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.
A Services Fee is assessed to certain investments and deducted on a Quarterly basis. Details related to Plan Services Fees assessed to plan investments are listed in your Quarterly Investment UpdateOpens in a new window.
Your Plan provides credits to certain investments on a Quarterly basis, so that plan participants share equally in the cost of your Plan's record keeping and other plan services.
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:
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
More information about retirement plan fees and expenses is available at TIAA.org/fees.