Optional Retirement Plan
These are important details regarding this plan.
You must be employed in an eligible position (faculty or certain administrators) to elect this plan. If you have eligibility questions, please contact your benefits office.
Employee contributions are currently 6% with your employer contributing a matching contribution (varies by year). For current employer contributions, please contact your benefits office.
Employer contributions vary per year. For current employer contribution percentage, please contact your benefits office.
You are 100% immediately vested in all contributions to this plan.
Your employer offers you a variety of investment choices from an array of asset classes. You can see a list of the investment choices under this plan on the Investment Choices page.
Expenses vary from investment to investment. To learn about expenses associated with an investment, see a list of the investment choices under this plan on the Investment Choices page, and read the Fact Sheet or the prospectus for that investment.
You have a variety of options1 when it’s time to take income from this plan:
This plan is designed to provide you with income throughout your retirement. Leaving money in your account may allow the funds to grow on a tax-deferred basis.
You can choose to receive income for a set period of two to 30 years, depending on the terms of our contract and your plan's rules (and not to exceed your life expectancy).
Payments stop at the end of the period, during which you will have received all your principal and earnings.
You can receive the current interest earned on your TIAA Traditional Account in monthly payments. Your principal remains intact while you receive the interest.
These payments are generally available to individuals between ages 55 and 70½ when minimum distributions are required.
Lifetime Retirement Income
One-life annuity — provides income for as long as you live.
Two-life annuity — provides lifetime income for you and an annuity partner (your spouse or someone else you name) for as long as either of you live.
One- or two-life annuity with guaranteed period — guarantees income for up to 20 years, as long as the period you choose does not exceed your life expectancy. It ensures that income continues to go to your beneficiaries for the remainder of the guaranteed period if you (one-life annuity) or both you and your annuity partner (two-life annuity) die before the end of that period.
You can withdraw all or part of your account in a single cash payment, depending on your plan rules and the terms of your contracts.
Your right to a lump-sum distribution from your TIAA Traditional Account may be restricted to taking 10 annual payments under those terms.
Minimum Distribution Option
Generally, you must begin taking minimum withdrawals from your account by April 1 following the year in which you turn age 70½ or retire, whichever is later.
This can help you defer the minimum required distribution while keeping you in compliance with federal regulations.
Retirement Transition Benefit
If your contract allows, you can withdraw, in cash, up to 10% of your accumulation at the beginning of a conversion to lifetime annuity income. The amount you withdraw will reduce your lifetime annuity income accordingly.
Single-Sum Death Benefit
A set amount your beneficiary(ies) will receive from your retirement account if you die before taking income.
If your plan doesn't otherwise allow cash distributions, upon separation from service you can withdraw your entire retirement savings if your TIAA Traditional Account value does not exceed $2,000 and your overall account balance is below a limit set by your employer's plan (typically $4,000). If your plan does allow cash distributions, upon separation you may be able to withdraw your TIAA Traditional accumulation if the value does not exceed $2,000. Talk to your benefits office for details.
If your plan allows, you can choose to receive regular income payments (minimum $100) on a semimonthly, monthly, quarterly, semiannual or annual basis. You can increase, decrease or suspend the payments at any time.
These withdrawals are not available from TIAA Traditional Account balances.
TPA to Cash
If your plan allows, you can withdraw your TIAA Traditional Account accumulation through a Transfer Payout Annuity (TPA) in 10 approximately equal annual payments. A lump-sum payment, subject to a surrender fee, may be available depending on your plan rules and the terms of your contract.
This plan allows you to receive a cash withdrawal. This may be restricted by the terms of your TIAA-CREF contracts. Taxes and penalties may apply.
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Retirement plan contributions are usually made with before-tax dollars, so federal income taxes are deferred until you begin taking withdrawals later on.
No taxes are due on pretax contributions and earnings made until the money is withdrawn, but because these plans are intended primarily for retirement, you can generally withdraw funds only after termination of employment or age 59½ (subject to plan rules). If you withdraw funds before age 59½, they may be subject to an additional 10% early-withdrawal penalty.
In limited instances when you are making contributions to your retirement plan with after-tax dollars, you will not have to pay income tax on your principal. However, when monies are withdrawn, taxes may be applicable to any earnings and interest accrued.
For additional information and guidance, contact your tax advisor.
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The Optional Retirement Plan does not offer a loan feature. Loans may be available from the voluntary 403(b) tax deferred annuity plan and 457(b) plan.
1 The availability of certain distributions may depend on the type of contract underlying your plan. Also, if you're married, your right to choose an option may be subject to your spouse's right to survivor benefits. Talk to your benefits office for details.