TIAA Traditional Interest Rates Increase 21%, Boosting Guaranteed Lifetime Income for Millions of Retirement Savers

TIAA to credit over $7 billion in 2022 for flagship offering

NEW YORK, March 9, 2022  – TIAA is increasing interest rates on its TIAA Traditional offering by an average of 21%, boosting the retirement security of more than 2 million savers who are accumulating in the company’s flagship fixed annuity.

Through this latest increase, TIAA will share $2.3 billion of interest on top of the $5 billion of interest it has already guaranteed, bringing the total amount credited to Traditional investors to well over $7 billion this year. This increase comes just weeks after TIAA increased lifetime income payouts to annuitants.i  All told, TIAA has paid more lifetime income than any other insurer – almost 60% more.ii

Helping Americans have a dignified and secure retirement is in our DNA,” said Colbert Narcisse, chief product and business development officer at TIAA. “Our unique, mission-based ownership structure has allowed us to return profits to our clients and provide superior retirement outcomes for more than 100 years.” 

TIAA Traditional has paid more in lifetime income than its contractually guaranteed minimum amounts every year since 1949, providing clients who choose to annuitize with a solid foundation of steady, guaranteed lifetime income payments regardless of market conditions.iii TIAA has paid out over a half a trillion dollars in retirement benefits since its founding, never once missing a payment through depressions, world wars, financial crises and pandemics. 

“The recent stomach-turning volatility in the market has highlighted one of the very important benefits of TIAA Traditional,” said Bill Griesser, head of Institutional Managed Solutions at TIAA. “Working in a portfolio, TIAA Traditional can provide real-world differences by offering reduced volatility, stable returns without sacrificing performance, as well as guaranteed income you can never outlive.” 

TIAA Traditional is different from other fixed annuities. It offers:

  • Guaranteed Growth and Incomeiv: TIAA Traditional provides guaranteed growth during the working years people pay into it, which means the value of money contributed is guaranteed to increase every day – even in the most volatile markets. It also provides guaranteed lifetime income by providing the opportunity to turn savings into regular monthly income to help meet everyday living expenses in retirement. It’s like getting a “paycheck”v for life when you stop working. 
  • Additional Amounts: Along with providing a guaranteed fixed rate, TIAA Traditional offers the opportunity to receive extra interest and income, declared annually at the discretion of the company’s board. As noted above, TIAA has consistently paid additional amounts for over 70 consecutive years. 
  • Loyalty Bonus: TIAA Traditional also offers a unique opportunity for more growth and income for long-term contributors – a loyalty bonus that rewards savers with additional amounts of income based on how long they have been Contributing to TIAA Traditional consistently over a working career can significantly increase payments at retirement, with an average lifetime income advantage of 22.4%.vii

Returning Profits to Clients

TIAA is a private company whose mission is to provide retirement security for educators, healthcare workers, researchers, government employees and others in service. This unique structure and heritage enables a pure focus on serving its plan clients and their employee participants. 

TIAA can increase rates due to its disciplined approach to managing the TIAA General Account, which backs TIAA Traditional and invests in a broadly diversified portfolio that enables long-term returns.

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 providerviii, paid more than $3.6 billion to retired clients in 2020 and has nearly $1.4 trillion in assets under management (as of 12/31/2021).ix For more information, visit

Learn more about TIAA
Read the latest TIAA news

Press contact

Elizabeth Anderson
media@tiaa.orgOpens Email

i TIAA Actuarial as of 2/18/2022.  

ii Source: 2020 NAIC annual statement, page 27 annuities, sum of individual and group income payable. 

iii TIAA may share profits with TIAA Traditional Annuity owners through declared additional amounts of interest and through increases in annuity income throughout retirement. These additional amounts are not guaranteed. 

iv Guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of TIAA. TIAA Traditional is a guaranteed insurance contract and not an investment for federal securities law purposes. 

v Paycheck" is the annuity income received in retirement.  Guarantees of fixed monthly payments are only associated with TIAA's fixed annuities. 

vi 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. TIAA may provide a loyalty bonus based on the length of time the funds are held in TIAA Traditional. The loyalty bonus is provided through increases in annuity income throughout retirement and is only available upon annuitization. The amount of the bonus is discretionary and determined by the TIAA Board of Trustees on an annual basis. 

vii Source: TIAA Actuarial Department, 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 301 months from January 1, 1997, through January 1, 2022. The two hypothetical participants are the same 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 291 of the 301 retirement months with an average lifetime income advantage of 15.1%. Their biggest advantage was 29.8% and their smallest advantage was -2.9% (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 17.1%. In the study’s most recent month, the career contributor’s initial lifetime income exceeded that of the new contributor by 17.2%. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. 

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

ix As of December 31, 2021 assets under management across Nuveen Investments affiliates and TIAA investment management teams are $1,375 trillion.  

Annuity contracts contain terms for keeping them in force. Exclusions, restrictions, limitations and reductions in benefits will, in certain situations, apply to annuity contracts. Your financial consultant or advisor can provide you with costs and complete details. 

TIAA Traditional is issued through these contracts: Form series 1000.24; G-1000.4 or G-1000.5/G1000.6 or G1000.7; 1200.8; G1250.1; IGRS-01-84-ACC and IGRS-02-ACC; IGRS-CERT2-84-ACC and IGRS-CERT3-ACC;IGRSP-01-84-ACC and IGRSP-02-ACC; IGRSP-CERT2-84-ACC and IGRSP-CERT3-ACC; 6008.8 and 6008.9-ACC; 1000.24-ATRA; 1280.2, 1280.4, or 1280.3 or 1280.5, or G1350. 

May not be available in all states. 

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. 

© 2022 and prior years, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund, New York, NY 10017