Supplemental Retirement Plans

TIAA-CREF Supplemental Retirement Plans and Group Supplemental Retirement Plans provide tax-deferred savings and let you put away more for retirement beyond the basic retirement plan your employer offers. 

While the details of different tax-deferred plans vary, they all work the same way:  Money goes straight from your paycheck to an investment account, reducing your current income taxes. What's more, your potential investment earnings won't be taxable until you withdraw them in retirement.1

If employers offer a supplemental retirement plan, they determine the  investment choices and other plan features. Then you decide how much to contribute and to which investments.

With higher contribution limits than IRAs and the potential for a larger tax benefit near term, tax-deferred plans from TIAA-CREF may be one of the best ways for you to build the retirement you want.2

TIAA-CREF annuities and mutual funds have no sales charges.We aim to keep expenses low, so more of your dollars will be working for you.


You can allocate your contributions among a variety of annuity accounts and, at some employers, mutual funds. You can change your allocation of future contributions at any time.

Contribution Limits

Contributions are voluntary additional amounts you can make on your own. The Internal Revenue Code limits the total amount you can contribute.

Limits on Employee Contributions
The maximum depends on your income, years of service, tax-deferred contributions you've made in the past and other factors. Most employees can contribute a maximum of $17,000 in 2012 and $16,500 in 2011.

You may be able to contribute more if you have 15 years of service or are 50 or older.

Income and Distributions

All our plans offer the choice of lifetime income,in which regular payments are based on:

  • How much money you accumulated
  • Your age
  • The income option you selected
  • The interest and/or investment returns you continue to earn once you've retired

Generally, you may also be able to take cash withdrawals, or use other options to design your own payout schedule. (Based upon contract type and plan provisions.)

Learn more about Retirement Plan Income Options.


No taxes are due on contributions and earnings until the money is withdrawn. But because these plans are intended primarily for retirement, you can generally withdraw funds without penalties only after you've reached age 59½. Ordinary income tax will apply on all withdrawals made.


Find out if you are eligible for a TIAA-CREF supplemental retirement plan.

1 Withdrawals made prior to age 591/2 may be subject to an additional 10% penalty in addition to ordinary income tax.
2 Please note that TIAA-CREF plans are annuities and do not provide any additional tax-deferral over other types of investments within a qualified plan.
3 Other fees and expenses do apply to a continued investment in the fund and are
described in the fund’s current prospectus.
4 Any guarantees under annuities issued by TIAA are subject to TIAA's claims-paying ability. Payments from the variable accounts will rise or fall based on investment performance.

Please keep in mind that there are risks associated with investing in securities including loss of principal.

Open an Account

Learn more about opening a TIAA-CREF retirement plan account.

Learn More About Retirement Planning

© 2014 and prior years, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), New York, NY 10017