Tools & Calculators

Annuity Cost Savings Calculator

Lower expenses. More savings.

With some of the lowest expenses in the industry,
lower costs + your savings = more retirement income potential.

This calculator is not approved for use in Oregon.
The Tool

Calculate your cost savings

To show you how a TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company (TIAA Life) Intelligent Variable Annuity (IVA) could help you save more for retirement, we'll need the answers to these four questions:
What's your initial investment amount?
How long do you intend to invest?
What's your current annual rate of return?
What are your current annual expenses?
Step 1
Step 1
Enter your initial investment amount
How much do you plan to invest?
($2,500 to $1,000,000)
We're among the highest rated insurance companies in the U.S. by the four leading insurance company rating agencies.1
Step 2
Step 2
Create your investment timeline
How long can you let your money mature before you need income?
(Min 0 years to max 30 years)
Variable annuities are designed for retirement and other long-term investment needs.
Step 3
Step 3
Share your annual rate of return
Estimate how much your current annuity will earn each year.
We'll assume the same rate of return for the IVA.
(Min 0% to max 8%)
Variable annuities involve risks as well as potential rewards which will impact your return.
Step 4
Step 4
Tell us about your current expenses
Add up your current annual charges for your annuity.
(min 0% to max 4%)
1.33% industry average2
The IVA has some of the lowest expenses in the industry3 and no surrender charges. See below for how much you could save.
The results are in

Potentially save

Lower annuity expenses means more of your money is invested rather than paying expenses. This can have a significant impact on your options later in life. Keep in mind that lower expenses do not necessarily result in higher returns. Since we use the same investment return assumption for both annuities, this illustration is intended to show how lower annuity expenses affect the annuity's account value and contractual benefits, and is not intended to predict or project investment results.
Created with Highcharts 4.1.7
TIAA Life Intelligent Variable Annuity:


Comparable annuity:


Total account balance and contribution amounts over time
Date TIAA Life Intelligent Variable Annuity Comparable annuity
01/01/2017 100000 100000
01/01/2018 104650 103660
01/01/2019 109516 107454
01/01/2020 114609 111387
01/01/2021 119938 115464
01/01/2022 125515 119689
01/01/2023 131352 124070
01/01/2024 137459 128611
01/01/2025 143851 133318
01/01/2026 150540 138198
01/01/2027 157541 143256
Value at 0% Rate of Return: TIAA Life Annuity $2,133 / Other Annuity $2,184

Accumulation comparison

Like the chart above, this table shows how the IVA compares to another variable annuity you either currently own or are considering. It compares the other annuity’s accumulation with the IVA’s accumulation at the IVA’s current charges and at its maximum charges, assuming the rate of return you chose in the questionnaire, above.* It also shows how the IVA would perform with either current or maximum charges at a 0% rate of return. This is to illustrate how the charges could affect your initial investment.

*If you didn’t change the value for rate of return in the questionnaire, then this column in the table reflects the industry average rate. 2

Try different hypothetical scenarios to explore various retirement outcomes:

Enter initial
investment amount
($2,500 to max $1,000,000)
Enter years
to invest
(Min 0 years up to max 30 years)
Adjust annual
rate of return
(Min 0% to max 8%)
Adjust current
annual Expenses
(Min 0% to max 4%)
1.33% industry average
Take action

Potentially save $14,314

Exchange your annuity

A tax-free 1035 exchange can transform an old annuity into a new opportunity.4

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Call us at 877-554-8282
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There's a reason why we call it “intelligent”

Consider our Intelligent Variable Annuity for retirement income you can't outlive.

1For its stability, claims-paying ability and overall financial strength, TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company is a member of one of only three insurance groups in the United States to hold the highest rating available to U.S. insurers from three of the four leading independent insurance company rating agencies. TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company (TIAA Life) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA). TIAA Life holds the following ratings as a result of its relationship with TIAA: A.M. Best (A++ as of 8/16), Fitch (AAA as of 2/17) and Standard & Poor's (AA+ as of 11/16), and the second highest possible rating from Moody's Investors Service (Aa1 as of 2/17). There is no guarantee that current ratings will be maintained. The financial strength ratings represent a company's ability to meet policyholders' obligations and claims and do not apply to variable annuities or any other product or service not fully backed by TIAA Life'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.

2According to Morningstar, the average annuity expense charge is 1.33% for all non-group variable annuity subaccounts in Morningstar Direct as of 5/23/2016. ©2017 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The information contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar and/or its content providers; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is not warranted to be accurate, complete, or timely. Neither Morningstar or its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising for any use of this information. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

3TIAA Life's Intelligent Variable Annuity's maximum annuity expense charge ranges from 0.45% to .70%. If the Guaranteed Minimum Death Benefit option is selected, the maximum expense charge ranges from 0.55% to 0.80%. All expense information presented here is as of the prospectus dated May 1, 2016. Please see the prospectus for more information.

TIAA Life's Intelligent Variable Annuity Explanation of Annual Annuity Charge Rates:
  Years 1-10 accumulation from $0 to <$100,000: 0.50%
  Accumulation from $100,000 to <$500,000: 0.35%
  Accumulation of $500,000+: 0.25%
  Years 11+ any accumulation: 0.10%

4When comparing annuities and before considering replacing your annuity, carefully consider differences in features, costs, charges, services, company strength and other important aspects. There may also be tax consequences associated with the transfer of assets. Indirect transfers may be subject to taxation and penalties. Consult with your own advisors regarding your particular situation.

The information derived from this tool is for illustrative purposes only and must not be regarded as a promise, projection or estimate of actual investment performance. Results are based on your inputs and certain hypothetical assumptions may have been made based on information you provided. The purpose of the tool is not to predict future returns, but to be used as an educational tool. You should not rely on this tool as the sole source of making any financial decisions. Contact your tax advisor regarding the tax impact of any decision regarding potential savings strategies. You may also contact TIAA Life at 877-554-8282 for additional information about our annuities.

This calculator allows for assumed rates of return up to a maximum of 8%. Please note the assuming higher rates of returns implies higher risk levels, and may not match actual future returns. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. These charts assume your selected hypothetical interest rate with no withdrawals during the period indicated. Any withdrawn amounts are subject to federal and state ordinary income taxes and, if made before age 59 1/2, the IRS 10% penalty. This calculation does not reflect the deduction of any fees or expenses and taxes and is not intended to predict or project an investment rate. If these amounts were included, the performance would be lower. Actual returns will vary. Our current administrative fees are 0.10% and we reserve the right to raise this rate to 0.30% upon notice.

Please keep in mind that annuities are designed for retirement and other long-term goals. If you choose to invest in variable investment products, your money will be subject to the risks associated with investing in securities, including loss of principal. Annuities are long-term investment vehicles designed for retirement purposes or other long-term goals.

Annuity contracts contain exclusions, limitations, reduction of benefits and may contain terms for keeping them in force. We can provide you with costs and complete details. Please note: lower expenses do not necessarily result in higher returns.


The Intelligent Variable Annuity, contract form series TCL-VA2, is issued by TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company (TIAA Life) , 730 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017. TIAA Life is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations.