The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) has offered retirement savings solutions for over a century. Today, the company sells fixed and variable annuities designed to help consumers from all walks of life safeguard their financial futures.

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  • Updated: August 22, 2022
  • 5 min read time
  • This page features 6 Cited Research Articles
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How to Cite's Article

APA Schell, J. (2022, August 22). TIAA. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from

MLA Schell, Jennifer. "TIAA.", 22 Aug 2022,

Chicago Schell, Jennifer. "TIAA." Last modified August 22, 2022.

Why Trust
Why You Can Trust has provided reliable, accurate financial information to consumers since 2013. We adhere to ethical journalism practices, including presenting honest, unbiased information that follows Associated Press style guidelines and reporting facts from reliable, attributed sources. Our objective is to deliver the most comprehensive explanation of annuities and financial literacy topics using plain, straightforward language.

Our Partnerships, Vision and Goals

We pride ourselves on partnering with professionals like those from Senior Market Sales (SMS) — a market leader with over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry — who offer personalized retirement solutions for consumers across the country. Our relationships with partners including SMS and Insuractive, the company’s consumer-facing branch, allow us to facilitate the sale of annuities and other retirement-oriented financial products to consumers who are looking to purchase safe and reliable solutions to fill gaps in their retirement income. We are compensated when we produce legitimate inquiries, and that compensation helps make an even stronger resource for our audience. We may also, at times, sell lead data to partners in our network in order to best connect consumers to the information they request. Readers are in no way obligated to use our partners’ services to access the free resources on carefully selects partners who share a common goal of educating consumers and helping them select the most appropriate product for their unique financial and lifestyle goals. Our network of advisors will never recommend products that are not right for the consumer, nor will Additionally, operates independently of its partners and has complete editorial control over the information we publish.

Our vision is to provide users with the highest quality information possible about their financial options and empower them to make informed decisions based on their unique needs.

About TIAA

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching established the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, commonly known as TIAA, in 1918. Since its inception, TIAA has offered educators the chance to create guaranteed retirement income.

For more than a century, TIAA has served the financial needs of workers in academia, government, medicine and other nonprofit industries. In 1952, the company formed the College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF), and became the first annuity provider to offer a variable annuity product. That product — now known as the CREF Stock Account — gave investors a new way to fight inflation while saving for retirement.

Throughout the past several decades, the company has continued to provide innovative investment solutions, including the CREF Social Choice Account to give consumers a socially responsible investment option and rollover IRAs to make it easier for customers to save for retirement, all in one place.

Today, TIAA helps over 5 million customers plan for their financial future.

Current TIAA annuity customers can reach the company’s customer service department by calling the number below on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. EST. 800-842-2252

Credit Ratings

Financial strength ratings, also known as credit ratings, give consumers insight into an annuity provider’s financial stability. These ratings are determined by independent agencies such as Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s, so you can be sure you’re getting an unbiased score before you purchase an annuity.

The score tells you how likely a company is to‌ meet its financial obligations to its customers. TIAA has received strong credit ratings from all four of the major credit reporting agencies.

TIAA Credit Ratings
Credit AgencyRating
AM BestA++ (Superior)
FitchAAA (Exceptionally Strong)
Moody’sAa1 (Very Strong)
Standard & Poor’sAA+ (Very Strong)
Source: TIAA

Annuity Products Offered by TIAA

TIAA offers two of the most popular types of annuities: fixed and variable. Fixed annuities grow your retirement savings at a guaranteed rate no matter how the economy dips or changes. The key feature of variable annuities is their potential for greater growth to hedge against inflation.

Fixed Annuities

A fixed annuity is the most straightforward kind of annuity. When you purchase a fixed annuity, you put a lump sum of cash away to grow at a fixed rate for a number of years. After the annuity matures, you can begin collecting a steady stream of income payments.

TIAA Traditional is a fixed annuity that provides guaranteed lifetime income once the annuity reaches maturity. The annuity grows at a guaranteed rate regardless of market conditions, ensuring that the purchaser’s savings are protected and will continue to grow.

Variable Annuities

Variable annuities are like fixed annuities in that they allow a lump sum to grow over time before converting it to a stream of income payments. However, the rate at which your retirement savings will grow in a variable annuity is not guaranteed like it is with a fixed annuity.

When you purchase a variable annuity, the lump-sum payment is allocated to an investment portfolio. The growth of the annuity is then tied to the growth of the investments in your portfolio. You may also be able to put some of the money in an account with a fixed interest rate, so you’re guaranteed to have some growth no matter what the market does.

TIAA provides three types of variable annuities. The company’s CREF accounts let consumers choose how to diversify their annuity’s portfolio among domestic and international markets. The TIAA Real Estate Account offers investors exposure to commercial real estate. And the TIAA Access annuity allows customers to invest in mutual funds within an annuity for tax-deferred savings.

Client Resources

TIAA offers a wealth of resources through its website’s financial education center. Consumers can find articles on a wide variety of personal finance topics. There’s also an FAQ library for the most common questions about forms, taxes, contributions and other support issues.

The company also offers interactive tools to help people make financial decisions.

TIAA Financial Tools
  • Retirement Calculator
  • Lifetime Income Calculator
  • Early Withdrawal Calculator
  • IRA Finder
  • Roth IRA Conversion
  • Tax-Deferred Contributions Calculator
  • Annuity Cost Savings Calculator
  • Asset Allocation Evaluator
  • Debt Illustrator
  • Retirement Budget Worksheet

TIAA customers can access relevant forms on the website and join live webinars offering professional knowledge on a range of financial topics.

If you have an annuity with TIAA, you can log into your account at:


About has provided reliable, accurate and trustworthy financial information to readers since 2013. We partner with professionals like those from Senior Market Sales (SMS), a market leader with over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, to offer personalized retirement solutions for consumers across the country.

Any information offered about the company above is provided free of charge and individual product offerings are verified and accurate as of publication.

Our partners work with the provider companies mentioned on our site. However, is not a service provider. Actual products, terms and rates offered through the above company are subject to in-state availability and a variety of other factors. Visit the Our Partners page for additional information.

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Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: August 22, 2022

6 Cited Research Articles writers adhere to strict sourcing guidelines and use only credible sources of information, including authoritative financial publications, academic organizations, peer-reviewed journals, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports, court records and interviews with qualified experts. You can read more about our commitment to accuracy, fairness and transparency in our editorial guidelines.

  1. TIAA. (2022, March 31). Financial Strength: The TIAA General Account. Retrieved from
  2. TIAA. (n.d.). Financial Education. Retrieved from
  3. TIAA. (n.d.). Retirement Calculators & Financial Tools. Retrieved from
  4. TIAA. (n.d.). TIAA Retirement Annuities. Retrieved from
  5. TIAA. (n.d.). TIAA Traditional Annuity. Retrieved from
  6. TIAA. (n.d.). Who We Are. Retrieved from