Open a Retirement Plan Account

There are several ways to enroll in a TIAA-CREF-funded retirement plan. The most common method is through your institution's benefits office or online.

Before you Begin

  • Use the Asset Allocation Evaluator to assess your risk tolerance and understand which portfolio allocation may be right for you.
  • Review the prospectuses  for investments you want to make contributions to.


  • Identify the beneficiaries who will receive your vested benefits in the event of your death.
  • Take a guided tour of online access to see how you can manage your accounts online.

Enroll online

Before you enroll online , contact your benefits office to:

  • Confirm that your institution offers TIAA-CREF’s online enrollment, and learn what the Access Code is.
    Note: If your institution does not offer online enrollment, your benefits office can provide you with an enrollment kit.
  • Complete a salary reduction agreement, if necessary. By signing this agreement, you authorize your employer to reduce your paychecks by the designated amount and to contribute that money in your retirement account.
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