The Personal Pension is a monthly retirement paycheck that offers you a guaranteed and consistent stream of income during your retirement years that lasts as long as you do. It’s the next best thing after an employer pension.
Retirement income is the “salary” you receive once retired. The traditional sources of retirement income are Social Security and pensions, both of which are guaranteed to last for life. Annuities provide supplemental guaranteed retirement income. In addition, you can generate retirement income (that isn’t guaranteed) by withdrawing from the assets you accumulated over time (think 401(k), brokerage and savings accounts).
The average American is living longer, which means that your savings have to last longer too. At the same time, the decline of pensions has made it harder to be financially prepared for retirement. Preparing for retirement with just savings exposes you to market volatility and risks, i.e. your investments might lose value and/or you might live longer than you expect. Guaranteed retirement income — like pensions and annuities — mitigates both of these risks.
Both the Personal Pension and a traditional income annuity guarantee lifetime retirement income, but there are some key differences between the two.
Similar to a traditional income annuity, the Personal Pension is a contract between you and an insurance company where the money they promise to pay you is not only guaranteed, but is given to you for the rest of your life. Unlike any market investment, annuities provide longevity protection so you don’t outlive your savings.
The Personal Pension requires a $5,000 starting contribution. That $5,000 turns into a future guaranteed retirement paycheck at a rate based on your gender, age, and when you want your pension to start. You can continue to contribute voluntarily, with as little as $100 a month. You can change your contribution size and schedule whenever you want.
Your 401(k) and Personal Pension will play complementary roles. Your Personal Pension is meant to cover all of your fixed expenses once you’re retired; think shelter, food, transportation and – let’s be honest – your cell phone. These expenses are life’s basics. In a small number of instances, the money you’ll receive from Social Security is enough to cover these fixed expenses, but in most cases it’s not. Assets in your 401(k) can then be used for discretionary expenses; think vacations, grandkids, or hobbies. Admittedly, this is the fun stuff. We want to be fun. But when it comes to retirement, we also want to be certain.
401(k) and IRA accounts are ways to invest in the market and accumulate wealth for retirement. The amount you’ll have at retirement depends on what you put in and how the market performs (i.e. its cumulative gains and losses). At retirement, you’ll start spending the money you saved, hopefully with the right budgeting so you don’t run out.
A Personal Pension, on the other hand, generates an infinite amount of guaranteed monthly income that lasts as long as you do. Instead of being invested in the market, the Personal Pension is a portfolio of income annuities guaranteed by life insurance companies. It’s a way to prepare for retirement without worrying about market risk or how long you’ll live.
The Personal Pension may be right for you if:
Our 6-part online enrollment takes approximately 10 minutes to fill out. The information collected is only provided to the insurance companies backing your Personal Pension and is 100% confidential. After submitting the online enrollment, a member of our team will follow up with the official insurance company paperwork for you to sign.
We recommend having the following information available to complete your application:
During the enrollment process you will choose the source of funds for your Personal Pension. Your options include: savings, checking, or brokerage accounts, as well as your Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or Rollover 401(k) accounts. Using post-tax money will create a standard non-qualified Personal Pension. Using pre-tax money will create a qualified Personal Pension. Please refer to the tax section below for how this can affect your future income payments.
The paperwork we provide the insurance company includes a “request for transfer” form. This form is then sent from the insurance company to the financial institution holding your money, which initiates a transfer from your account to the insurance company. This process takes 2-4 weeks.
In addition, if you’re planning future, automated contributions, your paperwork will include an authorization form to make those contributions happen automatically.
After your starting contribution you can contribute as little as $100 on a flexible schedule that suits your needs.
Yes, you can modify or cancel any scheduled contribution 2 or more weeks in advance.
Your Dashboard will show your saving progress. It will also show your upcoming contribution schedule.
