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Get the basics

Think of an annuity as a safety net for your retirement

An annuity can provide income you can't outlive.  Your investment choices can be variable, meaning they rise and fall with the markets, or fixed, meaning you get a guaranteed return.1
Step One Consider an annuity through an employer plan or IRA or consider a personal annuity.
Step Two Put money in, either all at once, or contribute regularly.
Step Three Watch how your account performs over time.
Step Four Retire and choose one of many income options, including income for life.

All the places you can put an annuity

We can offer options to complement your other investments. An annuity is the only financial offering that can guarantee income for life no matter how long you live.1
our options

Types of annuities



Through your employer
It offers a variety of income choices, including lifetime income, after you leave the workforce.


On your own
Consider if you want to save more money for retirement than you can put in your employer’s plan.

Why put an annuity in your IRA?

Lifetime income survey

of Americans want retirement income that lasts as long as they live over other benefits

Source: 2016 TIAA Lifetime Income Survey
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1 Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing company.
2 69% of TIAA-CREF’s funds and variable annuity accounts received an Morningstar overall rating of 4 or 5 stars (44.00% 4 stars and 25.33% 5 stars), based on risk-adjusted returns as of September 30, 2016. Morningstar ratings based on the lowest cost share class for each mutual fund, based on U.S. open end mutual funds; CREF Variable Accounts; and the Life Funds. For a fund or account with multiple share classes and the same pricing, the share class with the longest performance history is used. Please note Morningstar rates CREF group variable annuities within the open end mutual fund universe.  Morningstar ratings may be higher or lower on a monthly basis. Morningstar is an independent service that rates mutual funds. The top 10% of funds or accounts in an investment category receive five stars, the next 22.5% receive four stars and the next 35% receive three stars. Morningstar proprietary ratings reflect historical risk-adjusted performance and can change every month. They are calculated from the fund or account’s three-, five- and ten-year average annual returns in excess of 90-day Treasury bill returns with appropriate fee adjustments, and a risk factor that reflects fund or account performance below 90-day T-bill returns. The overall star ratings are Morningstar’s published ratings, which are weighted averages of its three-, five- and ten-year ratings for periods ended September 30, 2016. Past performance cannot guarantee future results. For current performance and rankings, please visit
3 Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) and its wholly owned subsidiary TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company (TIAA Life) are 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 stability, claims-paying ability and overall financial strength: A.M. Best (A++ as of 8/16), Fitch (AAA as of 8/16) and Standard & Poor's (AA+ as of 8/16). Each company currently holds the second highest possible rating from Moody’s Investors Service (Aa1 as of 8/16). Per S&P criteria, the downgrade of U.S. long-term government debt limits the highest rating of U.S. insurers to AA+ (the second-highest rating available). There is no guarantee that current ratings will be maintained. Ratings represent a company’s ability to meet policyholders’ obligations and do not apply to variable annuities, mutual funds or any other product or service not fully backed by the issuer’s claims-paying ability.
TIAA-CREF managed account services provide discretionary investment management services for a fee.
TIAA-CREF managed account services are offered through TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC , a registered investment adviser and broker-dealer, and TIAA-CREF Trust Company, FSB, a federal savings bank.