Traditional IRA

Get the basics

What is a Traditional IRA?

A Traditional IRA is a type of IRA account for retirement savings. With a Traditional IRA account, contributions are tax-deductible (for most people) and only subject to income taxes at the time of withdrawal.

To be eligible for a Traditional IRA, you must have earned income and be under age 70½. There is no age limit on contributions beginning with tax year 2020 provided you have earned income. You can begin taking tax-free withdrawals after 59½. The annual contribution limit for 2019 and 2020 is $6,000, or $7,000 if you're age 50+.
Compare options

Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA

The main difference between a Traditional IRA and Roth IRA is the way they are taxed. Your Traditional IRA contributions are tax deductible, but you will pay taxes on your withdrawals in retirement. Read more about Roth IRAs

TRADITIONAL IRA

  • Contributions may be tax deductible.
  • Anyone under age 70 ½ with earned income can contribute.
  • No age limit on contributions beginning with tax year 2020 provided you have earned income. 
  • Pay no taxes until money is withdrawn.
  • Must begin making withdrawals by age 70½.
  • Starting with tax year 2020 you must begin making withdrawals by age 72.

ROTH IRA

  • Contributions are not tax deductible.
  • Eligibility is based on how much you earn. Contribute at any age.
  • Never pay taxes on qualified withdrawals after age 59 ½.
  • Withdrawals are never required.
Benefits

What are the key benefits and features of a Traditional IRA? 

Make contributions, regardless of your income.

Contributions are often tax deductible.

Pay no taxes until you take money out.

Next steps

How to open a Traditional IRA

Find out about your Traditional IRA eligibility by starting a Traditional IRA application online or calling us at 844-TIAA-IRA.

The steps to opening a Traditional IRA are:
 
  1. Start your online Traditional IRA application
  2. Fund your Traditional IRA by making a contribution or rolling over money from your previous retirement account (by direct transfer or check)
  3. Review the investment options and choose the ones that are right for you
  4. Log in to your account and track your progress
Why TIAA

What makes TIAA IRAs different?

Advice and support at no additional costs to help you figure everything out*

A wide array of investments

Flexible retirement income options

Contact us

Speak with an IRA consultant

Give us a call

We’re here to help.
844-TIAA-IRA
(844-842-2472)
Weekdays, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. (ET)
 

Request a callback

Tell us when you want us to call.
This material is for informational or educational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or investment advice in connection with a distribution, transfer or rollover, a purchase or sale of securities or other investment property, or the management of securities or other investments, including the development of an investment strategy or retention of an investment manager or advisor. 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 in consultation with an investor’s personal advisor based on the investor’s own objectives and circumstances.
* Some IRAs may be eligible for support only, and not advice services. Advice services use a methodology from Morningstar Investment Managment, LLC.
Withdrawals of earnings prior to age 59½ may be subject to ordinary income tax and a 10% penalty. 
 
Before rolling over or consolidating assets, consider your other options. You may be able to leave money in your current plan, withdraw cash or roll over the assets to your new employer's plan if one is available and rollovers are permitted. Compare the differences in investment options, services, fees and expenses, withdrawal options, required minimum distributions, other plan features, and tax treatment. Speak with a TIAA consultant and your tax advisor regarding your situation. Learn more at TIAA.org/reviewyouroptions.
 
Certain securities may not be suitable for all investors.  Brokerage Services are provided by TIAA-CREF Brokerage Services, a division of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC.
1060051