Microsoft and BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, are coming together in a new partnership focused on changing how people plan and save for retirement.
A press release on the alliance was short on details of how the two firms are going to attack a major potential crisis with current and future generations staring down retirement age with little to no savings. Microsoft cites the upended pension system, and a shift in responsibility of planning and saving for retirement from companies to people, plus longer life spans, as part of the problem.
“Today millions of Americans are struggling to achieve their financial goals for retirement,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. “Together with BlackRock we will apply the power of the cloud and AI to introduce new solutions that address this important challenge and reimagine retirement planning.”
The goal of the alliance is to find ways for people to interact with their retirement assets more, so that they know what kinds of contributions they need to make. BlackRock will design and manage a suite of next-generation investment tools that aim to provide “a lifetime of income in retirement and would be made available to U.S. workers through their employers’ workplace savings plan,” according to the press release.
It is unclear exactly what role Microsoft will play in the deal, but based on Nadella statement it’s a safe bet that BlackRock’s new products will run on Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. The Wall Street Journal notes that the companies could explore mobile apps that reward thrifty behavior and offer financial literacy information through apps as well.
The genesis of the deal dates back to May, when Nadella and BlackRock CEO Laurence Fink talked about how their companies could help alleviate the looming possibility of generations of people entering retirement age with declining financial resources, per WSJ.