financial intermediaries utilizing fund shares in eligible retirement platforms, fee-based, or wrap investment products
Financial intermediaries who offer shares to self-directed investment brokerage accounts that may or may not charge a transaction fee to their customers
Fund Trustees and other individuals who are affiliated with these or other John Hancock funds, including employees of John Hancock companies or Manulife Financial Corporation (and their Immediate Family, as defined in the SAI)
Individuals exchanging shares held in an eligible fee-based program for Class A shares, provided however, subsequent purchases in Class A shares will be subject to applicable sales charges
Individuals transferring assets held in a SIMPLE IRA, SEP, or SARSEP invested in John Hancock funds directly to an IRA
Individuals converting assets held in an IRA, SIMPLE IRA, SEP, or SARSEP invested in John Hancock funds directly to a Roth IRA
Individuals recharacterizing assets from an IRA, Roth IRA, SEP, SARSEP, or SIMPLE IRA invested in John Hancock funds back to the original account type from which they were converted
Participants in group retirement plans that are eligible and permitted to purchase Class A shares as described in the “Choosing an eligible share class” section above. This waiver is contingent upon the group retirement plan being in a recordkeeping arrangement and does not apply to group retirement plans transacting business with the fund through a brokerage relationship in which sales charges are customarily imposed, unless such brokerage relationship qualifies for a sales charge waiver as described. In addition, this waiver does not apply to a group retirement plan that leaves its current recordkeeping arrangement and subsequently transacts business with the fund through a brokerage relationship in which sales charges are customarily imposed. Whether a sales charge waiver is available to your group retirement plan through its record keeper depends upon
the policies and procedures of your intermediary. Please consult your financial professional for further information
Terminating participants in a pension, profit-sharing, or other plan qualified under Section 401(a) of the Code, or described in Section 457(b) of the Code, (i) that is funded by certain John Hancock group annuity contracts, (ii) for which John Hancock Trust Company serves as trustee or custodian, or (iii) the trustee or custodian of which has retained John Hancock Retirement Plan Services (“RPS”) as a service provider, rolling over assets (directly or within 60 days after distribution) from such a plan (or from a John Hancock Managed IRA or John Hancock Annuities IRA into which such assets have already been rolled over) to a John Hancock custodial IRA or John Hancock custodial Roth IRA that invests in John Hancock funds, or the subsequent establishment of or any rollover into a new John Hancock fund account by such terminating participants and/or their Immediate Family (as defined in the SAI), including subsequent investments into such accounts, and that are held directly at John Hancock funds or at the John Hancock Personal Financial Services (“PFS”) Financial Center
Participants in a terminating pension, profit-sharing, or other plan qualified under Section 401(a) of the Code, or described in Section 457(b) of the Code (the assets of which, immediately prior to such plan’s termination, were (a) held in certain John Hancock group annuity contracts, (b) in trust or custody by John Hancock Trust Company, or (c) by a trustee or custodian which has retained John Hancock RPS as a service provider, but have been transferred from such contracts or trust funds and are held either: (i) in trust by a distribution processing organization; or (ii) in a custodial IRA or custodial Roth IRA sponsored by an authorized third-party trust company and made available through John Hancock), rolling over assets (directly or within 60 days after distribution) from such a plan to a John Hancock custodial IRA or John Hancock custodial Roth IRA that invests in John Hancock funds, or the subsequent establishment of or any rollover into a new John Hancock fund account by such participants and/or their Immediate Family (as defined in the SAI), including subsequent investments into such accounts, and that are held directly at John Hancock funds or at the PFS Financial Center
Participants actively enrolled in a John Hancock RPS plan account (or an account the trustee of which has retained John Hancock RPS as a service provider) rolling over or transferring assets into a new John Hancock custodial IRA or John Hancock custodial Roth IRA that invests in John Hancock funds through John Hancock PFS (to the extent such assets are otherwise prohibited from rolling over or transferring into such participant’s John Hancock RPS plan account), including subsequent investments into such accounts, and that are held directly at John Hancock funds or at the John Hancock PFS Financial Center
Individuals rolling over assets held in a John Hancock custodial 403(b)(7) account into a John Hancock custodial IRA account
Former employees/associates of John Hancock, its affiliates, or agencies rolling over (directly or indirectly within 60 days after distribution) to a new John Hancock custodial IRA or John Hancock custodial Roth IRA from the John Hancock Employee Investment-Incentive Plan (TIP), John Hancock Savings Investment Plan (SIP), or the John Hancock Pension Plan, and such participants and their Immediate Family (as defined in the SAI) subsequently establishing or rolling over assets into a new John Hancock account through the John Hancock PFS Group, including subsequent investments into such accounts, and that are held directly at John Hancock funds or at the John Hancock PFS Financial Center
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Your account
A member of a class action lawsuit against insurance companies who is investing settlement proceeds
To utilize a waiver, you must contact your financial professional or Signature Services. Consult the SAI for additional details (see the back cover of this prospectus). Please note, these waivers are distinct from those described in Appendix 1, “Intermediary sales charge waivers.”
