The Insured Retirement Institute is using its 2010 National Retirement Planning Week campaign to spread the idea of putting annuities and other sources of guaranteed income at the base of a “retirement pyramid.”

The IRI, Washington, a group that represents the annuity industry, kicked off the NRP Week campaign today.

The new IRI Retirement Planning Pyramid concept, designed for use by consumers and financial professionals, suggests that consumers should include annuities at the base of the retirement savings period, along with Social Security benefits and defined benefit pension income.

The IRI puts real estate, 401(k) plans, individual retirement accounts and more income from annuities in a second, “long-term assets” tier, and life insurance, health insurance, long term care insurance and Medicare in a third, “insurance” tier near the top.

The top tier, dubbed “investments,” may include stocks, bonds, mutual funds and bank certificates of deposits, according to the IRI.