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Build retirement
income for life with
CREF Accounts

We invented the nation's first variable annuity in 1952 to help keep pace with inflation.

Why cref?

Times have changed, but the need for a secure retirement remains.

Enjoy the opportunity for market growth to hedge against inflation and when you're ready to retire, you can choose how you want to take income or leave a legacy for others.1

Market growth opportunity to hedge against inflation

With their growth potential and built-in flexibility, CREF Accounts offer the opportunity for greater lifetime income, helping you achieve the financial security and confidence you seek in  retirement.

Built-in lifetime income with no added fees

CREF Accounts are offered at-cost and without profit to TIAA so more of your money goes to work for you and your future

Helping you grow and protect your lifelong retirement income

Historically, CREF Accounts have provided 65% more lifetime income in retirement than taking the industry rule-of-thumb 4% withdrawal rate.2


Pursue your financial goals, with 8 great investment options

You have the flexibility to choose which CREF accounts you want to invest in, and the ability to change, without penalty.

Select any of the following accounts for more details.

CREF for all

Feel the benefits at any age

CREF Accounts seek to provide the opportunity for market growth throughout your working years and in retirement, to help protect against inflation all while giving you lifelong income.

A retirement income feature

Take your income for a test drive

Ever wish you could experience the benefits of a variable annuity without the long-term commitments? Now you can! If eligible, you can "test-drive" monthly payments from your CREF or TIAA variable annuity.1

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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. Any guarantees under annuities issued by TIAA are subject to TIAA's claims-paying ability. Payments from the variable annuity accounts are not guaranteed and will rise and fall based on investment performance. At the end of the 2-year period, if the investor has not requested the payments be stopped, the remaining accumulation applied to the Income Test Drive feature will be converted to annuity units payable under the income option initially chosen when the feature was selected, which is irrevocable.

2 When compared to theoretical 4% systematic withdrawal amounts from similarly invested peer groups, CREF, as represented by CREF stock, has historically paid higher levels of lifetime annuity income which has ranged from 5.9% to 6.8%. There are material differences between mutual funds and CREF variable accounts. Mutual fund capital-gain distributions or dividends paid are added to the number of shares owned (number of shares increase). CREF account capital-gain distributions or dividends are added to the unit value (number of units stay constant). Mutual fund withdrawals are only available as one-time or systematic withdrawals. CREF accounts include the right to receive an income stream (a binding decision to receive annuity payments) from all or part of an account’s accumulation. CREF accounts deduct a mortality and expense-risk charge of 0.005%.

3 Source: Morningstar Direct, 12/31/2022. The CREF variable annuity accounts have expense ratios that are in the bottom decile (or 100% below median) of their respective Morningstar category. Our variable annuity accounts 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. Please see CREF prospectus for other fees or expenses.

You could lose money by investing in the CREF Money Market Account. Because the accumulation unit value of the Account will fluctuate, the value of your investment may increase or decrease. An investment in the Account is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. The Account's sponsor has no legal obligation to provide support to the Account, and you should not expect that the sponsor will provide financial support to the Account at any time.

Guaranteed Period: The period during which annuity payment remaining due after your death and the death of your annuity partner, if any, will continue to be paid to the payee named to receive them. If you opt for guaranteed period ( 10, 15 or 20 years) and you die before it's over, income payments will continue to your beneficiary until the end of the period. If you don’t opt for a guaranteed period, all payments end at your death-so, it's possible for you to receive only one payment if you die less than a month after payments start. (the 15-year guaranteed period is not available under all contracts.)

CREF Accounts may provide longer income payments than other investment products because of their Mortality Credit("Longevity Credit") feature. The promise of lifetime income is made possible through the pooling of account owners' assets. Effectively, the assets from those with shorter life spans remain in "the pool" to provided payouts to those in the pool who live longer. Those that live the longest may receive more income, so CREF can provide income for an entire retirement. CREF's insurance benefit ensures that you're not going it alone. While CREF Stock Account provide income, other investment options typically generate income based only on return of principal and interest (or investment growth) and thus can run out of money.

A variable annuity is an insurance contract and includes underlying investments whose value is tied to market performance. When markets are up, you can capture the gains, but you may also experience losses when markets are down. When you retire, you can choose to receive income for life and/ or other income options.

Responsible investing incorporates Environmental Social Governance (ESG) factors that may affect exposure to issuers, sectors, industries, limiting the type and number of investment opportunities available, which could result in excluding investments that perform well.

Because social criteria exclude some investments, the Social Choice Equity Fund may not be able to take advantage of the same opportunities or market trends as portfolios that do not use such criteria. Note: If a fund’s investment strategy uses social criteria, it can exclude securities of certain issuers for non-financial reasons and may forgo some opportunities available to funds that do not use such criteria.

Income and withdrawal options are subject to the terms of the employer plan. Withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty. In addition to ordinary income tax.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

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.