TIAA-CREF pioneered the use of variable annuity contracts to fund retirement investing in the 1950s, and we've stood nearly alone in the financial community in our commitment to maintain low-cost,* high quality retirement plans.
TIAA-CREF offers retirement plans through the following types of contracts:
A Retirement Annuity (RA) is used primarily for employer-sponsored retirement plans. Depending on the terms of your employer’s plan, RA plan premiums can be paid by your employer, by you, or by both you and your employer. If you are paying some or all of the premiums, your contributions can be in either pre-tax dollars through salary reduction, or after-tax dollars through payroll deduction. Additionally, your employer may give you the option to make contributions in the form of after-tax Roth IRA-style contributions, though you won’t be able to get a tax deduction for these contributions.
With an RA, your employer’s plan’s rules determine which investment and income options are available to you. You then decide how to invest your funds among the available investment options. You can also change how your new premiums are allocated, or move funds from one investment to another. You can also transfer accumulations from other investment choices under your employer’s plan to your RA contract.
Group Retirement Annuities (GRAs) are very similar to RAs. The main difference is that while RA premiums are paid either by your employer, you, or by both you and your employer, GRA premiums can only be paid by your employer. Your GRA premiums can be from pre-tax or after-tax contributions. You can transfer accumulations from other investment choices under your employer’s plan to your GRA contract.
Many institutions that offer RA contracts also offer supplemental plans, which are known as Supplemental Retirement Annuities (SRAs). SRAs are voluntary tax-deferred annuity (TDA) plans through which you contribute money for retirement in addition to the basic retirement plan offered by your employer. Contributions are taken directly from your salary and thus reduce your taxable income. Taxes on potential earnings are deferred until you withdraw them as income in retirement. Your employer may give you the option of making contributions in the form of after-tax Roth IRA-style contributions, though you won’t be able to get a tax deduction for these contributions.
Like SRAs, Group Supplemental Retirement Annuities (GSRAs) are tax-advantaged investments that are funded with voluntary, pre-tax dollars through a salary-reduction agreement between you and your employer. The essential difference is that whereas SRA contracts are issued directly to you, GSRA contracts are issued through an agreement between your employer and TIAA-CREF.
These types of plans are used exclusively for employer retirement plans and are issued directly to your employer or your plan’s trustee. With these plans, your employer pays premiums directly to TIAA-CREF. Your employer or the plan’s trustee may control the allocation of contributions and transfers to and from these contracts. If a GA or Institutionally Owned GSRA contract is issued pursuant to your plan, the rules relating to transferring and withdrawing your money, receiving any annuity income or death benefits, and the timing of payments are determined by the plan’s rules.
These plans work very similarly to GRAs and GSRAs, respectively. The major difference is that, unlike GRAs, they are issued directly to your employer or your plan’s trustee. Among other rights, the employer retains the right to transfer accumulations under these contracts to alternate funding vehicles.
We offer several ways for you to receive retirement income from your TIAA-CREF accounts. While we believe that receiving at least some of your income through a life annuity** is often the best way to ensure that you won't outlive your assets, we offer several other income options, including interest-only payments, minimum distributions, systematic withdrawals, and single-sum distributions, subject to the rules of your contract and your employer's plan. Learn more about Retirement Plan Income Options.
You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. Please click here or call 877 518-9161 for a prospectus that contains this and other information. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.
* Refers to the expenses of our mutual funds and variable annuity accounts. Source: Morningstar Direct (February 2008) based on Morningstar expense comparisons by category.
** Any guarantees under annuities issued by TIAA are subject to TIAA's claims-paying ability. Payments under CREF and the TIAA Real Estate Account are variable and will rise or fall based on investment performance.
Retirement Annuity contract form series 1000.24. Group Retirement Annuity contract form series G-1000.4, G-1000.5, G1000.6 or G1000.7 (not available in all states).
Supplemental Retirement Annuity contract form series 1200.8.
Group Supplemental Retirement Annuity contract form series G1250.1. GSRAs not available in all states.
Retirement Choice Plus contract form series IGRSP-01-5-ACC, IGRSP-01-60-ACC, IGRSP-01-84-ACC, IGRSP-01-84, IGRSP-01-60, IGRSP-01-5. Certificate series IGRSP-CERT1-5-ACC, IGRSP-CERT1-60-ACC, IGRSP-CERT1-84-ACC, IGRSP-CERT1-84, IGRSP-CERT1-60, and IGRSP-CERT1-5.
Retirement Choice contract form series IGRS-01-5-ACC, IGRS-01-60-ACC, IGRS-01-84-ACC, IGRS-01-84, IGRS-01-60, and IGRS-01-5. Retirement Choice certificate series IGRS-CERT1-5-ACC, IGRS-CERT1-60-ACC, IGRS-CERT1-84-ACC, IGRS-CERT1-84, IGRS-CERT1-60, IGRS-CERT1-5.
Group Annuity contract form series 6000.8
TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., and Nuveen Securities, LLC, Members FINRA and SIPC, distribute securities products.
TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association), 730 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 issues annuities. Investment products are not FDIC insured, may lose value, and are not guaranteed.
Learn more about opening a TIAA-CREF retirement plan account.