TIAA Signs 100th client for RetirePlus Series on Increasing Demand for QDIA-eligible Model Portfolios

A smarter target date solution which reduces risk during the savings years and embeds a "personal pension" like option in retirement

NEW YORK December 7, 2020 – TIAA, the leading provider of financial services in the academic, research, medical, cultural and government fields, secured its 100th client for  the innovative TIAA RetirePlus® Series, demonstrating increased interest in qualified default investment alternative (QDIA)-eligible model portfolios that can help improve retirement readiness and security.

"Employers are increasingly concerned about retirement readiness and are seeking improved choices and support as they look to deliver the best long-term outcomes for their employees in a world deeply affected by economic and health crises," said Doug Chittenden, Head of Client Relationships at TIAA. "The TIAA RetirePlus Series allows plan sponsors to offer solutions tailored to their plan's unique demographics while embedding lifetime income in a structure that acts like a target-date fund to help participants build a personal pension1. We're encouraged to see a growing number of employers embracing this solution during this challenging time."

The TIAA RetirePlus Series leverages a plan's existing best-in-class funds for the default option, improves the risk adjusted return trade off during the savings years and can increase participant paychecks in retirement. These benefits are available to participants at no additional cost or may even result in lower pricing. From a fiduciary perspective, the TIAA RetirePlus Series prudently satisfies Department of Labor guidance on pursuing custom solutions supported by the SECURE Act. This structure, flexibility and pricing make it appropriate for a variety of client institutions – from those with less than $5 million to greater than $1 billion in assets – across higher education, K-12, health care and newly formed multiple employer plans.

"Using RetirePlus, our plan sponsors have the flexibility to leverage their existing fund lineup and the benefits of TIAA Traditional to lower investment costs and create target date strategies that are focused on participant outcomes and their income goals" said David Hinderstein, Senior Vice President, OneDigital Retirement + Wealth, a retirement plan consultant. "With this approach, plan sponsors report their participants are saving more for retirement and feel more financially confident, even as they navigate the ongoing economic volatility."

TIAA has seen a significant increase in retirement readiness metrics, including risk/return metrics, diversification, and retirement income projections, from those who have adopted the solution.

"Plan sponsors need the flexibility to customize their default investment options for the unique needs of their employees," said Brian Roberts, NFP's senior vice president, a retirement plan consultant. "RetirePlus Pro allows NFP to partner in meaningful ways with our plan sponsors to maximize the value of plan contributions, enhance retirement income options and protect retirement outcomes."

Plan sponsors who choose to add RetirePlus Series models to their investment menu can choose between RetirePlus or RetirePlus Pro, depending on their desired flexibility and level of customization. Each option can include a fully-liquid annuity component for lifetime income and is designed to be QDIA-eligible.

RetirePlus is comprised of a set of predefined asset allocation models used by plan sponsors to create risk appropriate defaults using the investment options on the plan's core menu. The TIAA RetirePlus models include three risk categories (Conservative, Moderate and Aggressive), ten models per risk category and a mix of mutual funds, annuities and other investment options in eight preselected asset allocation categories. There are no additional costs to the plan or participants.

RetirePlus Pro allows plan sponsors to work with advice from a 3(21) fiduciary advisor or delegate asset allocation to a 3(38) investment manager to customize all aspects of model attributes.

About TIAA

With an award-winning2 track record for consistent investment performance, TIAA ( is the leading provider of financial services in the academic, research, medical, cultural and government fields. TIAA has $1.2 trillion in assets under management (as of 9/30/20203) and offers a wide range of financial solutions, including investing, banking, advice and education, and retirement services.

Press contact

Lauren Post
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1 Personal pension refers to the income received from a fixed annuity contract.

2 The Refinitiv Lipper Fund Awards are based on the Lipper Leader for Consistent Return rating, which is a risk-adjusted performance measure calculated over 36, 60 and 120 months. Lipper Leaders fund ratings do not constitute and are not intended to constitute investment advice or an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security of any entity in any jurisdiction. For more information, see Lipper Fund Awards from Refinitiv, ©2020 Refinitiv. All rights reserved. Used under license. The Mixed Assets Large Fund Company Award is based on a review of risk-adjusted performance of 39 companies for 2016, 36 for 2017, 35 for 2018 & 2019, and 30 for 2020. The award pertains only to the TIAA-CREF mutual funds in the mixed-asset category. Without such waivers ratings could be lower. Past performance does not guarantee future results. For current performance, rankings and prospectuses, please visit The investment advisory services, strategies and expertise of TIAA Investments, a division of Nuveen, are provided by Teachers Advisors, LLC and TIAA-CREF Investment Management, LLC. TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., and Nuveen Securities, LLC, Members FINRA and SIPC, distribute securities products.

3 Based on $1.2 trillion of assets under management across Nuveen Investments affiliates and TIAA investment management teams as of 9/30/20.

Any guarantees under annuities issued by TIAA are subject to TIAA's claims-paying ability.

TIAA RetirePlus® and TIAA RetirePlus Pro® are administered by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America ("TIAA") as plan recordkeeper. Transactions in the underlying investments invested in based on the models on behalf of the plan participants are executed through TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, member FINRA.