The CREF Accounts

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Planning for lifetime income with growth potential and low costs

 
You can choose from our eight CREF Variable Annuity Accounts—all designed to help you create retirement income.*

How they work

Putting money in

  • Through your employer’s retirement plan or your own IRA*
  • With potential for upside growth1

Taking money out

  • As a stream of lifetime income payments
  • As scheduled withdrawals or in a lump sum
    * For eligible participants only.
    Our options

    CREF Stock: the first variable annuity

    The CREF Stock Account invests in equities of companies of all sizes, all around the world.
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    Proven track record

    CREF Stock (R1 class) has averaged an annual return of nearly 9.84% since it began.*

    First to market

    CREF Stock was the first variable annuity offered in the world when it was launched in 1952.
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    Expertise

    Seasoned professionals oversee CREF Stock with a focus on long-term performance.
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    Popular

    Today, millions of  people rely on CREF Stock to build their investments and plan for lifetime income.
    *As of 6/30/18. See latest CREF Stock performance. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

    More annuities to choose from

    CREF Variable Annuity Accounts offer low-cost2 investment options that can be converted into lifetime income.
    • 1 The Account is subject to market, company risk, index risk, large-cap risk and small- and mid-cap risk. Please consider all risks carefully prior to investing.
       
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      1 The CREF Global Equities account invests in securities that involve certain risks, including currency fluctuations and controls, restrictions on foreign investments, less governmental supervision and regulation, less liquidity and the potential for market volatility and politicial instability. In addition, investing in emerging markets may involve a relatively higher degree of volatility.
       

    • 1 The CREF Growth Account is subject to equity market risk and style risk.
      2 Source: Morningstar Direct, as of 8/31/2018. Morningstar sets the distribution of funds across the rating levels, assigning three-year star ratings as follows: All funds in the category are sorted by three-year MRAR % Rank in descending order. Starting with the highest MRAR % Rank, those funds with a rank that meets but does not exceed 10% receive a 5-star rating. Funds with a rank that meets but does not exceed 32.5% receive a 4-star rating. Funds with a rank that meets but does not exceed 67.5% receive a 3-star rating. Funds with a rank that meets but does not exceed 90% receive a 2-star rating. The remaining funds receive 1 star. 
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      1 Because the social screens exclude some investments, the CREF Social Choice Account may not be able to take advantage of the same opportunities or market trends as accounts that do in a diversified portfolio of bonds and global stocks -  this should have the risks associated with a bond and global stocks in it. The Account is subject to certain risks, such as market and investment-style risks across equity and fixed income securities. Please consider all risks carefully prior to investing. Because its social screens exclude some investments, the account may not be able to take advantage of the same opportunities or market trends as accounts that do not use such criteria. Investments in small- to medium-sized corporations are more vulnerable to financial risks and other risks than larger corporations and may involve a higher degree of price volatility than investments in the general equity markets.
       
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      1 Fixed-income securities like the CREF Bond Market and Inflation-linked Bond accounts are subject to interest-rate risk. When interest rates rise, the value of the fixed-income securities generally declines. Fixed-income funds are also subject to interest rate, inflation and credit risks.
      2 Morningstar: Morningstar sets the distribution of funds across the rating levels, assigning three-year star ratings as follows: All funds in the category are sorted by three-year MRAR % Rank in descending order. Starting with the highest MRAR % Rank, those funds with a rank that meets but does not exceed 10% receive a 5-star rating. Funds with a rank that meets but does not exceed 32.5% receive a 4-star rating. Funds with a rank that meets but does not exceed 67.5% receive a 3-star rating. Funds with a rank that meets but does not exceed 90% receive a 2-star rating. The remaining funds receive 1 star. 
    • 1 Fixed-income securities like the CREF Bond Market and Inflation-linked Bond accounts are subject to interest-rate risk. When interest rates rise, the value of the fixed-income securities generally declines. Fixed-income funds are also subject to interest rate, inflation and credit risks.
       
       
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      1 You could lose money by investing in the Fund. Although the Fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it cannot guarantee it will do so. An investment in the Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. The Fund’s sponsor has no legal obligation to provide support to the Fund, and you should not expect that the sponsor will provide financial support to the Fund at any time.
       
    WHY US?

    Investing through all market conditions

    • We invented variable annuities and continue to lead with innovative thinking and low costs.2
    • We remain faithful to our proven long-term investment approach, regardless of short-term trends.
    Have questions about how to invest in CREF accounts? Call our consultants for personal advice at no additional cost to you.
    800-842-2252
    Next steps

    Getting started with the CREF Accounts

    How to get started if the CREF Accounts are available in your retirement plan.

    Already with TIAA?

    You can start investing in our CREF Accounts by updating your investment options online.

    New to TIAA?

    You can enroll to take full advantage of your employer’s retirement plan.

    Give us a call

    We’re here to help.
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    1 Annuity account options are available through contracts issued by TIAA or CREF. These contracts are designed for retirement or other long-term goals, and offer a variety of income options, including lifetime income. Payments from the variable annuity accounts [and mutual funds] are not guaranteed and will rise or fall based on investment performance.

    2 Applies to mutual fund and variable annuity expense ratios. Source: Morningstar Direct, June 30, 2018. 78% of TIAA-CREF mutual fund products and variable annuity accounts have expense ratios that are in the bottom quartile (or 97.79% below median) of their respective Morningstar category.
    ©2018 Morningstar ratings are based on each mutual fund (institutional share class) or variable annuity account's (lowest cost) share class and include U.S. open-end mutual funds, CREF Variable Accounts and the Life Funds. The Morningstar Rating™ – or "star rating" – is calculated for managed products (including mutual funds, variable annuity and variable life subaccounts, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds and separate accounts) with at least a three-year history. Exchange-traded funds and open-ended mutual funds are considered a single population for comparative purposes. The rating is calculated based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that accounts for variation in a managed product's monthly excess performance, placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. Morningstar ratings may be higher or lower on a monthly basis. The top 10% of funds or accounts in each product category receive five stars, the next 22.5% receive four stars and the next 35% receive three stars. The overall star ratings are Morningstar's published ratings, which are derived from weighted averages of the performance figures associated with the three-, five-, and 10-year (if applicable) Morningstar rating metrics for the period ended June 30, 2018. Morningstar is an independent service that rates mutual funds. Past performance cannot guarantee future results. For current performance and ratings, please visit TIAA.org/public/investmentperformance.
    This material is for informational or educational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice under ERISA. 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.
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