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No matter where you are in life, CREF is designed to work for you

CREF variable annuities offer specialized options for every investor. By focusing on growth, responsible investing, inflation protection and other strategies, CREF annuities give you the confidence of having retirement income for life.

CREF for all

Feel the benefits at any age

CREF variable annuity accounts can help get you to and through retirement. While you're working, CREF can help maximize your investment and allows you to make adjustments as life changes. When you retire, you can turn CREF into income that suits your need.


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.

Why cref?

We can help you plan for lifetime income payouts, plus growth potential

With CREF accounts, your investments have the opportunity to benefit from market returns over time and, when you're ready to retire, you can choose how you want to take income or leave a legacy for others.4

Growth Potential

Professionally managed investment options designed to provide long-term performance and growth potential.

Lowest fees in the industry

CREF Accounts have the lowest expenses in the industry2 and offer expense ratios lower than the average expense ratio of all mutual funds.3

Lifetime Income

Designed to provide monthly income that lasts a lifetime and to help hedge against inflation in retirement.4

A new 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.3

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1 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.

2 Source: Morningstar Direct, 03/31/2022. 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.

3 Source: Morningstar Direct 03/31/2022. Expense ratio comparisons and total net expense ratios: CREF Overall: 0.26%, VA-Sub Account average – overall: 1.88% and VA-Sub Account average – retail variable annuities - 2.19%. CREF's insurance expense at 0.05%  is 286 times less than the average total VA-Sub Account insurance fees of 1.43%.

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.

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.

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.