Your TIAA Traditional learning journey starts here

The guaranteed portion of your retirement portfolio1


Discover how our TIAA Traditional fixed annuity* can benefit your financial security as you save and throughout retirement.

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 *Issued by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA), New York, NY.

Why TIAA Traditional as you save?

A guaranteed rate

Your TIAA Traditional balance increases every day, even during market volatility.1


Compare these interest rates with other fixed income products to discover how TIAA Traditional stands apart.

More growth

As you save, you can receive interest above the guaranteed rate.1,2


TIAA will credit $3.4b of interest above the guaranteed interest rates in 2023.3

Higher payout rates

Contributing over the course of your working career can lead to higher lifetime income payout rates.2


TIAA has paid more than the guaranteed minimum every year since 1949.

TIAA Traditional comes in different versions, or contract types, that are selected by your employer for your retirement plan. You may have access to multiple versions and can view your available options hereOpens in a new window (log in required).

Maximum interest rates vs. maximum liquidity
The table below breaks down the liquidity of each contract. Contracts with delayed liquidity tend to offer higher interest rates than those that are fully liquid. Choose the option(s) that makes sense for your situation.

Delayed liquidity = maximum returns

These contracts historically provide higher returns than our fully liquid contracts, but have limitations on transfers and withdrawals.


Group Retirement Annuity (GRA)
Retirement Choice (RC)
Retirement Annuity (RA)

Fully liquid = maximum flexibility

You can freely move in and out of these contracts as desired with a slightly lower interest rate as you save for retirement.


Group Supplemental Retirement Annuity (GSRA)
Retirement Choice Plus (RCP)
Supplemental Retirement Annuity (SRA)

Why lifetime income in retirement?

Retirement paycheck

With TIAA Traditional, you can choose to create a retirement paycheck that offers the assurance you'll have money coming in as long as you live.4

More than 4%

Many retirees choose a 4% withdrawal strategy to help avoid running out of money in retirement. A 67-year-old receives nearly 8% when choosing lifetime income – 90% more income than 4% withdrawals.5

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Raises in retirement

Benefit from potential raises in retirement. We have awarded 15 income increases in the past 25 years, including a 3% income increase for 2023.6

TIAA Traditional offers a variety of lifetime income options to accommodate your specific needs in retirement. The more levels of security you add to your income options, your payment amount will slightly decrease.

  • You can choose for your lifetime income to last the rest of your life only, or you can choose a joint-life annuity which will pay you and your partner for the rest of your lives.
  • You also have the ability to select a time period (10, 15 or 20 years) in which payments would continue to your beneficiaries in the event something happens to you.
  • Selecting any of the 20-year guarantee period options will almost always result in total payments that are greater than the amount originally converted to begin lifetime income.

Learn more about lifetime income and your income options.

Ready to save with TIAA Traditional?

Choose between moving money yourself, getting a recommendation and speaking with a financial consultant.

Frequently asked questions

TIAA Traditional provides minimum guaranteed interest rates during your savings years and a minimum amount of lifetime income when you retire.1

When you contribute to TIAA Traditional, you will be paid interest at competitive interest rates that are declared in advance. Even in the most volatile markets, you will never lose the value of the principal you contribute. In fact, your principal and earnings will grow every day—guaranteed.1

The minimum guaranteed interest rate can differ by contract as shown on page 7Opens pdf of our full FAQ brochure. TIAA strives to credit interest above the minimum rates. In fact, TIAA has credited interest above the contractual minimum guaranteed rate on one or more contracts every year since 1948.2 In retirement, if lifetime income is selected, you receive a minimum guaranteed payment based on the income options you select. Just like our interest above the guarantee, we aim to pay above the guaranteed minimum and have done so every year since 1949.2

You can click here to find the current and historical interest rates for all TIAA Traditional contracts. You may also click hereOpens in a new window to log in to see just the version of TIAA Traditional available on your retirement plan menu.

Click here to view the various characteristics of each TIAA Traditional contract, including minimum interest rate and transfer/withdrawal options.

