Interest rates low, but TIAA keeps guaranteed lifetime income steady

NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 8, 2021 – Guaranteed lifetime income from TIAA Traditional1, the flagship fixed annuity issued by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA), New York, NY, will remain steady for most annuitants, with modest increases for customers who selected graded payments in 2021

"Our ability to maintain income levels, despite historically low interest rates, is a testament to the firm's stewardship and financial strength," said William Griesser, Head of Lifetime Income Solutions. "For more than 100 years – and throughout times of unprecedented challenge – we've helped millions of people build a more secure financial future with TIAA Traditional."
TIAA keeps annuity payments level by investing for the long-term and through the strong capital position of the general account2, which backs the guarantees and benefits under TIAA Traditional. In 2021, income will remain unchanged for annuitants with standard payments. Graded payment annuitants, those who accepted lower initial income benefits in exchange for higher annual increases, will receive increases that depend on when contributions were made to TIAA Traditional and when income benefits began.3

About TIAA Traditional

TIAA Traditional is a guaranteed annuity designed to be a core component of a diversified retirement savings portfolio. It dates back to 1918, the year the firm was founded with a $1 million endowment from the Carnegie Foundation.

Contributing to TIAA Traditional can give annuitants the dependability and certainty of a guaranteed lifetime income in retirement that can help cover basic, everyday living expenses without the worry of outliving income. In up and down markets, TIAA Traditional preserves the value of an annuitant’s savings.

About TIAA

With an award-winning4 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 $1.3 trillion in assets under management (as of 12/31/20205) and offers a wide range of financial solutions, including investing, banking, advice and education, and retirement services.

TIAA is one of only three insurance groups in the United States to currently hold the highest possible rating from three of the four leading insurance company rating agencies for its stability, claims-paying ability and overall financial strength.6

Press contact

Lauren Post
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1 TIAA Traditional is a guaranteed insurance contract and not an investment for federal securities law purposes. Any guarantees under annuities issued by TIAA are subject to TIAA's claims-paying ability.

2 The TIAA General Account is an insurance company account and is not available to investors as an investment.

3 Interest credited to TIAA Traditional Annuity accumulations includes a guaranteed rate, plus additional amounts as may be established on a year-by-year basis by the TIAA Board of Trustees. The additional amounts, when declared, remain in effect through the "declaration year", which begins each March 1 for accumulating annuities and January 1 for payout annuities. Additional amounts are not guaranteed for periods other than the period for which they are declared.

4 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 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

5 Based on approximately $1.3 trillion of assets under management across Nuveen affiliates and TIAA investment management teams as of 12/31/2020.

6 For its stability, claims-paying ability and overall financial strength, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) is a member of one of only three insurance groups in the United States to currently hold the highest rating available to U.S. insurers from three of the four leading insurance company rating agencies: A.M. Best (A++ as of 7/20), Fitch (AAA as of 11/20) and Standard & Poor's (AA+ as of 8/20), and the second highest possible rating from Moody's Investors Service (Aa1 as of 9/20). There is no guarantee that current ratings will be maintained. The financial strength ratings represent a company's ability to meet policyholders' obligations and do not apply to variable annuities or any other product or service not fully backed by TIAA's claims-paying ability. The ratings also do not apply to the safety or the performance of the variable accounts, which will fluctuate in value.

Annuity contracts may contain terms for keeping them in force. We can provide you with costs and complete details.

TIAA Traditional is issued through these contracts: Form series including but not limited to: 1000.24; G-1000.4; IGRS-01-84-ACC; IGRSP-01-84-ACC; 6008.8. Not all contracts are available in all states or currently issued.

This material is for informational or educational purposes only and does not constitute fiduciary investment advice under ERISA, a securities recommendation under all securities laws, or an insurance product recommendation under state insurance laws or regulations.

This material does not take into account any specific objectives or circumstances of any particular investor, or suggest any specific course of action. Investment decisions should be made based on the investor’s own objectives and circumstances.

Investment, insurance and annuity products are not FDIC insured, are not bank guaranteed, are not deposits, are not insured by any federal government agency, are not a condition to any banking service or activity, and may lose value.

©2021 Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund, 730 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017