Other waivers
Front-end sales charges and CDSCs are not imposed in connection with the following transactions:
Exchanges from one John Hancock fund to the same class of any other John Hancock fund (see “Transaction policies” in this prospectus for additional details)
Dividend reinvestments (see “Dividends and account policies” in this prospectus for additional details)
In addition, the availability of certain sales charge waivers and discounts will depend on whether you purchase your shares directly from the fund or through a financial intermediary. Intermediaries may have different policies and procedures regarding the availability of front-end sales charge waivers or CDSC waivers (See Appendix 1 - Intermediary sales charge waivers, which includes information about specific sales charge waivers applicable to the intermediaries identified therein). In all instances, it is the purchaser’s responsibility to notify the fund or the purchaser’s financial intermediary at the time of purchase of any relationship or other facts qualifying the purchaser for sales charge waivers or discounts. For waivers and discounts not available through a particular intermediary, shareholders will have to purchase fund shares directly from the fund or through another intermediary to receive these waivers or discounts.
Opening an account
1
Read this prospectus carefully.
2
Determine if you are eligible by referring to “Choosing an eligible share class.”
3
Determine how much you want to invest. There is no minimum initial investment to purchase Class R2, Class R4, or Class R5 shares. The minimum initial investments for Class A, Class C, Class I, and Class R6 shares are described below. There are no subsequent minimum investment requirements for these share classes.
Share Class
Minimum initial investment
Class A and Class C
$1,000 ($250 for group investments). However, there is
no minimum initial investment for certain group
retirement plans using salary deduction or similar group
methods of payment, for fee-based or wrap accounts of
selling firms that have executed a fee-based or wrap
agreement with the distributor, or for certain other
eligible investment product platforms.
Share Class
Minimum initial investment
Class I
$250,000. However, the minimum initial investment
requirement may be waived, at the fund’s sole discretion,
for investors in certain fee-based, wrap, or other
investment platform programs, or in certain brokerage
platforms where the intermediary is acting solely as an
agent for the investor. The fund also may waive the
minimum initial investment for other categories of
investors at its discretion, including for Trustees,
employees of the advisor or its affiliates, employees of
the subadvisor, members of the fund’s portfolio
management team and the spouses and children (under
age 21) of the aforementioned.
Class R6
$1 million. However, there is no minimum initial
investment requirement for: (i) qualified and
nonqualified plan investors; (ii) certain eligible qualifying
investment product platforms; or (iii) Trustees,
employees of the advisor or its affiliates, employees of
the subadvisor, members of the fund’s portfolio
management team and the spouses and children (under
age 21) of the aforementioned.
4
All Class A, Class C, Class I, and Class R6 shareholders must complete the account application, carefully following the instructions. If you have any questions, please contact your financial professional or call Signature Services at 800-225-5291 for Class A and Class C shares or 888-972-8696 for Class I and Class R6 shares.
5
Eligible retirement plans generally may open an account and purchase Class R2, Class R4, or Class R5 shares by contacting any broker-dealer or other financial service firm authorized to sell Class R2, Class R4, or Class R5 shares of the fund. Additional shares may be purchased through a retirement plan’s administrator or recordkeeper.
6
For Class A and Class C shares, complete the appropriate parts of the account privileges application. By applying for privileges now, you can avoid the delay and inconvenience of having to file an additional application if you want to add privileges later.
7
For Class A, Class C, Class I, and Class R6 shares, make your initial investment using the instructions under “Buying shares.” You and your financial professional can initiate any purchase, exchange, or sale of shares.
Important information about opening a new account
To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act) requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person or entity that opens an account.
For individual investors opening an account. When you open an account, you will be asked for your name, residential address, date of birth, and Social Security number.
For investors other than individuals. When you open an account, you will be asked for the name of the entity, its principal place of business, and taxpayer identification number (TIN), and you may be requested to provide information on persons with authority or control over the account, including, but not limited to, name, residential address, date of
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Your account
birth, and Social Security number. You may also be asked to provide documents, such as articles of incorporation, trust instruments, or partnership agreements, and other information that will help Signature Services identify the entity. Please see the mutual fund account application for more details.
Information for plan participants
Plan participants generally must contact their plan service provider to purchase, redeem, or exchange shares. The administrator of a retirement plan or employee benefits office can provide participants with detailed information on how to participate in the plan, elect a fund as an investment option, elect different investment options, alter the amounts contributed to the plan, or change allocations among investment options. For questions about participant accounts, participants should contact their employee benefits office, the plan administrator, or the organization that provides recordkeeping services for the plan.
