Willis Johnson & Associates is not endorsed by nor affiliated with BP

Financial Planning for BP Employees 

As a professional at BP, you probably have several lingering questions about your plans and benefits. By coordinating company benefits with your outside assets, we help you understand each offering to maximize your benefits and achieve your personal financial goals.

Save More Using BP’s 401(k)

BP's Employee Savings Plan
Whether retirement is off in the distant future or right around the corner, you want to ensure you save in the most tax-efficient manner for you and your family. Our team of advisors helps you get the most from both pre-tax and after-tax savings in your Employee Savings Plan. BP employees must understand how the math behind BP’s 401(k) contributions works. Understanding the nuances, we help BP professionals leave little or no company money on the table and find it in their pocket instead.

We utilize portfolio tracking software alongside our monitoring of our BP client’s ESP to provide comprehensive advice and management on all of their financial assets. Our integrated team of financial planners and investment professionals collaborate to create a tailored financial plan and investment plan to help you reach your long-term goals.

How we help BP Professionals with their Employee Savings Plan:

  • Annually convert after-tax money from the 401(k) to a Roth IRA, which allows for tax-free growth
  • Optimize savings to receive the full 7 percent company match per paycheck and not just a portion of it
  • Coordinate annual backdoor Roth contributions in conjunction with your workplace savings to get tax-free growth on your contributions for life
  • Monitor investment performance and implement investment, savings, and tax-minimization strategies tailored to your long-term goals
  • Actively manage investment funds using strategies based on Nobel Laureate research—no more passive set-and-forget approaches to savings and investments
  • Access to additional funds through Fidelity Brokeragelink® accounts to coordinate your 401(k) with non-company or outside assets

Retirement is about more than just 401(k) contributions. Our integrated team of advisors and investment experts work with you to tailor your various benefits and asset allocations to you.

Learn More About Maxing Out Your Employee Savings Plan or get your questions answered in a complimentary meeting with one of our BP experts >>

BP’s Excess Compensation Savings Plan
For many of BP’s high-income professionals, BP offers deferred compensation plans known as the BP Excess Compensation Savings Plan (ECP) and the Excess Benefit Plan (EBP). Deferred compensation plans like these can have significant tax ramifications when they payout, so it's crucial to appropriately time your retirement to maximize the benefit's after-tax value. BP allows employees to elect a distribution schedule for these contributions in the year they’re made. It’s crucial to take a comprehensive look at several factors to ultimately determine your lowest tax years and elect distributions accordingly so that they pay out in these years.

Leveraging BP Share Plans

Are you a grade employee with minimum holding requirements? Are you considered an insider, thus restricted from trading your account?  We get it. Our BP experts can help you understand the vesting and taxation of awards, guide your savings prioritization plan, and strategize how best to take advantage of your awards in a tax-efficient manner. Let us help you set up a diversification strategy while ensuring you maintain the company stock's required holding.

We help BP Professionals manage their various Share Plans:

  • Group Share Value Plan (GSVP)
  • Individual Share Value Plan (ISVP)
  • Share Value Plan (SVP)
  • ACB Deferral Plan Matching RSU award (Discontinued in 2018)
  • Good Leaver Plan

Protecting Yourself & Your Family with BP’s Health & Insurance Plans

If something unexpected occurs, do you have the right contingency plan in place to provide for and protect your loved ones? As a fiduciary advisor working in your best interest, we never sell insurance products. Instead, we provide education and guidance to help you understand the various insurance options available to you. When helping you decide on a plan that works best for you and your family, our goal is to ensure that you only pay for what you need instead of all the extras you don’t.

BP offers BP Group Universal Life, BP group long-term care insurance, BP Short-Term & Long-Term Disability, and a Basic Life, Accidental Death, and Dismemberment insurance plan.

Selecting the Right BP Health Plan for You
With each of the plans listed below comes various opportunities and trade-offs. Our advisors walk you through each plan step-by-step and plan your contributions for healthcare costs and future retiree medical costs in the most tax-efficient manner. We can also help you maximize your take-home pay by optimizing your healthcare and dependent care FSA accounts and HSA accounts.

BP offers Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), and Out-of-Area (OOA) plans for healthcare.

Getting More From Your Finances Doesn’t Have to be Difficult.
Meet with one of our BP experts to get started >>

Job Changes at BP

Things can change in a heartbeat, in and outside of the boardroom. Suppose a layoff or voluntary severance package from BP is offered to you. In that case, we can help you understand the critical decisions about company benefits elections and if retirement is a viable option.

