Columbia University offers this plan as part of workplace benefits. Now is a great time to understand what is offered - think about taking advantage of any opportunities to save and invest for the future.
Learn what plans allow eligible employees to do.
To obtain vesting information regarding this plan, contact TIAA at 800-842-2252.
Loans are available from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $50,000 from each employer that you are eligible to take a loan from. How much you can borrow may depend on the amount you currently have in the plan that is eligible for loans and whether you have other outstanding loans. If you have money in other employer's plans, you may be able to transfer or roll it over to the Columbia University retirement plan to increase your maximum loan amount. This is only if the Columbia University retirement plan accepts rollovers.
IMPORTANT: TIAA doesn't offer loans on Roth accumulations in 403(b)/401(k) plans. The maximum loan amount available to you is calculated based on the total accumulations in your contract, minus any Roth accumulations.
Prior to rolling over, consider your other options. You may also be able to leave money in your current plan, withdraw cash or roll over the money to an IRA. Compare the differences in investment options, services, fees and expenses, withdrawal options, required minimum distributions, other plan features, and tax treatment. Contact TIAA or your HR Office to verify details of your plan(s) in regards to loan availability and transfer/rollover loan eligibility.
Age based distribution
Your employer will typically allow you to withdraw funds once you've reached 59.50.
You can withdraw all or part of your account in a single cash payment, depending on your plan rules and the terms of your contracts.
- Your right to a lump-sum distribution from your TIAA Traditional Account may be restricted to taking periodic payments under the terms of the contract. Please refer to your contract or certificate for full details or contact us at 800-842-2252.
If your plan allows, you can choose to receive regular income payments (minimum $100) on a semimonthly, monthly, quarterly, semiannual or annual basis. You can increase, decrease or suspend the payments at any time.
- These withdrawals are not available from TIAA Traditional Account balances.
When you leave your employer, you may be eligible to withdraw your retirement savings. Your plan may distribute your entire balance if the value does not exceed $2,000. Even if your plan doesn't allow cash distributions, you can withdraw your entire retirement savings if your TIAA Traditional Account value does not exceed $2,000 and your overall account balance is below a limit set by your employer's plan (either $1,000 or $5,000).
You can withdraw elective deferrals and earnings from your retirement plan while employed by your institution but not working due to a disability.
- To qualify you must be totally and permanently disabled, and the deferrals and earnings must have been credited to your plan on or after January 1, 1989.
- Disability withdrawals are not subject to the 10% IRS penalty on withdrawals prior to age 59½.
If your plan permits, you can withdraw some of the money you've put in over the years (but not earnings) due to financial hardship, such as medical or funeral expenses, while still employed.
- Generally, you must show an immediate, significant need that cannot be met with other resources, including loans from your retirement plan.
Lifetime retirement income
- One-life annuity - provides income for as long as you live.
- Two-life annuity - provides lifetime income for you and an annuity partner (your spouse or someone else you name) for as long as either of you live.
- One- or two-life annuity with guaranteed period - guarantees income for up to 20 years, as long as the period you choose does not exceed your life expectancy. It ensures that income continues to go to your beneficiaries for the remainder of the guaranteed period if you (one-life annuity) or both you and your annuity partner (two-life annuity) die before the end of that period.
Single-sum death benefit
A set amount your beneficiary(ies) will receive from your retirement account if you die before taking income.
You can choose to receive income for a set period of two to 30 years, depending on the terms of our contract and your plan's rules (and not to exceed your life expectancy).
- Payments stop at the end of the period, during which you will have received all your principal and earnings.
You can receive the current interest earned on your TIAA Traditional Account in monthly payments. Your principal remains intact while you receive the interest.
- These payments generally are available to individuals who have attained age 55 but have not yet reached RMD Applicable Age and must begin at least one year prior to reaching RMD Applicable age. Your RMD Applicable Age was 70 ½ if you were born before 7/1/49; 72 if you were born on or after 7/1/49 or in 1950; 73 if you were born between 1951 and 1958; 75 if you were born in 1960 or later. If you were born in 1959, federal guidance is needed to determine if your RMD Applicable Age is 73 or 75.
Retirement transition benefit
In order to more easily transition into retirement, you may be able to withdraw up to 10%, in cash, of your lifetime annuity income. The amount you withdraw will reduce your lifetime annuity income accordingly.
TPA to cash
If you need some of your retirement savings in cash, you can withdraw your TIAA Traditional Account balance through a Transfer Payout Annuity (TPA) under the terms of the contract. A lump-sum payment, subject to a surrender fee, may be available depending on your plan rules and the terms of your contract.
For more information about the terms of your individual contract, contact your plan sponsor or financial advisor.
