Recent Trends in the Selection of Retirement Income Streams Among TIAA-CREF Participants

John Ameriks, TIAA-CREF Institute

December 2002 | Issue # 74

Upon reaching retirement, TIAA-CREF participants can choose from a variety of options to begin receiving an income stream from their accumulated pension assets. This article presents updated data and analysis regarding the income choices made by TIAA-CREF participants throughout the 1990s, building on the information presented in an earlier issue of Research Dialogue (King, 1996). The data presented here show a striking and uniform movement away from the use of the life annuity as a payout option from 1989-2001 following the introduction of non annuity payout options. While there is perhaps no single explanation for this trend, the changing nature of retirement in higher education may be a key factor.

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