 

Layoffs and Severance Packages at BP

If you’re unsure about future employment at BP or how an untimely layoff could affect your future, our team knows BP’s packages and benefits. We can help you evaluate your goals, understand the big picture of your finances, and prepare for the next steps forward so you can start your next venture with confidence.

Facing a severance from BP? Make sure you’re prepared using our BP Severance Checklist >>

Navigating Promotions at BP

Earning a promotion can be exciting and filled with new responsibilities, a new job title, and potentially a higher salary and benefits package. As you climb the corporate ladder, your financial plan needs to evolve alongside you. When you begin reaching certain income thresholds, there are more nuances regarding your 401(k) and other savings options, your taxes, and financial planning strategies you can leverage. What many BP executives fail to realize is that this also means more considerations and opportunities for mistakes. If you aren’t adjusting your contributions or paying attention to specific tax forms, you could be leaving money on the table. We can help you pivot and adapt your financial strategy to ensure that you have a plan in place anywhere your career takes you.

High-Income Earners Make This Simple Mistake in Their 401(k) Contribution Calculation ALL the Time.
Learn More >>


Going Abroad for a BP Assignment

If your career at BP takes you abroad on an expatriate assignment, there are many financial factors to consider before making a move. As specialists in both U.S. company benefit plans and financial planning, we can help U.S. citizens and residents looking to optimize their savings and finances on the road to retirement wherever they are in the world.
Accumulating assets in multiple countries can make it difficult to know where to seek guidance from, so our table below may offer some guidance:

Your Situation Entails:

Work With a U.S. Advisor Like WJA

Work With A Foreign Advisor

U.S. Citizenship or Resident Status

Working with an advisor in the U.S. such as Willis Johnson & Associates can help you navigate the financial, tax, and legal guidelines you’re obligated to by your citizenship.

If you’re not a U.S. citizen or resident, it may be more beneficial to work with an advisor in your home country or the one you’re stationed in.

Assets Outside the U.S. Only

Due to certain legal restrictions, U.S. advisors, such as Willis Johnson & Associates, are prohibited from managing certain foreign assets. If you’re planning to return to or retire in the U.S., Willis Johnson & Associates can help you convert your assets and leverage them accordingly.

If most of your assets are outside the U.S., it may be best to work with an advisor in the country that holds your assets to have the most flexibility in your options.

Assets Across the Globe

If you have assets in the U.S. and other countries, you'll likely need financial experts in each country. Willis Johnson & Associates can offer guidance on your domestic assets and help with converting or considering various foreign assets.

Work for a U.S. Employer, but Working in a Foreign Country

By working with an advisor in the U.S., such as Willis Johnson & Associates, you can avoid the pitfalls surrounding the financial, tax, and legal guidelines you're obliged to by your citizenship and your time abroad. If you're planning to return to the U.S., you'll want a domestic advisor to ensure that your assets convert appropriately for your U.S. tax return upon your arrival back home. Additionally, as experts in the nuances surrounding domestic company benefit plans, Willis Johnson & Associates is well-suited to help you make benefit elections no matter where you’re at in the world.

Suppose you're not a U.S. citizen or resident and are working in a non-U.S. country. In that case, it may be more beneficial to work with an advisor in the country you're stationed in to get the proper guidance and education you need for your finances and taxes.

For BP professionals who prefer to keep their assets in a foreign country, we recommend working with an advisor in that country who's well-versed in its tax, financial, and legal guidelines. Similarly, for BP employees on the company's international benefit plans, we recommend reaching out to your HR department or an advisor with expertise in your benefit plans and guidelines to understand best how to utilize them.

Learn How to Avoid Common Financial Mistakes Expats Make Here >>

 

Leaving BP to Start a Consulting Business

Many of our clients choose to continue working as consultants after leaving long careers at BP. If you plan to do this, we can help you understand how to structure your finances and retirement to fit your new role. Our team of tax and financial professionals can help you navigate:

  • Liability Protection for LLCs
  • Tax Deferral Strategies for Solo 401(k), Sep IRA and Solo Pension Plans
  • Tax forms unique to consultants, such as Form 1099 and the Correct Way to File Them
  • Negotiating Compensation and Hourly Fees with an Understanding of How Consultants Get Taxed 

Learn more about setting up a consulting practice here >>

 

Considering a Job Beyond BP?

Being recruited for a new role is exciting, but how can you know if accepting a new position is the right move? It is often difficult to directly compare the value of two compensation packages and all the benefits on the table. With our expertise in corporate benefit plans, we can map out the difference in value between your current job and the one you're considering to help you decide between them or leverage for a better offer. Pensions, deferred compensation plans, and stock benefits are just a few of the benefit options you may be weighing. Whether you decide to take the job or not, we’ll help you optimize your elections — at BP or your new company.

