TIAA RetirePlus Series® Grows 45% YoY

Customized Default Retirement Plan Option that Can Provide Guaranteed Income for Life Exceeds $10 billion in Assets

NEW YORK, February 24, 2022 – TIAA’s innovative RetirePlus Series® has surpassed $10 billion in assets thanks to dozens of new institutional clients, additional individual client contributions and consistent investment performance. This 45% year-over-year growth demonstrates a strong interest in customizable retirement plan options that provide access to guaranteed lifetime income through a QDIA (Qualified Default Investment Alternative)-eligible default solution.

“Over 40% of all U.S. households are expected to run out of money in retirement with an average shortfall projected at $100,000 per household,” said Bill Griesser, head of Institutional Managed Solutions at TIAA. “TIAA RetirePlus Series helps plan sponsors better prepare their employees for a confident retirement by allowing them to create a ‘personal pension1.’ It brings the lifetime income provisions of the Secure Act into practical reality for plan participants."

The TIAA RetirePlus Series allows plan sponsors and their consultants to create model portfolios rather than rely on standard, off-the-shelf target date funds. By combining the simple efficiency of a target date structure with the flexibility to select investments from the existing plan, it can lower administrative costs and fees and, if included, TIAA Traditional can serve as the fixed‐income portion of the portfolio, providing access to guaranteed income for life. And with five generations in the workplace, each in different life-stages, TIAA RetirePlus Series model portfolios can be tailored to a plan’s unique preferences and diverse employee base.

“Our experience and research show that custom defaults in retirement plans tend to boost overall retirement readiness for participants,” said Ben Lewis, head of Institutional Strategic Sales. “By selecting TIAA RetirePlus Series model portfolios as the default option, plan sponsors can simplify investment selection, enhance plan efficiency and boost participant retirement security at the same time.” 

According to the TIAA Annuity Center of Excellence, participants that contributed to TIAA annuities over their career received nearly 18% more income than participants who did not. Through its unique ‘sharing-the-profits’ approach, TIAA seeks to reward participants with additional income based on the length of time of the contributions – like a “loyalty bonus.”2,3

One prominent plan sponsor altered its plan to provide every employee with a more secure retirement for the rest of their lives. The plan sponsor replaced its default target date funds with model portfolios tailored to their employee demographics through the TIAA RetirePlus Series. Two years after implementation, the results speak for themselves: the institution experienced an increased average projected retirement account balance of $87,000, improved risk-adjusted returns, and increased average projected retirement income by 24%.4

Plan sponsors that add RetirePlus Series models to their plan can choose between TIAA RetirePlus® and TIAA RetirePlus Pro®, depending on their desired flexibility and level of customization. Each option can include a fully liquid annuity component for lifetime income. 

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

About TIAA

TIAA is a leading provider of secure retirements and outcome-focused investment solutions to millions of people and thousands of institutions. It is the #1 not-for-profit retirement market provider5, paid more than $4.2 billion to retired clients in 2021 and has nearly $1.4 trillion in assets under management (as of 9/30/2021)6.


Press contacts

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

2 All guarantees are subject to TIAA’s claims-paying ability. TIAA may share profits with TIAA Traditional retirement annuity owners through a declared additional amounts of interest and through increases in annuity income throughout retirement. These additional amounts are not guaranteed other than for the period for which they were declared. TIAA may provide a loyalty bonus based upon the length of time the funds are held in TIAA Traditional. The ‘loyalty bonus’ is a return of unused contingency reserves and is only available upon annuitization. The board of trustees determines this amount on an annual basis. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

3 TIAA Annuity Center of Excellence, based on a study that compared the amount of initial lifetime income that would have been received by two hypothetical participants beginning lifetime income, for each of the 334 months from January 1, 1994, through October 1, 2021. The two hypothetical participants are the same age (age 67) and they select a single-life annuity with a 10-year guarantee period using TIAA’s standard payout annuity. The career contributor made level monthly contributions to TIAA Traditional under the Retirement Annuity Contract over a 30-year career prior to their retirement date. The new contributor transferred the same final accumulation as the career contributor to TIAA Traditional shortly before selecting lifetime income. Over the study period, the career contributor’s initial lifetime income exceeded that of the new contributor in 324 of the 334 retirement months, with an average lifetime income advantage of 14.5%. Their biggest advantage was 29.8% and their smallest advantage was -2.9% (i.e,. a disadvantage). Over the study’s most recent decade, the career contributor’s initial lifetime income exceeded that of the new contributor in all 120 retirement months, with an average lifetime income advantage of 22.4%. Their biggest advantage was 29.8% and their smallest advantage was 12.8%. In the study’s most recent month, the career contributor’s initial lifetime income exceeded that of the new contributor by 17.6%.

4 Results experienced by this plan may not be typical of all plans. Individual results will vary. 

5 As of Dec. 31, 2020. Based on data in PLANSPONSOR’s 403(b) Market Survey, which published in August 2021. 

6 As of Dec. 31, 2021, assets under management across Nuveen Investments affiliates and TIAA investments management teams are $1,375 billion.

The TIAA RetirePlus Series model portfolios are asset allocation recommendations developed in one of three ways, depending on your plan structure: i) by your plan sponsor, ii) by your plan sponsor in consultation with consultants and other investment advisors designated by the plan sponsor, or iii) exclusively by consultants and other investment advisors selected by your plan sponsor whereby assets are allocated to underlying mutual funds and annuities that are permissible investments under the plan. Model-based accounts will be managed on the basis of the plan participant’s personal financial situation and investment objectives (for example, taking into account factors such as participant age and risk capacity as determined by a risk tolerance questionnaire).

No registration under the Investment Company Act, the Securities Act or state securities laws – a model is not a mutual fund or other type of security and will not be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, and no units or shares of the model will be registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, nor will they be registered with any state securities regulator. Accordingly, the model is not subject to compliance with the requirements of such acts, nor may plan participants investing in underlying investments based on the model avail themselves of the protections thereunder, except to the extent that one or more underlying investments or interests therein are registered under such acts. 

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.

May not be available in all states.

More information about the TIAA RetirePlus Series can be found at

TIAA RetirePlus Series® is a registered trademark of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund, 730 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017.

You should consider the investment objectives, principal strategies, principal risks, portfolio turnover rate, performance data, and fee and expense information of each underlying investment carefully before directing an investment based on the model. For a free copy of the program description and the prospectus or other offering documents for each of the underlying investments (containing this and other information), call TIAA at 877-518-9161. Please read the program description and the prospectuses or other offering documents for the underlying investments carefully before investing.

TIAA Traditional is a fixed annuity product issued through these contracts by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA), 730 Third Avenue, New York, NY, 10017: 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.

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

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