Phased retirement has been introduced for the baby boom generation nearing retirement. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re interested in a phased retirement:
- Under most phased retirement plans, the employee resigns their full-time position in return for the right to work half-time at half-salary for a given number of years.
- Many phased retirement plans benefit both the institution and the employee, giving you a way to work and still draw salary.
- Every institution may have different rules around phased retirement, so research all your options.
For more information, contact your plan sponsor or financial advisor.
Prior to rolling over, consider your options. You may be able to leave money in your current plan or withdraw cash. Compare the differences in investment options, services, fees and expenses, withdrawal options, required minimum distributions, other plan features, and tax treatment.
If you have had an IRS-defined "triggering event," and your plan allows withdrawals, you can roll over your accumulations to another retirement plan that will accept them or to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).
- Direct rollovers - from one account to another - are nontaxable and not reported as income to the federal government. Your plan's rules specify when you are eligible for a distribution.
Minimum distribution option
You must begin taking minimum distributions from your IRAs and employer retirement plan accounts by your required beginning date (or retirement, if later for employer retirement plan accounts). For IRAs (other than Roth IRAs), your required beginning date is April 1 of the year following the calendar year in which you reach your RMD Applicable Age. For employer-sponsored retirement plans, your required beginning date is April 1 of the year following the calendar year in which you reach your RMD Applicable Age or retire from the plan sponsor, if later.
Your RMD Applicable Age was 70 ½ if you were born before 7/1/49; 72 if you were born on or after 7/1/49 or in 1950; 73 if you were born between 1951 and 1958; 75 if you were born in 1960 or later. If you were born in 1959, federal guidance is needed to determine if your RMD Applicable Age is 73 or 75.
If you're married, you may be required to get spousal consent to receive any distribution option other than a qualified joint and survivor annuity.
This plan allows you to receive a cash withdrawal. This may be restricted by the terms of your TIAA contracts. Taxes and penalties may apply.
Understanding investment fees
Your financial well-being is TIAA's top priority and we are committed to helping you make informed decisions. Fees should be just one factor in your decision-making process since the lowest cost option may not be the best one for you.
Cost of plan services
Fees and expenses have always been part of a retirement savings plan-some fees are associated with the administration of the plan and may be covered by your employer, while others are paid by you based on the specific investments and services you choose. The following three categories of services are provided to your plan:
1. General record keeping and other plan services
Over the course of a year you pay for services like record keeping.
Many services are necessary for the day-to-day operation of your employer's retirement plan. General administrative services include recordkeeping, legal, accounting, consulting, investment advisory and other plan administration services. Some of these expenses are fixed and other expenses may vary from year to year. These costs are allocated to each participant in a uniform way.
An annual TIAA Plan Servicing Fee of $44 is assessed if you maintain a Retirement Choice and/or Retirement Choice Plus account. This fee will be deducted proportionally from each investment in your account Quarterly and identified as "TIAA Plan Servicing Fee" on your statements.
In some cases, an investment provider may pay a portion of an investment's expense ratio to TIAA, the recordkeeper, to help offset the cost of plan administration. This practice is called "revenue sharing". If you have investments that revenue share, you'll receive a credit based on your average daily balance. This will be identified as "TIAA Plan Servicing Credit" on your statements.
If you do not maintain a Retirement Choice and/or Retirement Choice Plus account and therefore no TIAA Plan Servicing Fee was assessed, your investment revenue share credit will be reduced by the amount of the fee inorder to cover plan administrative services expenses. For more information on fees and investments, refer to "Mutual Funds and In-Plan Annuities" via TIAA.org/performanceOpens in a new window.2. Specific investment services
You pay only for what you use.
Each investment offered within the plan charges a fee for managing the investment and for associated services. But you pay only for the investments you actually use and in proportion to the amount of your investment. These fees are not deducted directly from your account; they are paid indirectly through the investment's "expense ratio". The specific expense ratio for each plan designated investment option is listed in your Quarterly Investment UpdateOpens in a new window.
3. Personalized services
You can opt for extra features, like loan services.
Personalized services provide access to a number of plan features and investments that you pay for, only if you use them. The personalized services used most often are:Retirement Plan Loans
$75.00 per loan initiated for general purpose
$125.00 per loan initiated for a residential loan
$25 annual loan maintenance fee per active loan, assessed Annually
To learn more about the brokerage service including fees call 800-927-3059 or Get the BasicsOpens in a new window.Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO)
No additional charge
Sales charges, purchase, withdrawal and redemption fees for certain investments
Certain charges may apply. For additional information, see Quarterly Investment UpdateOpens in a new window.
In addition, for more information on fees and investments, refer to "Mutual Funds and In-Plan Annuities" via TIAA.org/performanceOpens in a new window which is a good source for additional plan and investment-related information.
More information about retirement plan fees and expenses is available at TIAA.org/fees.