Advisors Working with Individuals

Create an Income Stream

Our organization is uniquely suited to offer your clients more ways to create retirement income to meet varying goals.

Systematic Withdrawals

Your clients can arrange for automatic cash withdrawals, or transfers, from their TIAA and CREF accounts, either by designating to withdraw any fixed number of units, dollar amount, or percentage. Monthly, quarterly, semiannual, or annual withdrawals are available. The current minimum withdrawal is $100 per account, per payment.

Lifetime Annuities*

Both single and joint (two-life) annuities are available.

Full Benefit to Survivor*

The client receives a lifetime income. When either the annuitant or his/her annuity partner dies, the full income continues to the survivor for life.

Two-Thirds Benefit to Survivor

The client receives a lifetime income. When either the annuitant or his/her annuity partner dies, payments are reduced by one-third and continue to the survivor for life.

Half Benefit to Second Annuitant

The client receives a lifetime income. There is no reduction in lifetime income if the annuity partner dies first. If the annuity partner survives the annuitant, he/she receives for life one-half the amount payable while both were living.

All lifetime annuities offer "guaranteed periods." If the annuitant dies before the end of the guaranteed period under a one-life annuity option, a guaranteed period provides for income payments to a beneficiary for the remaining portion of the period. Under a two-life option, a guaranteed period provides for payments to a beneficiary for the remaining portion of the period, should both the annuitant and the annuity partner die before the end of the period.

The guaranteed periods are 10, 15, or 20 years. The ability of a participant to select certain guaranteed periods might be limited by the IRC.

Retirement Transition Benefit

If your client chooses to annuitize his/her retirement accumulation, a lump-sum Retirement Transition Benefit is available. The RTB offers up to 10 percent of the TIAA and CREF accumulation being converted to annuity income as a cash payment. The taxable portion of the amount may also be subject to a 10 percent tax penalty if the client is under age 59½.

Fixed-Period Payments

Your clients may arrange TIAA annuity payments over a fixed period ranging from five to 30 years (but not longer than his/her life expectancy, as determined by Internal Revenue Code regulations).


Clients can decide whether to receive retirement income from the variable accounts, from the TIAA Traditional Annuity, or from any combination. Participants can also make transfers after they've annuitized or settled their contracts.

If Your Client Wants to Retire Early

Anyone considering early retirement should be aware that most funds in employer retirement plans are not available until an individual retires, reaches age 59½, separates from service, dies, or becomes disabled. Moreover, distributions upon separation from service will generally be subject to an additional 10 percent tax, unless the individual:

  • begins a lifetime annuity income option
  • leaves employment in the calendar year of attaining age 55 or older
  • has unreimbursed medical expenses that are greater than seven and one-half percent of Adjusted Gross Income
  • becomes disabled, or dies.

Payments to someone other than the plan participant under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (e.g., a divorce settlement) are also exempt from the additional 10 percent penalty. This applies to TIAA annuities as well as to other tax-deferred retirement savings.