General CARES Act information

Frequently Asked Questions

On March 27, the president signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. While the act provides relief for individuals and businesses on a broad scale, the following provisions are the most relevant to retirement plan sponsors and plan participants:
  • New 2020 required minimum distributions (RMDs) are suspended, and existing 2020 RMDs can be canceled
  • Retirement plan withdrawal flexibility is increased and limits are expanded with penalty and tax withholding waived*
  • Retirement plan loan limits are increased, and repayments due between 3/27/2020 and 12/31/2020 can be delayed one year*
* At the option of the plan sponsor

  • 401(k)
  • 401(a) (with restrictions for money purchase plans)
  • 403(a)
  • 403(b)
  • 457(b) government
  • Keogh
  • IRA
Not eligible:
  • 457(b) tax-exempt/private
  • 457(f)
  • 403(c)

TIAA has been gathering weekly feedback from retirement plan participants about what’s most important at this time. They tell us they are looking for:
  1. Reassurance
  2. Advice on making investment changes (buy, sell, hold)
  3. Strategies to protect savings
  4. Projections on time line for recovery
Combining the learnings from this and what we have heard from our plan sponsors, we:
  • Sent an email to all participants from Roger Ferguson focused on the historical perspective of the markets and the strength and longevity of TIAA to help them through volatile times
  • Reached out to offer help and advice to plan participants who have relationships with individual advisors
  • Offered a series of webinars in March on managing through market volatility, with over 3,600 attendees
  • Launched a web resource center with information, insights and expert analysis to help participants stay informed in this time of uncertainty
We will continue to make information and guidance available to participants through emails, economic and market update webinars, and new content on the web resources center to help participants evaluate how best to source funds (e.g., stimulus, loans, withdrawals).