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A message from Ron Pressman

CEO, Institutional Financial Services
TIAA was created with a mission to serve, and we have always run our organization on a foundation of strong values, ethical behaviors and integrity.  Therefore, it was incredibly disappointing and concerning to read a very misleading article about TIAA that you may have seen in The New York Times recently.  We fundamentally disagree with how the article characterizes TIAA and the way we operate our company and address your financial needs.
As I hope you have experienced, TIAA is a different kind of financial services organization.  The long-term goals of our institutional clients and their employees have been our primary focus for nearly a century.  We are not publicly traded, and therefore not subject to short-term shareholder interests.  We put our clients first, and operate in a highly transparent and ethical way.
We are not an organization that is particularly boastful, but I am proud of what we have been able to deliver for you and your employees. I would put our investment performance1, fees2 and service delivery up against any other financial services company.  The outcomes speak volumes. Through TIAA Traditional, we’ve paid more than the guaranteed payouts to our fixed annuity holders every year for more than half a century3.  We’ve paid $394 billion in benefits to retired participants since 19184.  In fact, since our founding, our retired participants have never missed a payout from us – through depressions, wars, and natural disasters.
The bottom line is that participants in TIAA administered plans have more confidence5, more monthly income6 and the highest average account balances7.  And that’s why TIAA exists – to help the millions of people we serve achieve lifetime financial security.
By misrepresenting facts, taking comments out of context, and making apples-to-oranges comparisons, the article presents a misleading portrait of who we are as an organization and our commitment to putting our clients first. 
We fully believe that our trusted reputation and track record will enable us to quickly move past this unfortunate article, and we remain committed to our core mission and to working every day to serve the interests of your institution and your employees.
Please feel free to reach out to your TIAA representative or me if you have any questions or want additional context regarding points made in the article.
Ron Pressman
CEO, Institutional Financial Services
1Winner of the Thompson Lipper Best Overall Large Fund Company award five years in a row. The award is based on a review of 36 companies in 2012, 48 companies in 2013 and 2014, 37 companies in 2015, and 34 companies in 2016 risk-adjusted performance. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The Lipper Large Fund Award is given to the group with the lowest average decile ranking of three years’ Consistent Return for eligible funds over the three-year period with at least five equity, five bond, or three mixed-asset portfolios. Note this award pertains to mutual funds within the TIAA-CREF group of mutual funds; other funds distributed by Nuveen Securities were not included. From Thomson Reuters Lipper Awards, © 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Used by permission and protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States. The printing, copying, redistribution, or retransmission of this Content without express written permission is prohibited. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Certain funds have fee waivers in effect. Without such waivers ratings could be lower. For current performance, rankings and prospectuses, please visit the Research and Performance section on TIAA.org. TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Members FINRA and SIPC.
2Applies to mutual fund and variable annuity expense ratios. Source: Morningstar Direct, June 30, 2017. The expense ratio on all mutual fund products and variable annuity accounts managed by TIAA-CREF is generally less than half the mutual fund industry average. 59% are less than half their respective Morningstar Universe average and 50% are less than half their respective Morningstar Universe median.
3The TIAA Traditional Annuity provides a guarantee of principal, a guaranteed minimum rate of interest and the potential for additional amounts of interest when declared by TIAA's Board of Trustees. Additional amounts, when declared, remain in effect for the "declaration year" that begins each March 1 for accumulating annuities and January 1 for lifetime payout annuities. Additional amounts are not guaranteed for future years. The TIAA Traditional Annuity has credited additional amounts every year since 1948.
4As of 12/31/2016. Other benefits from TIAA and CREF include: additional amounts paid on TIAA Traditional annuity contracts above the guaranteed rate, surrender benefits and other withdrawals, death benefits, health insurance and disability insurance benefits, and all other policy proceeds paid.
5Retirees, Annuitization and Defined Contribution Plans, Paul J. Yakoboski, TIAA-CREF Institute, April, 2010.
6TIAA Traditional White Paper, page 3, exhibit 2.
7Source: LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, Not-for-Profit Market Survey, fourth-quarter 2016 results. Average assets per participant based on full-service business.
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