Why we’re different

You have to be different to make a difference

At TIAA, we’ve been serving people who work at not-for-profit organizations for almost 100 years. We offer unique investment options and focus on long-term outcomes, like lifetime income.

We help real people meet ambitious goals

Since 1918, we’ve helped millions of people like you build more secure financial futures. That’s because we understand and specialize in the financial needs of people who work in academic, government, medical and other not-for-profit fields.

“I’m at a place in my life where I can comfortably retire.”

Lenetta Lee, Ph.D., University administrator
Participant since 1998

We’re here to help you achieve a lifetime of financial well-being

Everyone’s vision of retirement is different, including ours. We provide lifetime income through low-cost annuities, which let you turn your savings into monthly payments you can’t outlive.
Our fixed and variable annuities give you the choice between guaranteed lifetime income and other flexible income options.
TIAA annuities are managed at cost – we don’t make a profit – so it’s no surprise our expense ratios are 75% lower than the industry average. 1
We invented the variable annuity and offer 8 types - with options to invest in real estate and socially responsible companies.

We believe that retirement income shouldn’t come with an expiration date

In July 1959, Dr. Henry H. Hosford, a retired Case Western University professor became our first participant to turn 100. Since then, we’ve celebrated 100th birthdays with thousands of participants, who can rely on us for support for the rest of their lives.


Every day one of our annuity recipients turns 100.

Help us celebrate all 25 participants who joined the TIAA 100 Club last month.


Get more in retirement

On average, individuals need to replace 80% of income to retire successfully, but with TIAA participants are able to replace more than 90% of income. 2


For every age and every stage in life, we’re here to help

Throughout your life, we can help address all of your financial needs. We offer convenient banking services, investment guidance and advice, and a wide range of financial solutions.

At TIAA, we believe everyone should have access to real, personalized advice

Have retirement or other investment questions? No matter what amount you have to invest, TIAA financial consultants offer personalized and fund-level advice for every stage.
“I help people plan for and reach their financial goals.”
Field Consulting Group
Employee since 1998
“The advice I give reflects what I would do for myself.”
Wealth management
Employee since 2000
“We do our best to help clients fulfill their financial needs.”
Customer resolutions
Employee since 2000

We’re not in it for the trophies, but it’s nice to be recognized for how we’re different

We focus on driving performance and helping our customers achieve their own goals while staying true to our mission and values. The recognition we receive isn’t only about how we perform; it’s also about who we are and what we believe.
1 Based on Morningstar data, the expense ratios on all TIAA-CREF Funds and Variable Annuity Accounts managed by TIAA-CREF are generally less than half the mutual fund industry average (72% are less than half the Morningstar U.S. Open-End Fund Universe average and 63% are less than half the Morningstar U.S. Open-End Fund Universe median) as of December 31, 2015.
2 The TIAA-CREF Retirement Income Index data is as of 12/31/2014 and it is based on 501,639 actively contributing participants from 303 TIAA-CREF record-kept plans.
Using the participant’s current salary, age, contribution rates (employer/employee), asset allocation, and an assumed retirement age of 67, TIAA-CREF leverages the advice engine from Ibbotson Associates, Inc., an independent expert retained by TIAA-CREF, to calculate the projected retirement income stream (including estimated Social Security benefits) in current dollars as a percentage of current salaries using Monte Carlo analysis (500 total simulations). The results indicate the participant’s 70% probability of achieving the retirement goal. A lower probability of success is associated with better (and less likely) estimated income; a higher probability is associated with lower estimated income. Please note the median income replacement ratio based on the analysis above is approximately 88%. The Ibbotson tool’s advice is based on statistical projections of the likelihood that an individual will achieve their retirement goals. The projections rely on financial and economic assumptions of historical rates of return of various asset classes that may not reoccur in the future, volatility measures and other facts, as well as information the individual provides.

IMPORTANT: Projections, and other information generated through the Retirement Income Index and the Ibbotson tool regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes, are hypothetical, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not a guarantee of future results. Results may vary with each use and over time. TIAA-CREF cannot and does not provide legal advice and recommends that plan sponsors consult their own legal advisors for such advice. Past performance does not guarantee future results. For current performance and rankings, please visit the Research and Performance section on tiaa-cref.org.
This article/story describes the circumstances and experiences of a specific participant from one or more of the companies in the TIAA organization (“TIAA”). It may not be representative of the experience of other TIAA customers and is not indicative of future performance or success. Individual results and experiences will vary.

3 The Lipper Large Fund Award is given to the group with the lowest average decile ranking of three years’ Consistent Return for eligible funds over the three-year period ended 11/30/12, 11/30/13, 11/30/14 and 11/30/15 respectively. TIAA was ranked among 36 fund companies in 2012 48 fund companies in 2013 and 2014 and 37 fund companies in 2015 with at least five equity, five bond, or three mixed-asset portfolios. Classification averages are calculated with all eligible share classes for each eligible classification. The calculation periods extend over 36, 60, and 120 months. The highest Lipper Leader for Consistent Return (Effective Return) value within each eligible classification determines the fund classification winner over three, five, or ten years. A detailed awards methodology can be found at http://excellence.thomsonreuters.com/award/lipper . From Thomson Reuters Lipper Awards, © 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Used by permission and protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States. The printing, copying, redistribution, or retransmission of this Content without express written permission is prohibited. Certain funds have fee waivers in effect. Without such waivers ratings could be lower. For current performance and rankings, please visit the Research and Performance section on TIAA.org.  Past performance does not guarantee future results.