The foundation of a safe and secure retirement
Safety. Stability. The peace of mind that can come with guaranteed income in retirement. For more than 90 years, these have been the hallmarks of TIAA Traditional Annuity, a guaranteed income account that has helped millions of Americans on their path to a safe and secure retirement. Complemented by Social Security, investments and other long-term assets. TIAA Traditional is uniquely suited to be the foundation of a complete retirement savings program.
Three reasons to choose TIAA Traditional:
- Your money is safe. Your contributions are guaranteed, backed by the claims-paying ability of TIAA, one of only three insurance groups in the United States to hold the highest ratings currently awarded from all four leading independent insurance industry ratings agencies.
- You earn competitive interest. TIAA Traditional pays among the highest rates available, including a guaranteed minimum rate, both while you’re saving and during retirement.
- You can receive guaranteed income for life. Choosing lifetime income when you retire means you don’t have to worry about outliving your money.
In these uncertain times, one of the most valuable assets you can own is peace of mind. That’s exactly what TIAA Traditional helps to offer. By combining highly competitive interest rates, safety and stability, and guaranteed income for life — based on TIAA’s claims-paying ability — TIAA Traditional works for you while you’re saving and throughout your retirement. It’s an outstanding choice for financial security in volatile times — and all the time.
Q&A: Ten Things You Need to Know About TIAA Traditional
- What is TIAA Traditional?
TIAA Traditional is a guaranteed fixed annuity available to participants in employer-sponsored retirement plans and in Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Today, more participant dollars are allocated to TIAA Traditional than to any other TIAA-CREF product.
- How does TIAA Traditional work?
Contributions you make to your TIAA Traditional Annuity account purchase a specific amount of lifetime income. Your principal, along with a specified minimum interest rate, are guaranteed. You also have the opportunity to receive additional amounts above the guaranteed minimum rate. These additional amounts may be declared on a year-by-year basis by the TIAA Board of Trustees but are not guaranteed for future years.
When declared, the additional amounts remain in effect for the ‘declaration year’ which begins each March 1.
- What are the current rates for TIAA Traditional?
View current rate information. Note that rates and certain account features vary depending on the type of annuity contract through which TIAA Traditional is held.
- Have TIAA Traditional rates typically stayed ahead of inflation?
Crediting rates applied to the TIAA Traditional Annuity have generally outpaced inflation since the early 1980s (although there is no guarantee that they will continue to do so).
- Why should I choose TIAA Traditional?
Allocating some of your retirement dollars to the TIAA Traditional Annuity can add safety and stability to your portfolio, while providing the potential for steady, attractive returns over a long period — plus the opportunity to receive guaranteed lifetime income that can't be outlived. If you are a current participant, log in to view your allocation.
- How much of my retirement money should I allocate to TIAA Traditional?
While there is no-one-size-fits-all formula for allocating retirement dollars among various asset types, we encourage you to maintain a well-diversified portfolio based on your financial objectives, time frame and tolerance for risk. If you need help planning your retirement strategy, a TIAA-CREF consultant will be happy to provide objective , personalized advice.1 Schedule a free advice session with a TIAA-CREF consultant near you, or call 800 842-2776.
- How can I be assured of the account’s safety?
TIAA Traditional’s guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability of TIAA. In recognition of its stability, soundness and overall financial strength, TIAA is one of only three insurance groups in the United States to hold the highest ratings currently awarded from all four leading independent insurance industry ratings agencies.2 View details about TIAA’s insurance industry ratings, including the most recent reports: Moody's — TIAA Profile (PDF), Moody’s — TIAA Credit Opinion (PDF), Standard & Poor's —TIAA Full Report (PDF), Fitch Ratings (PDF), Fitch – TIAA Press Release (PDF), and A.M. Best (PDF). Read more about TIAA’s safety and stability (PDF).
- Can I access the money in my TIAA Traditional account when I need it?
Liquidity varies by the type of annuity contract you own. In general, however, TIAA Traditional is designed for retirement income needs, not short-term goals. If you have a Retirement Annuity (RA) contract, the TIAA annuity contract does not allow lump-sum cash withdrawals from the TIAA Traditional Annuity and transfers must be spread out in ten annual installments. If you have a Group Retirement Annuity (GRA) contract and subject to the terms of your employer’s plan, lump-sum withdrawals are available from the TIAA Traditional Annuity only within 120 days after termination of employment and are subject to a 2.5% surrender charge. All other withdrawals and transfers from the account must be spread over ten annual installments (over five years for withdrawals after termination of employment). For Retirement Choice Annuity (RC) contracts, subject to the terms of your employer’s plan, within 120 days after termination of employment, withdrawals from the TIAA Traditional Annuity may be made available in a lump sum. Such withdrawals are subject to a 2.5% surrender charge. At all other times, withdrawals and transfers from TIAA Traditional must be spread over an 84-month period (7 years) in monthly systematic payments.
SRA, GSRA, RCP, IRA, and Keogh contracts allow for transfers and withdrawals. However, because of their increased liquidity, these contracts are credited with lower interest rates.
- Where can I find out more about TIAA Traditional?
For additional details, read TIAA Traditional Annuity: The Foundation for a Safe and Secure Retirement (PDF).
- I’d like to take advantage of the safety and stability that TIAA Traditional offers. How can I add it to my retirement portfolio?
To learn more about TIAA Traditional and your retirement income options, call your TIAA-CREF Advisor or any of our consultants. You can reach TIAA-CREF by phone at 800 842-2776, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time.
1 Personalized advice is available pursuant to the terms of your employer’s retirement plan personalized advice
2 For its stability, claims-paying ability and overall financial strength, TIAA currently holds the following ratings: A.M. Best (A++ as of 4/12), Fitch (AAA as of 6/12), Moody's Investors Service (Aaa as of 6/12) and Standard & Poor's (AA+ as of 5/12). Per S&P criteria, the downgrade of US long-term government debt limits the highest rating of U.S. insurers to AA+ (the second highest rating available).There is no guarantee that current ratings will be maintained. Ratings represent a company’s ability to meet policyholders’ obligations and claims and do not apply to variable annuities, mutual funds or any other product or service not fully backed by TIAA's claims-paying ability. More information about these ratings can be obtained from http://www.tiaa-cref.org/land/industry_ratings/index.html.
Retirement Annuity (RA) contract form series 1000.24; Group Retirement Annuity (GRA) contract form series G-1000.4 or G-1000.5/G1000.6 or G1000.7 (not available in all states); Supplemental Retirement Annuity (SRA) contract form series 1200.8; Group Supplemental Retirement Annuity (GSRA) contract form series G1250.1 (GSRA’s are not available in all states); IRA Annuity TIAA contract form series 1280.2, 1280.4 (not available in all states), or TIAA-IRA-01; Roth IRA Annuity TIAA contract form series 1280.3, 1280.5(not available in all states), or TIAA-Roth-01; Retirement Choice annuity contract form Series - IGRS-01-84, IGRS-01-60, and IGRS-01-5, Certificate Series - IGRS-CERT1-84, IGRS-CERT1-60, IGRS-CERT1-5; Retirement Choice Plus annuity contract form series IGRSP-01-84, IGRSP-01-60, IGRSP-01-5, Certificate Series - IGRSP-CERT1-84, IGRSP-CERT1-60, IGRSP-CERT1-5; Keogh TIAA Contract form series G1350 are issued by TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association), 730 Third Avenue, New York, NY.