FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

For help and advice call us, Mon - Fri, 5 a.m. - 7 p.m. (PT) / Sat, 6 a.m. - 3 p.m. (PT) / Automated service available 24/7 at 800 842-2252.

Can I get help choosing my investment mix?

For help and advice, call us anytime at 800 842-2252.

You might also be able to:

  • Attend a Financial Education Seminar through your institution or at various locations in your area
  • Meet with a TIAA-CREF investment professional to assess your financial situation

Learn more about consultations and seminars from TIAA-CREF.

How can I see my accounts and perform transactions online?

When you enroll online, you create an individual account where you can view your balances, change your investment mix, make transfers and other transactions.

If you're already enrolled, log in to your secure account from the login button on the home page of this site.

How do I speak to someone at TIAA-CREF?

For help and advice, call us anytime at 800 842-2252.

You can also contact us online.

Is there an advantage to owning variable annuities over mutual funds?

No, there is no advantage to contributing to either variable annuities or mutual funds in your TIAA-CREF-funded retirement plan. Both options receive favorable tax treatment under the plan.

What are the advantages of owning mutual funds?

Many participants enjoy the advantages of owning mutual funds alongside annuity accounts in their retirement plans.

  • The mutual funds chosen for your retirement savings plan provide the opportunity to focus on specific market segments — all of which offer varying degrees of risk and reward opportunities.
     
  • By owning a combination of funds with different investment characteristics, you may be able to offset the poor performance of one asset class with another that is benefiting from an upward trend. However, diversification doesn't guarantee against loss.  

What do I do after I've enrolled?

  • After enrolling, you'll receive a TIAA-CREF Welcome Kit and a Legal Package including your contract and contract number.
  • Review your Welcome Kit carefully to verify the information is correct including investments and beneficiary information.
  • You may also review your accounts and make transactions online. From the home page of this site, click the login button in the Already Enrolled? box.

What is the difference between a mutual fund and an annuity?

There are two important differences between mutual funds and annuities when they are offered under a retirement plan.

  • A mutual fund is a pool of securities, such as stocks and bonds, managed by an investment company.
  • An annuity is an insurance contract with one or more fixed-rate and variable investment options.

As for income options, annuities offer you the opportunity for lifetime income with or without guaranteed payments for a fixed time period*. Or you can decide to receive income for a certain number of years or take a cash withdrawal (depending on your plan’s provisions). Mutual funds offer systematic withdrawals.

Otherwise, mutual funds and annuities are treated very similarly when offered as part of your employer’s retirement plan.

*Guarantees are subject to the claims-paying capability of the insurer. Payments from variable accounts will fluctuate based on investment performance.

Who would benefit most from owning mutual funds?

Mutual funds offer diversification, professional management, relatively low investment minimums and fees, and a range of choices among different asset classes.

Benefits include:

  • Potential to reduce risk through diversification and professional management.
  • Potential to invest in a broad range of asset classes – U.S. and non-U.S. stocks, bonds, and real estate – with smaller amounts of assets.
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