Hearing Scheduled for December 9, 2005

Pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 175, §206B, an application has been made to the Massachusetts Commissioner of Insurance (the "Commissioner") by the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (the "Applicant") for approval of a proposal to acquire control of Allmerica Financial Life Insurance and Annuity Company (the "Insurer"), a Massachusetts insurance company and wholly owned subsidiary of Allmerica Financial Corporation (whose name, effective December 1, 2005, will be changed to The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc.). The Applicant, a Delaware corporation, proposes to acquire control of the Insurer by purchasing 100% of the capital stock of the Insurer, thus resulting in the Insurer becoming a directly-owned subsidiary of the Applicant.

The Commissioner will conduct a public hearing pursuant to M.G.L. c. 175, §206B, to determine whether to approve the proposed acquisition of control. The hearing will commence on December 9, 2005, at 10:00 a.m. at the Division of Insurance, 5th Floor, One South Station, Boston, Massachusetts, 02110. Documents filed in connection with this proposed acquisition of control are available for public inspection at the Division of Insurance, 5th Floor, One South Station, Boston, Massachusetts, 02110.

The purpose of this public hearing is to afford those persons identified in M.G.L. c. 175, §206B(d)(2) the opportunity to present evidence, to examine and cross-examine witnesses, to offer oral and written argument and, in connection therewith, to conduct discovery proceedings in the same manner as in the Superior Court Department of the Trial Court. Any discovery proceedings shall be concluded no later than three days prior to the commencement of the hearing.

Any such persons who wish to testify or to participate in the public hearing may do so by submitting a Notice of Intent to Participate ("Notice of Intent") no later than December 2, 2005. The Notice of Intent must specify the basis for the asserted interest in the proposed acquisition of control, if applicable, as well as whether the person intends to make an oral statement, present evidence or cross examine witnesses.

If the Commissioner determines that a person's interest may be affected by the proposed acquisition of control, that person may participate at the hearing following presentations by the Applicant and the Insurer, and before any other persons the Commissioner may recognize at the hearing. The length of any oral statements, presentations of evidence or examinations of witnesses may be limited at the discretion of the Commissioner. Written argument may be submitted at any time prior to the conclusion of the hearing.

All submissions, including the written Notice of Intent, must be sent to: Docket Clerk, Hearings and Appeals, Division of Insurance, One South Station, Boston, MA 02110-2208, and must refer to Docket No. F2005-01.

November 18, 2005

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Julianne M. Bowler
Commissioner of Insurance