You won’t be able to make withdrawals from your Personal Pension like you would with a savings account. In that way, it’s more like a pension. Once you begin receiving income payments, some insurance companies will offer some level of extra liquidity, which is most commonly in the form of an option to accelerate upcoming income payments.
There are no upfront or ongoing fees for the Personal Pension. All of the expenses incurred by the insurance company, including the distribution fee paid to us, are reflected in the size of the retirement paycheck they can offer. There are no future or recurring fees associated with your account.
Yes! When you customize your Personal Pension, you can choose to for it to cover both you and your spouse. That means that you’ll receive income payments as long as either of you are alive. You also have the option to reduce the income generated upon the passing of the first spouse, which will allow for more income while both spouse are alive.
There are three kinds of Personal Pensions: a Traditional IRA Personal Pension, a Roth IRA Personal Pension, and a standard (non-qualified) Personal Pension. They differ in where the money you use to fund your Personal Pension comes from and the the taxes you pay once you start receiving your monthly paycheck.
If you have an existing IRA or 401(k) Rollover that you would like to transfer to something guaranteed, then it makes sense to fund it with that pre-tax money. If you haven’t maxed out your IRA for the year, then you can apply those limits to your Personal Pension and fund it pre-tax. Otherwise, if you want to save even more than what’s allowed pre-tax, then the Personal Pension is a great post-tax retirement plan.
Your Personal Pension is not a typical investment. It’s a member of the fixed income family, like bonds, but does not have a maturity date. Instead, your Personal Pension will generate income for as long as you’re alive. Living until your life expectancy will generally produce a return comparable to a long-term A-rated bond. The longer you live, the higher your effective return will be, and vice versa.
When you contribute to your Personal Pension you are giving the insurance companies small increments of money that they invest on your behalf. Because the insurance companies are using your money to invest, the interest rate at the time of this transaction determines the insurance company’s cost of borrowing. The higher the interest rate at the time, the higher the return you receive for giving the insurance company money.
With the Personal Pension you start small and make contributions over time. For every contribution you make, your Personal Pension purchases you a small income annuity at the best rates available. This way, you can benefit from higher rates starting at a younger age and still have the ability to capture rate increases with future contributions. At the end, your Personal Pension provides you a diversified portfolio of income annuities that will generate guaranteed, lifelong income.
You don’t pay us, the insurance companies do! Blueprint Income is paid 1-5% of the income annuities purchased in your Personal Pension.
Insurance companies collect financial information, such as your income, expenses, assets, and net worth, from those interested in purchasing annuities. They use this information to ensure that an annuity makes financial sense for someone. Specifically, since it is illiquid, the insurers want to see that individuals have enough liquid assets outside of those being used to fund the annuity.
The taxes you’ll pay on Personal Pension income depend on how you funded your Personal Pension. If it’s funded as a Traditional IRA, income payments will be fully taxable at ordinary income rates. If you funded it as a Roth IRA, no taxes will be owed. If you funded it with regular after-tax savings, then you’ll only owe taxes on the “gain” in the pension.
The Personal Pension does not have any cash value, which means you can’t surrender or withdraw from it. It is made up of income annuities that, unlike investment annuities, offer only a guaranteed lifelong retirement income. Because you can’t surrender or withdraw your money, insurance companies are able to offer better rates.
Your Personal Pension is 100% backed by insurance companies. As such, you are guaranteed the income generated by the contributions you’ve made independent of our existence.
Blueprint Income is currently located in the Financial District of New York City. We serve clients all over the United States.
Blueprint Income was founded by three Wharton Business School classmates: Matt Carey, Nimish Shukla, and Adam Colombo. Matt came up with the idea for Blueprint Income during his time at the U.S. Treasury, where he advised senior U.S. officials on the future of retirement. Prior to Blueprint Income, Nimish spent time advising companies on M&A, capital markets and financing transactions at Stifel Bank. While working at PayPal and BlackRock, Adam saw how he could apply his engineering skills could help solve big societal challenges. Check out their full bios here!