John Hancock Hedged Equity & Income Fund Required Notice To Shareholders - Sources Of Distribution Under Section 19(a)

  John Hancock Hedged Equity & Income Fund Required Notice To Shareholders -
                 Sources Of Distribution Under Section 19(a)

PR Newswire

BOSTON, Dec. 31, 2012

BOSTON, Dec. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --John Hancock Hedged Equity & Income Fund
(NYSE: HEQ) (the "Fund"), a closed-end fund managed by John Hancock Advisers,
LLC (the "Adviser"), and subadvised by Wellington Management Company, LLP (the
"Subadviser"), announced today sources of its quarterly distribution of
$0.3230 per share payable today to all shareholders of record as of December
13, 2012. This press release is issued as required by the exemptive order
received from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

This notice provides shareholders of the John Hancock Hedged Equity & Income
Fund (NYSE: HEQ) with important information concerning the distribution
declared on December 3, 2012 and payable on December 31, 2012. No action is
required on your part.

Distribution Period:
December 2012

Distribution Amount Per Common Share:

The following table sets forth the estimated sources of the current
distribution, payable December 31, 2012, and the cumulative distributions paid
this fiscal year to date from the following sources: net investment income;
net realized short term capital gains; net realized long term capital gains;
and return of capital or other capital source. All amounts are expressed on a
per common share basis and as a percentage of the distribution amount.

                                                Total           %
                                 % Breakdown    Cumulative      Breakdown
                 Current         of the         Distributions   of the Total
Source           Distribution    Current        for the Fiscal  Cumulative
                 ($)             Distribution   Year to Date    Distributions
                                                ($)^1           for the Fiscal
                                                                Year to Date^1
Net Investment   0.0517          16%            0.0517          16%
Net Realized
Term        0.0775          24%            0.0775          24%
Net Realized
Term        0.0775          24%            0.0775          24%
Return of
or Other    0.1163          36%            0.1163
Capital                                                         36%
Total per
common          0.3230          100%           0.3230          100%
Average annual total return (in relation to NAV) for the
period commencing on May 26, 2011 and ending on November 30,    2.13%
Annualized current distribution rate expressed as a percentage  7.27%
of NAV as of November 30, 2012
Cumulative total return (in relation to NAV) for the fiscal     1.02%
year through November 30, 2012
Cumulative fiscal year to date distribution rate expressed as   1.82%
a percentage of NAV as of November 30, 2012
^1 The Fund's current fiscal year began on November 1, 2012, and will end on
December 31, 2012 due to a change in fiscal year end from October 31 to
December 31.

You should not draw any conclusions about the Fund's investment performance
from the amount of this distribution or from the terms of the Fund's managed
distribution plan.

The Fund estimates that it has distributed more than its income and net
realized capital gains; therefore, a portion of your distribution may be a
return of capital. A return of capital may occur, for example, when some or
all of the money that you invested in the Fund is paid back to you. A return
of capital distribution does not necessarily reflect the Fund's investment
performance and should not be confused with "yield" or "income."

The amounts and sources of distributions reported in this Notice are only
estimates and are not being provided for tax reporting purposes. The actual
amounts and sources of the amounts for tax reporting purposes will depend upon
the Fund's investment experience during the remainder of its fiscal year and
may be subject to changes based on tax regulations. The Fund will send you a
Form 1099-DIV for the calendar year that will tell you how to report these
distributions for federal income tax purposes.

The Fund has declared this distribution pursuant to the Fund's managed
distribution plan (the "Plan"). Under the amended Plan, the Fund will make a
quarterly distribution of an amount equal to $0.3230 per share, based upon an
annual distribution rate of 7.25% of the Fund's net asset value ("NAV") of
$17.82 on July 31, 2012 (representing a quarterly distribution rate of 1.8125%
of the Fund's July 31, 2012 NAV). The amount will be paid quarterly until
further notice.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact your
financial professional or call the John Hancock Funds Closed-End Fund
Information Line at 1-800-843-0090, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m.
and 7:00 p.m., Eastern Time.

Statements in this press release that are not historical facts are
forward-looking statements as defined by the United States securities laws.
You should exercise caution in interpreting and relying on forward-looking
statements because they are subject to uncertainties and other factors which
are, in some cases, beyond the Fund's control and could cause actual results
to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

An investor should consider a Fund's investment objectives, risks, charges and
expenses carefully before investing.

Wellington Management Company, LLP is an independent and unaffiliated
investment sub-adviser to John Hancock Funds.

About John Hancock Funds
The Boston-based mutual fund business unit of John Hancock Financial, John
Hancock Funds, manages more than $77.9 billion in open-end funds, closed-end
funds, private accounts, retirement plans and related party assets for
individual and institutional investors at September 30, 2012.

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial Corporation
John Hancock Financial is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading
Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 22
countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada
and in most of Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States,
Manulife Financial Corporation offers clients a diverse range of financial
protection products and wealth management services through its extensive
network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management
by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$515 billion (US$523
billion) at September 30, 2012.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and
under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at

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

SOURCE John Hancock Funds

Contact: Jay Aronowitz, +1-617-663-2702, Investor Contact: 1-800-843-0090
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