Consider whether lifetime income in retirement may be right for you

You already have a lifetime income option as part of your retirement savings plan. Activating this valuable feature can provide income that's guaranteed for life.

A general rule of thumb is that your income in retirement should be diversified just like your savings during your working years.


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Enjoy income for life

For decades, millions of Americans have chosen to turn on lifetime income features built into their TIAA and CREF annuities. Explore how this option could mean you'll spend more time enjoying your own retirement.

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Whether retirement is just around the corner or you've already reached it, it's time to think about how you'll create income from the savings you've built up during your career - an actual plan for income.

And for most retirees, that plan will generally be made up of a combination of two different types of income sources that you can turn on to cover your expenses:
Those that will pay you until they are depleted, like withdrawals from savings accounts, target date funds and other mutual funds...
...and those that will continue to pay you for life - no matter what the markets might bring - once you turn on their income features, like Social Security, pensions and annuities.

And, as someone who contributed to TIAA Traditional and CREF annuities, this means that you'll have the option built into your plan to simply turn on additional lifetime income that you can feel confident will continue to pay you every month, for the rest of your life.

Because unlike mutual funds you might hold, TIAA Traditional and CREF were built to provide lifetime income in retirement.

You can customize how much you want to convert into lifetime income and when you want that income to start, along with other options.

And you can make those decisions with confidence, knowing that at TIAA, we have over 100 years of experience providing customers, like you, with annuity incomes that last a lifetime. In fact, we've never missed a payment to our retirees.

Turning on customized lifetime income from your TIAA Traditional or CREF annuity could mean you'll spend less time worrying about your income in retirement and more time enjoying the life you've built.

Ready to learn more about your plan's built-in lifetime income? TIAA is here to help. Call us today.

You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. Please call 877-518-9161 or go to for current product and fund prospectuses that contain this and other information. Please read the prospectuses carefully before investing.

Watch the videos below to learn about the lifetime income options available to you

Learn the difference between fixed and variable annuities

Each can play an important role in your retirement income plan.

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See how you can customize lifetime income for you and your loved ones

This flexibility can provide comfort knowing payments will continue to a spouse, partner or beneficiaries.

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Lifetime income from annuities can be a key component of a diversified retirement income strategy

Having different sources of retirement income can help create the right mix of guaranteed income and growth potential to minimize risks.

It's income you can't outlive

Social Security and pensions both offer guaranteed lifetime income, but this may not be enough. Annuities are the only other source that offers income for life.1

Helps protect from market downturns

Worry less about market ups and downs. Fixed annuities provide dependable, steady income regardless of market fluctuations.

It offers potential for inflation protection

Variable annuities can provide an income stream that responds to market changes to help hedge against inflation.2

You may worry less

A set payout plan can help eliminate the stress of making complex financial decisions later in life.

Lifetime income helps stretch your savings out longer

Twin sisters, Tara and Rachel, both retire at 65 with $100,000 each and each earn 3% return

The twins are more than likely to live past 87. Rachel runs out of money because she withdraws more than the 3% she earns each year. This would hold true in any scenario where the returns and withdrawals are applied equally to both sisters.

Source: TIAA Actuarial Department. Life annuity payment is based on TIAA dividend mortality tables as of January 1, 2021 , and a single life annuity based upon a 3% interest rate. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This is a hypothetical example for illustrative purposes only. Actual income amounts will vary.

When you're ready, consider your options

Decide how much

Annuities in your retirement plan offer several options that allow you to use a portion of your savings for lifetime income in retirement.

Fixed or variable annuities

You might want to consider both. Fixed annuities offer income payments that are guaranteed while variable annuities offer growth potential but income payments can go up or down with market conditions.2

Coverage for you, or include a partner

You can choose lifetime income for just yourself, or you can include your spouse or partner.

Beneficiary protection

You can elect to have payments continue to your loved ones for up to 10, 15, or 20 years.

We can help you

TIAA offers many valuable resources to help you understand how and when to make the decision to turn annuity savings into lifetime income.

Call us

When you're ready or have questions, give us a call.

Weekdays, 8 a.m. -7 p.m. (ET)

Watch a webinar

Learn about the benefits of lifetime income.

Exchanging your savings for income payments (referred to as "annuitization") is a permanent decision and once lifetime income payments has been selected you are unable to change to another option.

This material is for informational or educational purposes only and does not constitute fiduciary investment advice under ERISA, a securities recommendation under all securities laws, or an insurance product recommendation under state insurance laws or regulations. This material do es 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.

1 Any guarantees under annuities issued by TIAA are subject to TIAA's claims paying ability.

2 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 are not guaranteed and will rise or fall based on investment performance

Diversification is a technique to help reduce risk. It is not guaranteed to protect against loss.

Annuitization recommendations are a brokerage service provided by TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC ("TC Services"), a registered broker/dealer, Member FINRA, SIPC. They are intended for use by residents of the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.