Variable Annuity

You can invest money for retirement using our most popular tax-deferred annuity, Intelligent Variable Annuity.*

Plus, you can choose from a number of options that suit your investment style.

You can call us at 877-554-8282 to speak with an annuity representative.

Intelligent Variable Annuity is issued by TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company (TIAA Life), New York, New York.

Get the basics

Investing with growth potential and lots of options

Putting money in

  • There are virtually no contribution limits2
  • Fees are low and easy to understandAny growth is tax-deferred
  • Choose from 60+ highly-rated investment options3

Taking money out

  • Get guaranteed lifetime income or withdraw as a lump sum4
  • Never pay surrender charges
  • Both you and your spouse can receive payments
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Get full details on our Intelligent Variable Annuity.

Get the basics

What is a variable annuity?

A variable annuity allows you to invest beyond 403(b)/401(k) and/or IRA limits to help you pursue retirement or other long-term goals.

1. Putting money in

You can decide how much you want to put in your annuity—you can make contributions over time or all at once.

2. Choosing investments

You can select from over 60 highly-rated3 investment choices made up of equities, fixed income and more.

3. Taking money out

You can decide how you want to receive income—either get lifetime income payments or take your money as you need it.

Help me choose

Variable annuities may provide extra income in retirement

You can save with few limits2 and tax-deferred growth on earnings.

Another way to save

I'm maxing out my employer plan and want to invest even more.

Catching up

With only a few years until retirement, I need to invest as much as I can.

Growth potential

I want the potential for tax-deferred growth and an income stream for life.

Help me choose

Is this annuity right for you?

Good if you care about

  • Low product fees and tax-deferral
  • Choosing from 60+ investment options3
  • Investing or withdrawing money if you need to
  • Having guaranteed income for life
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Why should you care

The real cost of annuities

Check out our Annuity Cost Saving Tool to see how much you could save in expenses.5

About us

Reasons to consider us

Get started

Need help deciding?

You can call us at 877-554-8282 to speak with an annuity representative.

Discover More


Are you getting the most out of your retirement plan?

Learn the essentials, get on the right track, and show your retirement savings who's boss.

Who we are

We invented the variable annuity in 1952

It started with CREF Stock. But we didn't stop there. Over the years we continued to innovate and improve our annuity products.

1 TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company (TIAA Life) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA). TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, member FINRA distributes securities products. Each of the foregoing is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations. Some products may not be available in all states.

2 We reserve the right to limit premiums to no more than $1,000,000 in a calendar year. See contract for details.

3 67% of Intelligent Variable Annuity's subaccounts received a Morningstar overall rating of four or five stars across all asset classes (as of February 28, 2021). According to Morningstar, 39% of Intelligent Variable Annuity's subaccounts received four stars and 28% received five stars as of February 28, 2021. Morningstar ratings reflect historical risk-adjusted performance, and are subject to change every month. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Some restrictions and fees may apply so see the prospectus for details.

4 All guarantees are based upon TIAA Life's claims paying ability.

5 Our Annuity Cost Saving Tool is not approved for use in the state of Oregon.

6 For its stability, claims-paying ability and overall financial strength, TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company is a member of one of only three insurance groups in the United States to hold the highest rating available to U.S. insurers from three of the four leading independent insurance company rating agencies. TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company (TIAA Life) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA). TIAA Life holds the following ratings as a result of its relationship with TIAA: A.M. Best (A++ as of 7/21), Fitch (AAA as of 11/21) and Standard & Poor's (AA+ as of 9/21), and the second highest possible rating from Moody's Investors Service (Aa1 as of 5/21). There is no guarantee that current ratings will be maintained. The financial strength ratings represent a company's ability to meet policyholders' obligations and claims, and do not apply to variable annuities or any other product or service not fully backed by TIAA Life's claims-paying ability. The ratings also do not apply to the safety or the performance of the variable accounts, which will fluctuate in value.

7 The first variable annuity, CREF Stock, was created by CREF (College Retirement Equities Fund) in 1952.

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 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.

Intelligent Variable Annuity, contract form series TCL-VA2, TCL-VA2-GLWB, is issued by TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company, 730 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017. Not available in all states.

Please keep in mind that annuities are designed for retirement and other long-term goals. If you choose to invest in the variable investment products, your money will be subject to the risks associated with investing in securities. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate so your investment, when redeemed, could be worth more or less than the original cost.

Withdrawals are subject to income tax, and a 10% penalty tax may apply if you are under age 59 1/2.

TIAA Life's Intelligent Variable Annuity's maximum annual annuity expense charge ranges from 0.45% to 0.70%. If the GMDB is selected, the maximum expense charge ranges from 0.55% to 0.80%. All expense information presented here is as of the prospectus dated May 1, 2021. Please see the prospectus for additional information. According to Morningstar, the average annual annuity expense charge is 1.27% for all non-group variable annuity policies in Morningstar Direct as of 4/2021. ©2021 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. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Our mutual fund and variable annuity products are subject to various fees and expenses, including but not limited to management, administrative, and distribution fees; our variable annuity products have an additional mortality and expense risk charge.

©2021 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.