Welcome to Income Test Drive
Lifetime income from your variable annuity
Test drive income payments 1  from your CREF or TIAA variable annuity before making a commitment
Prepare for retirement with income you can't outlive.
Cancel your Income Test Drive at any time. You’re in control.
Lifetime income from a variable annuity provides growth potential and flexibility.2
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Common questions

Income Test Drive is a feature that lets you experience lifetime variable income payments for a 2-year period before making a final commitment. You have the flexibility of cancelling anytime without cost or penalties.

You retain control over your deferred annuity accumulation balance during the Income Test Drive period. Payments made during the trial period are withdrawals from this balance.

Longer life expectancies and rising healthcare costs are a concern for many retirees.

Income Test Drive offers you a new way to turn a portion of your savings into income payments. You can use the income to enjoy what you love and fund what you need.

Plus, you're in control:

  • If you're not sure whether variable lifetime income is right for you, Income Test Drive allows you to experience it for up to 2 years before making a final decision.
  • You have the flexibility of cancelling anytime without cost or penalty during the 2-year trial period.
  • At the end of the trial period, you can annuitize to receive regular payments you can't outlive or cancel the test drive.

If you’re 59½ or over and separated from service, you may be eligible to sign up for Income Test Drive. Please call 888-583-2535 for more information.

Yes, the general minimum age for Income Test Drive is 59½. Since Income Test Drive is a series of systematic withdrawals during the 2-year trial period, this is the age when most are eligible to take a withdrawal without incurring an early withdrawal tax penalty.

However, your plan may allow for retirement at age 55, which may make you eligible for Income Test Drive at this age. Please call 888-583-2535 to check your eligibility.

There’s no cost to enroll or participate in Income Test Drive.1

Yes. The minimum amount required to participate in Income Test Drive is $10,000. If your variable annuity account balance is less than $10,000, you can still participate by "test driving" your entire balance.

There’s no cost or penalty to cancel Income Test Drive during the trial period. Payments will stop when you notify us of your decision. Income Test Drive is flexible and you remain in control. In addition, there's no penalty if you choose to accelerate Income Test Drive and begin lifetime income payments through annuitization before the 2-year trial period is over.

If you do not cancel Income Test Drive, the remaining balance will be turned into lifetime income payments through annuitization and converted to annuity units payable under the income option initially chosen when the feature was selected, which is irrevocable.3 You’ll start receiving lifetime income payments in the income option you chose when you first signed up.

TIAA Retirebuilder

Our suite of TIAA RetireBuilder variable annuities can help generate income for life as part of a diversified income plan.4

Learn more about Income Test Drive
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Setting up a consultation

A consultation is available at no extra charge.

There are no fees or charges to initiate or stop this income option. However, it’s important to note that your annuity’s balance will be reduced by the income payments you receive, independent of the annuity’s performance. Income Test Drive income payments are based upon the annuitization of the amount in the account, period (minimum of 10 years), and other factors chosen by the participant. If you do not stop the Income Test Drive within the 2-year test period, the remaining balance in the account you selected for the Income Text Drive Feature will be annuitized in accordance with the selections you made for the Income Test Drive. Annuitization is irrevocable. Payments from the variable annuity accounts are not guaranteed and will rise or fall based on investment performance.

The income payments from the variable annuity accounts vary with current market conditions and are not guaranteed. They will rise or fall based on investment performance. There are risks associated with investing in securities, including possible loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

3 Converting some or all of your savings to income benefits (referred to as “annuitization”) is a permanent decision. Once income benefit payments have begun, you are unable to change to another option. 

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

Income and withdrawal options are subject to the terms of the employer plan. Withdrawals prior to age 59½ may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty, in addition to ordinary income tax. 

There are no fees or charges to initiate this feature. However, it’s important to note that your annuity’s balance will be reduced by the income payments you receive, independent of the annuity’s performance. 

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.