TIAA-CREF and AARP Launch AARP® College Savings Solutions from TIAA-CREF


New program to provide AARP members with education and information about college savings

‘Power a Dream’ marketing campaign designed to increase awareness and help AARP members play a bigger role in saving for loved ones’ college educations

NEW YORK, NY – February 20, 2013 - TIAA-CREF, a leading financial services provider, and AARP today announced a new program designed to provide AARP members with comprehensive education and information on college savings plans. Through AARP® College Savings Solutions from TIAA-CREF, AARP members can learn about the many benefits of college savings plans and gather specific information about the various 529 plans available to them.

“Saving for college has become a family affair, and parents and grandparents alike can play a vital role in helping students attend – and thrive – at their preferred college or university. However, with only 30 percent of parents using 529 accounts to save for college,1 many families are missing out on a fantastic opportunity to invest in their children’s future,” said Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and chief executive officer, TIAA-CREF. “We feel privileged to work with AARP and help its members support the educational needs of their loved ones, so they can begin their adult lives with a strong foundation.”

AARP members will have access to a customized, comprehensive website to help them better understand how college savings plans work and the many tax benefits these plans may afford most families. It also provides objective information about 529 plans, including the state-sponsored 529 plans managed by TIAA-CREF.

The website provides information to assist AARP members on how to open accounts with these plans or make gifts to family members’ existing TIAA-CREF-managed 529 plans from anywhere they have Internet access. Members also can speak with education savings specialists by phone to get answers to their questions about college savings plans.

“TIAA-CREF designed this program with AARP members and their families in mind, and we’re pleased they have access to another product that meets the high service and real quality standards they have come to expect of a product or service carrying the AARP name,” said John Wider, CEO of AARP Services, Inc.

Studies show that people who use 529 college savings plans are more successful college savers than those without 529 plans. The College Savings Foundation’s 2012 parent survey2 found that 22 percent of 529 owners have saved between $10,001 and $25,000, while only 9 percent of non-529 account owners have saved a similar amount. Likewise, 18 percent of 529 owners reported saving between $25,001 and $50,000. Only 4 percent of non-529 account owners managed to save as much. Overall, parents who have not opened a 529 plan are the least effective college savers – nearly half have no college savings.

“529 plans are tremendously helpful in getting families on the right path to funding a college education, and getting the entire family involved – parents, grandparents and children – reinforces the importance of setting and achieving savings goals,” said TIAA-CREF’s Ferguson. “It sets a powerful example for younger generations as they establish their financial habits.”

AARP College Savings Solutions from TIAA-CREF is available to AARP members nationwide. The program is launching with the support of a new marketing campaign, “Power a Dream,” which focuses on the positive influence AARP members can have on their children’s and grandchildren’s lives by contributing to their college savings and helping them prepare for higher education.

With outstanding student loan debt totaling $956 billion3 across the country, TIAA-CREF is dedicated to helping Americans successfully save for college and manage their finances wisely.

TIAA-CREF is one of the largest and longest-tenured 529 program managers in the country, offering low-cost, high-value, direct-sold 529 programs since 1998. Through TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., the firm successfully manages 11 state-sponsored 529 college savings plans, including California, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Oregon, Vermont and Wisconsin.

For more information about AARP College Savings Solutions from TIAA-CREF, visit

TIAA-CREF ( is a national financial services organization with $502 billion in combined assets under management (as of 12/31/12) and is the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.

About AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Visit:

About AARP Services, Inc.
AARP Services, Inc., founded in 1999, is a wholly-owned taxable subsidiary of AARP. AARP Services manages the provider relationships for and performs quality control oversight of the wide range of products and services that carry the AARP name and are made available by independent providers as benefits to AARP’s millions of members. The provider offers currently span health products, financial products, travel and leisure products, and life event services. Specific products include Medicare supplemental insurance; credit cards, auto and home, mobile home and motorcycle insurance, life insurance and annuities; member discounts on rental cars, cruises, vacation packages and lodging; special offers on technology and gifts; pharmacy services; legal services; and long term care insurance. AARP Services also engages in new product development activities for AARP and provides certain consulting services to outside companies.

Media Contacts:
Chad Peterson
888 200 4062

David Allen
202 434 2577