Microsoft Corp. branded shirts sit on display for sale at the company's flagship store in New York, U.S., on Saturday, July 14, 2018. Microsoft Corp. is scheduled to release earnings figures on July 19. Photographer: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg (Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/BB)

Some financial gurus may beat up on annuities in interviews, and in ads, but BlackRock seems to like annuities.

BlackRock, emphasized in the recent announcement of its retirement security system alliance with Microsoft that the system will offer workers help with lifetime income solutions.

(Related: Microsoft, BlackRock Partnering on Retirement Platform)

BlackRock and Microsoft said they will use artificial intelligence and other tools to develop an online retirement savings and income planning system for consumers.

The companies said they hope to make the system available to workers at the workplace,  through 401(k) plans or other savings plans, along with “next-generation investment products” that BlackRock will design and manage.

The idea of building retirement plan participant engagement has been popular this year, and BlackRock and Microsoft also said the new platform will get people to engage with their retirement assets regularly, so they have a clear picture of what kind of retirement income the assets might generate.

BlackRock does not currently offer annuities, but it has a page on its website with the title “What is an Annuity?” that discusses the uses of annuities. The BlackRock discussion of annuities is available here.

Allianz Life and Transamerica are two examples of life insurers that offer variable product investment options with BlackRock in the investment option name.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article described BlackRock’s product offerings incorrectly. BlackRock does not offer annuities.

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