Financial service firms may provide some of the shareholder servicing and account maintenance services required by retirement plan accounts and their plan participants, including transfers of registration, dividend payee changes, and generation of confirmation statements, and may arrange for plan administrators to provide other investment or administrative services. Financial service firms may charge retirement plans and plan participants transaction fees and/or other additional amounts for such services. Similarly, retirement plans may charge plan participants for certain expenses. These fees and additional amounts could reduce an investment return in the fund.
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Your account
Buying shares
Class A and Class C shares
Opening an account
Adding to an account
By check
Make out a check for the investment amount, payable to “John Hancock
Signature Services, Inc.”
Deliver the check and your completed application to your financial
professional or mail them to Signature Services (address below).
Make out a check for the investment amount, payable to “John Hancock
Signature Services, Inc.”
Include a note specifying the fund name, the share class, your account
number, and the name(s) in which the account is registered.
Deliver the check and your investment slip or note to your financial
professional, or mail them to Signature Services (address below).
By exchange
Call your financial professional or Signature Services to request an
exchange.
Log on to the website below to process exchanges between funds.
Call EASI-Line for automated service.
Call your financial professional or Signature Services to request an
exchange.
By wire
Deliver your completed application to your financial professional or
mail it to Signature Services.
Obtain your account number by calling your financial professional or
Signature Services.
Obtain wiring instructions by calling Signature Services.
Instruct your bank to wire the amount of your investment. Specify the
fund name, the share class, your account number, and the name(s) in
which the account is registered. Your bank may charge a fee to wire
funds.
Obtain wiring instructions by calling Signature Services.
Instruct your bank to wire the amount of your investment. Specify the
fund name, the share class, your account number, and the name(s) in
which the account is registered. Your bank may charge a fee to wire
funds.
By internet
See “By exchange” and “By wire.”
Verify that your bank or credit union is a member of the Automated
Clearing House (ACH) system.
Complete the “Bank information” section on your account application.
Log on to the website below to initiate purchases using your authorized
bank account.
By phone
See “By exchange” and “By wire.”
Verify that your bank or credit union is a member of the ACH system.
Complete the “To purchase, exchange, or redeem shares via telephone”
and “Bank information” sections on your account application.
Call EASI-Line for automated service.
Call your financial professional or call Signature Services between
8:00a.m. and 7:00p.m., Monday–Thursday, and on Friday, between
8:00a.m. and 6:00p.m., Eastern time.
To add to an account using the Monthly Automatic Accumulation Program,
see “Additional investor services.”
Regular mail
Express delivery
Website
EASI-Line
Signature Services, Inc.
John Hancock Signature
Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 219909
Kansas City, MO 64121-9909
John Hancock Signature
Services, Inc.
430 W 7th Street
Suite 219909
Kansas City, MO 64105-1407
jhinvestments.com
(24/7 automated service)
800-338-8080
800-225-5291
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Your account
Buying shares
Class I shares
Opening an account
Adding to an account
By check
Make out a check for the investment amount, payable to “John Hancock
Signature Services, Inc.”
Deliver the check and your completed application to your financial
professional or mail them to Signature Services (address below).
Make out a check for the investment amount, payable to “John Hancock
Signature Services, Inc.”
Include a note specifying the fund name, the share class, your account
number, and the name(s) in which the account is registered.
Deliver the check and your investment slip or note to your financial
professional, or mail them to Signature Services (address below).
By exchange
Call your financial professional or Signature Services to request an
exchange.
Log on to the website below to process exchanges between funds.
You may exchange Class I shares for other Class I shares or John
Hancock Money Market Fund Class A shares.
Call your financial professional or Signature Services to request an
exchange.
By wire
Deliver your completed application to your financial professional or
mail it to Signature Services.
Obtain your account number by calling your financial professional or
Signature Services.
Obtain wiring instructions by calling Signature Services.
Instruct your bank to wire the amount of your investment. Specify the
fund name, the share class, your account number, and the name(s) in
which the account is registered. Your bank may charge a fee to wire
funds.
Obtain wiring instructions by calling Signature Services.
Instruct your bank to wire the amount of your investment. Specify the
fund name, the share class, your account number, and the name(s) in
which the account is registered. Your bank may charge a fee to wire
funds.
By internet
See “By exchange” and “By wire.”
Verify that your bank or credit union is a member of the Automated
Clearing House (ACH) system.
Complete the “Bank information” section on your account application.
Log on to the website below to initiate purchases using your authorized
bank account.
By phone
See “By exchange” and “By wire.”
Verify that your bank or credit union is a member of the ACH system.
Complete the “To purchase, exchange, or redeem shares via telephone”
and “Bank information” sections on your account application.
Call your financial professional or call Signature Services between
8:30a.m. and 5:00p.m., Eastern time, on most business days.
Regular mail
Express delivery