No. As a fixed annuity contract, TIAA Traditional does not have an expense ratio. TIAA Traditional is not a registered investment for purposes of federal securities laws.

An annuity is a product issued by an insurance company. It can be utilized to save while you work and is the only financial product that can provide access to a retirement paycheck when you retire.4 A contract is issued to you by the insurance company that specifies the terms governing the annuity benefits. You can access annuities through retail channels or, if available, through retirement accounts.

The most common types of annuities are fixed or variable. Fixed annuities, also known as guaranteed annuities, pay you a minimum guaranteed rate of interest while you save and may have the opportunity for more depending on type. Variable annuities are investments and have values that fluctuate based on performance.

Annuities can be utilized in either or both phases:

  • While you’re saving—ability to grow your money tax deferred
  • When you stop working—a fixed annuity provides an option for secure guaranteed lifetime “paycheck” in retirement. Please note, withdrawals prior to age 59½ may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty in addition to ordinary income tax.

TIAA Traditional credits interest based on the time period during which you make the contribution or transfer in. As a result, the money you contribute or transfer during different time periods may earn different rates of interest. Think of each time period as a different bucket.

  • The money you contribute in earlier time periods (earlier buckets) can earn different rates
  • If you have contributed regularly over various time periods, then you will have a balance in multiple buckets

Renewal rates
On March 1, the rates for all existing time periods (referred to as "renewal rates") are reviewed for possible reset. Rates are then guaranteed until the end of the following February (i.e., a one-year period). TIAA's Board of Trustees determines the interest rate in excess of the minimum guaranteed rates for a particular time period. Interest rates are determined based on factors including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The interest rate environment at the time the funds were contributed
  • The interest rate environment at the time the funds were transferred in
  • TIAA's expenses and changes in interest rates over time

TIAA believes that the "interest bucket" system is the most equitable way to credit interest among all participants. The system helps ensure that accumulations in participants' accounts are credited with total interest rates that reflect, in large part, both the prevailing interest rate environment and the financial experience of TIAA general account investments that support each interest bucket.

For more details on these topics and more, downloadOpens pdf our Frequently Asked Questions brochure.

1All guarantees are based on TIAA's claims-paying ability. TIAA Traditional is a guaranteed insurance contract and not an investment for federal securities law purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

2TIAA may share profits with TIAA Traditional Annuity owners through declared additional amounts of interest during accumulation, higher initial annuity income, and through further increases in annuity income benefits during retirement. These additional amounts are not guaranteed beyond the period for which they were declared.

3As of 3/1/2023.

4"Paycheck" is the annuity income received in retirement. Guarantees of fixed monthly payments are only associated with TIAA's fixed annuities.

5Life annuity payments assume a single life annuity with a 10-year guarantee period at age 67 using TIAA’s standard payment method beginning income on August 1, 2023. New contributor assumes new contribution to TIAA Traditional on July 31, 2023. Career contributor assumes 30 years ending July 2023 of level monthly premiums to TIAA Traditional Retirement Annuity contract.

6Applies to standard settlement annuitizations. Prorated increases will apply to annuitants receiving lifetime income for less than one year as of January 1, 2023.

Annuity contracts contain terms for keeping them in force. Exclusions, restrictions, limitations and reductions in benefits will, in certain situations, apply to annuity contracts. Your financial consultant or advisor can provide you with costs and complete details.

TIAA Traditional is a fixed annuity product issued through these contracts by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA), 730 Third Avenue, New York, NY,10017:_ Form series 1000.24; G-1000.4 or G-1000.5/G1000.6 or G1000.7; 1200.8; G1250.1; IGRS-01-84-ACC and IGRS-02-ACC; IGRS-CERT2-84-ACC and IGRS-CERT3-ACC; IGRSP-01-84-ACC and IGRSP-02-ACC; IGRSP-CERT2-84-ACC and IGRSP-CERT3-ACC; 6008.8 and 6008.9-ACC; 1000.24-ATRA; 1280.2, 1280.4, or 1280.3 or 1280.5, or G1350.

Not all contracts are available in all states or currently issued.

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.

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.