 

Getting More From Your Finances Doesn’t Have to be Difficult.
Meet with one of our BP experts to get started >>

Retirement Plans for BP Employees

Retirement is as much a new personal and emotional chapter as it is a financial one. We've helped hundreds of BP professionals navigate retirement without leaving money on the table. We will walk you through the complex options and timelines to correctly handle all elections and give you the peace of mind knowing your benefits and taxes are optimized even after retirement.
We’ll also help you answer common questions like:

  • Which savings account should you draw from first, and when should you take Social Security?
  • Should you take the annuity or lump sum payout of your pension, and when’s the right time to start taking it?
  • If you want to consult before winding down, how can you start a consulting business?
  • How should your investment strategy change in retirement?

Leveraging the Savings in Your BP 401(k)

BP’s Employee Savings Plan
As you think about retirement, you might be asking the question: From where should I take the money I need for expenses first? Our team can assist with rebalancing investments within your Employee Savings Plan to transition into retirement while considering your full financial picture. Our advisors have years of experience helping professionals like you ensure that you're maxing out pre-and after-tax in the ESP. To provide you with the proper allocation for your goals and achieve maximum tax-savings, we annually convert after-tax money from your fund to a Roth IRA for tax-free growth.

While we manage our client’s portfolios, we’re also looking at opportunities for strategic tax savings for clients that have built up a large sum of BP stock inside their 401(K). For clients with a large amount of BP stock within their 401(k), we like to leverage tax-efficient strategies such as Net Unrealized Appreciation to give them the biggest bang for their buck by mitigating taxes immediately after entering retirement.

Also, we can coordinate annual backdoor Roth contributions in conjunction with your workplace savings. The transition from accumulating assets to living off of them can be tricky, so working with an advisor can help you understand which assets you should be pulling from and in what order to minimize taxes for a smooth retirement. 

Learn More About Maxing Out the Employee Savings  Plan (ESP) or get your questions answered in a complimentary meeting with one of our BP experts >>

BP’s Excess Compensation Savings Plan
For many of BP's high-income professionals, BP offers an excess benefit plan known as the BP Excess Compensation Savings Plan (ECP). Excess benefit plans like this one can have significant tax ramifications when they payout, so it's crucial to appropriately time your retirement to maximize the benefit's after-tax value. BP allows employees to elect a distribution schedule for these contributions in the year they're made. It's crucial to take a comprehensive look at several factors to ultimately determine your lowest tax years and elect distributions accordingly so that they pay out in these years.

Making Elections for BP’s RAP Pension Plan

One of the most significant decisions you make when retiring from BP is when to receive your RAP pension benefit. Understanding the trade-offs between a lump sum or annuity is not the only consideration. When to begin distribution, how interest rates affect the size of the lump sum payout, and understanding this income stream in coordination with your other assets are all important as well. We use cash flow and modeling software to help our clients who choose the annuity option for their pension decide whether to begin payments immediately, delay to age 60, and whether to elect the 50%, 75%, or 100% joint & survivor annuity.

Setting Up Your Consulting Practice

After retiring from a long career at BP, many of our clients choose to continue working as consultants. If you plan to do this, we can help you understand the guidelines and implications of how to structure your new practice’s finances and retirement to fit your new role.

  • Negotiating Compensation with an Understanding of How Consultants Get Taxed (1099)
  • Tax Deferral Strategies for Solo 401(k), Sep IRA and Solo Pension Plans
  • Liability Protection for LLCs

Learn more about setting up a consulting practice here >>

 

Am I Ready to Retire From BP?

The date you decide to retire from your career at BP can significantly impact your retirement income. Sometimes, waiting a few weeks or retiring just a month earlier can be a difference of tens of thousands of dollars. By understanding the timing of your benefits' payouts and tax implications, along with the segment rates, we can determine the most tax-efficient retirement date for you that optimizes your income into your retirement.


See how recent interest rates are impacting lump sum pension payouts here >>

 

Picking Your Optimal Retirement Date to Get the Most From Your BP Benefits Doesn’t Have to be Difficult.
Meet with one of our BP experts to get started >>

Our WJA BP Advisor Specialists

Nick Johnson, CFA®, CFP®

PRESIDENT

John Siegel, CFP®, EA

WEALTH MANAGER
Schedule Your Complimentary BP Consultation

Willis Johnson & Associates is not endorsed by nor affiliated with BP.

Why Willis Johnson & Associates?

Since 1996 we’ve been helping BP executives and professionals with their comprehensive financial planning needs. Our thorough understanding of the transitions in your corporate life allows us to appreciate where you have been and assist with where you are headed.