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.

    Proven track record

    CREF Stock (R1 class) has averaged an annual return of nearly 9.68% since it began.*

    First to market

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


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


    Today, millions of  people rely on CREF Stock to build their savings and plan for lifetime income.
    *As of March 31, 2017. See latest CREF Stock performance. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

    More annuities to choose from

    CREF Variable Annuity Accounts offer low-cost investment options that can be converted into lifetime income.
      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.
      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 not use such criteria.

    • 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.
      1 An investment in the CREF Money Market Account is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency.
    WHY US?

    Investing through all market conditions

    • We invented variable annuities and continue to lead with innovative thinking and low costs.
    • 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 guidance at no additional cost to you.
    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 saving 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.

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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 As of 4/30/17, the Morningstar 3, 5 and 10-year star ratings were 4, 3, and 3, respectively. The number of peer funds for the 3, 5 and 10-year periods were 856, 763, and 539, respectively.
    ©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 nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information. Neither TIAA nor its affiliates have independently verified the accuracy or completeness of this information. For each fund with at least a three-year history, Morningstar calculates a Morningstar Rating™ based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that accounts for variation in a fund’s/account’s monthly performance (including the effects of sales charges, loads, and redemption fees), placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. The top 10 percent of funds/accounts in a category receive five stars, the next 22.5 percent receive four stars, and the next 35 percent receive three stars, the next 22.5 percent receive two stars and the bottom 10 percent receive one star. (Each share class is counted as a fraction of one fund/account within this scale and rated separately, which may cause slight variations in the distribution percentages.) Morningstar proprietary ratings on U.S.-domiciled funds/accounts reflect historical risk-adjusted performance, are subject to change every month. They are derived from a weighted average of the performance figures associated with its three-, five- and ten-year (if applicable) Morningstar Rating metrics.
    This material is for informational or educational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or investment advice in connection with a distribution, transfer or rollover, a purchase or sale of securities or other investment property, or the management of securities or other investments, including the development of an investment strategy or retention of an investment manager or advisor. 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 in consultation with an investor’s personal advisor based on the investor’s own objectives and circumstances.