TIAA-CREF pioneered the use of variable annuity contracts nearly 60 years ago to fund lifetime income solutions, and we've stood nearly alone in the financial community in our commitment to maintain low-cost1, high-quality retirement plans that offer retirement income to individuals.
TIAA-CREF offers retirement plans through the following types of contracts:
A Retirement Annuity (RA) is an individual contract issued to each plan participant. It is used primarily for employer-sponsored retirement plans. Depending on the terms of the employer’s plan, RA plan premiums can be paid by the employer, employee or both. If the employee pays some or all of the premiums, contributions can be either pre-tax through salary reduction, or after-tax through payroll deduction. Additionally, the employer may permit making contributions in an after-tax Roth IRA style, although the employee would not receive a tax deduction. An RA is designed to be completely portable if the individual changes jobs.
The employer’s plan rules determine which investment and income options are available. Employees then invest their funds among the available investment options. They can also change how the new premiums are allocated, or move funds from one investment to another. They can also transfer accumulations from other investment choices under the employer’s plan to the RA contract.
Group Retirement Annuities (GRAs) are similar to RAs. The main difference is that while RA premiums are paid either by the employer, employee or both, GRA premiums can be paid only by the employer. GRA premiums can be from pre-tax or after-tax contributions. Accumulations can be transferred from other investment choices under the employer’s plan to the GRA contract. Unlike the RA contract, the GRA certificate is not portable if the employee changes jobs.
Many institutions that offer RA contracts also offer supplemental plans known as Supplemental Retirement Annuities (SRAs). SRAs are voluntary tax-deferred annuities (TDA) through which an employee contributes money for retirement in addition to the basic retirement plan offered by the employer. Contributions are taken directly from the employee’s salary and thus reduce taxable income. Taxes on potential earnings are deferred until withdrawn as income in retirement. The employer may permit making contributions in an after-tax Roth IRA style, although the employee would not receive a tax deduction.
Like SRAs, Group Supplemental Retirement Annuities (GSRAs) are tax-advantaged investments funded with voluntary, pre-tax dollars through a salary reduction agreement between the employee and employer. The key difference is that SRA contracts are issued directly to the employee, while GSRA contracts are issued via an agreement between the employer and TIAA-CREF.
These are used exclusively for employer retirement plans and issued directly to the employer or the plan’s trustee. The employer pays premiums directly to TIAA-CREF. The 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 the plan, the plan’s rules regulate transfers and withdrawals, receiving annuity income or death benefits, and the timing of payments.
These plans work similarly to GRAs and GSRAs, respectively. The main difference is that, unlike GRAs, they are issued directly to the employer or the plan’s trustee. Among other rights, the employer may transfer accumulations under these contracts to alternate funding vehicles.
We are committed to helping employees to and through retirement. As such, we offer several ways to receive regular retirement income from TIAA-CREF accounts. While we believe that receiving at least some income through a life annuity2 helps ensure that an individual’s assets last a lifetime, we offer a number of other options including interest-only payments, minimum distributions, systematic withdrawals, and single-sum distributions, subject to the rules of the contract and the 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.
1 Based on Morningstar data, the expense ratio on all mutual fund products and variable annuity accounts managed by TIAA-CREF is generally less than half the mutual fund industry average. (70% are less than half their respective Morningstar Universe average and 59% are less than half their respective Morningstar Universe median.) Source: Morningstar Direct, March 31, 2013.
2 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.
Monday – Friday 8:00AM to 7:00 PM ET
Call us at 888 842-0318
Download the advisor map (PDF) to locate an advisor services representative near you.
Learn more about our Asset Management capabilities.
Not all retirement plan providers were created equal.
Visit TIAA-CREF.org for more reasons to work with us.