Retirement account annuities

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Get the Basics

How an annuity fits into your retirement plan

Save while you work, then get lifetime income1

If offered by your employer, annuities can provide a way to save on your taxes while you’re working – and give you the option to receive retirement income you can’t outlive.
An annuity can provide income for as long as you live – even when your other retirement savings run out.1 Check with your employer’s benefits office to see if your employer plan offers annuities.
Get the Basics

How can a retirement account annuity help you?

Build your nest egg

Contributing to an annuity during your working years can potentially help you build a nest egg.

Provide income

Income from an annuity can help supplement Social Security and can provide income long after other savings run out.

Ease your mind

Knowing that you have income for life after you retire, no matter how long you live, can help ease your mind.1
Our Options

Fixed or variable annuity?


  • You will not lose the money you put in or interest earned, guaranteed
  • You will earn interest every day
  • Get income payments for life or the period you select1
  • There may be restrictions on withdrawing or transferring the money you put in


  • More investment options providing market returns
  • Shift money among investments as needed
  • Get income payments for life, or the period you select, that change based on market performance
  • No penalties or surrender charges on withdrawals or transfers
    *Read about possible restrictions and risks

    Our annuity lineup

    Fixed annuities


    TIAA Traditional

    Our flagship fixed annuity since 1918 protects your principal and earnings1 - with highly competitive interest rates - setting a solid foundation for your retirement.

    TIAA Stable Value

    This fixed annuity provides protection from market ups and downs with flexible withdrawal options, including the option for lifetime income.1

    Variable annuities


    The CREF Accounts

    We invented the variable annuity in 1952 when we launched CREF Stock Account. Since then, we’ve built other variable annuities to help you plan for lifetime income.2 Choose from equity, fixed income and diversified accounts across all major domestic and international markets.

    TIAA Real Estate Account

    A unique variable account that invests directly in commercial real estate and loans.

    TIAA Access

    A variable annuity option with many investment choices from TIAA and other fund managers.
    WHY US

    We do annuities differently

    TIAA has an impressive track record.
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    Discover more


    Personal annuities

    Save more than allowed by your employer’s plan.

    Financial health check

    Test and track your financial health with this in-depth worksheet.


    Find out about our flexible Individual Retirement Account.

    Save for college

    Start saving for college with a 529 college savings plan.
    1 Guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing company.
    2 Payments will fluctuate based on the performance of the underlying accounts.
    3 Source: LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, Not-for-Profit Market Survey, first-quarter 2016 results. Average assets per participant based on full-service business. Please note average retirement account balances are not a measure of performance of TIAA or CREF retirement offerings.

    4 Morningstar ratings based on the lowest cost share class for each mutual fund, based on U.S. open end mutual funds. For a fund with multiple share classes and the same pricing, the share class with the longest performance history is used.  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 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’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 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

    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. Conversely, only 3% of our funds and accounts have less than a 3-star rating, which speaks to the overall strength of our platform.
    5 Source: Morningstar, Inc. CREF Variable Annuities, have total net expense ratios ranging from 0.255% to 0.715% as of May 1, 2016 versus the industry average variable annuity sub-account total net expense ratio average of 2.14%.