Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund
Type Not-for-profit
Founded 1918
Headquarters New York City, New York, United States
Key people Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President & CEO
Products Financial services
Revenue US$ 32.22 billion (2010)
Net income US$ 1.405 billion (2010)
Total assets US$ $453 billion (2010)[1]
Employees 7,200

Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA–CREF) is a Fortune 100 financial services organization that is the leading retirement provider for people who work in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields. TIAA–CREF serves 3.7 million active and retired employees participating at more than 15,000 institutions and has $453 billion in combined assets under management (as of 12/31/10).

Much of TIAA–CREF operates on a nonprofit basis, with surplus returned to participants. TIAA–CREF is headquartered in New York City and has major offices in Denver, Colorado; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Dallas, Texas; as well as seventy local offices throughout the United States. In 2011 TIAA–CREF ranks 87th on Fortune's list of the 500 largest corporations in America.[2]



TIAA–CREF was created to replace the system of free pensions provided by Carnegie Corporation for professors. When the original fund proved inadequate, TIAA was created in an Act of the New York State Legislature in 1918 as a stock life insurance company for the purpose of providing retirement income for professors through fixed premium guaranteed deferred annuity contracts. Later in 1952, CREF was created to allow professors to invest in the stock market through the nation's first variable annuity. Its core business continues to be retirement plan administration and annuity products. It is by far the largest manager of so-called employer-sponsored 403(b) tax-sheltered annuity plans, a defined contribution retirement plan for employees of 501(c)(3) educational, religious, and charitable organizations. The company also offers 401(k) and 457 plans, Keogh plans, and Supplemental Retirement Plans. Contributions from these plans are typically invested in the company's traditional or variable annuities or its line of mutual funds.

In recent years the company has greatly expanded its capabilities and advisory services and broadened clients' investment choices. Internally it has focused on developing customer support IT infrastructure and leadership development.[3]

At the retail level, TIAA–CREF offers Traditional and Rollover Individual Retirement Accounts, Roth IRAs, mutual funds, after-tax annuities and life insurance (through TIAA–CREF Life), 529 college savings plans, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, financial planning, and trust and investment management (through TIAA–CREF Trust Company, FSB). These investments are offered to the general public, and TIAA–CREF is no longer limited to the academic community.[4]

On the institutional side, TIAA–CREF Asset Management serves institutional investors and intermediaries, including registered investment advisors, investment-only defined contribution platforms and broker/dealers.


In 1918, Andrew Carnegie and his Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, under the leadership of Henry S. Pritchett, created the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA), a fully funded system of pensions for professors. Funding was provided by a combination of grants from the foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York, as well as ongoing contributions from participating institutions and individuals.

In 1921, the policyholders voted to nominate Professor Samuel M. Lindsay of Columbia University to represent them on the TIAA board of trustees. Policyholder representation on the TIAA board was consistent with the Carnegie Foundation desire that educators assume a role in running the organization.[4]

Conservative investing allowed TIAA to survive the 1929 stock market crash and the Great Depression.

In 1933, Albert Einstein became a participant, a fact that TIAA-CREF later used in a notable 2001 advertising campaign.[5]

After World War II, in reaction to rising inflation and lengthening life expectancies, and a dramatic expansion of the education sector with the G.I. Bill, TIAA recognized the need for its participants to invest in equities in order to diversify their retirement funds. In 1952, TIAA created the College Retirement Equities Fund ("CREF"), a variable annuity, for that purpose.

On June 15, 2007, TIAA became one of the first U.S. companies to voluntarily adopt, and the first to implement, a policyholder advisory vote on executive compensation policy.

On June 28, 2007, the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) announced its selection of TIAA–CREF as the sole investment provider for its supplemental retirement savings programs. CalSTRS is the second-largest public pension plan and the largest teachers' retirement fund in the United States.

On August 12, 2008, TIAA–CREF announced the opening of a new office in London. The office will be staffed by local investment professionals who will extend TIAA–CREF Global Real Estate's activities in the United Kingdom and Europe.

On September 7, 2008, Herb Allison, the former chairman and CEO of TIAA–CREF, was tapped to lead beleaguered home mortgage backer Fannie Mae, as part of a government bailout engineered by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

730 Third Avenue

On November 16, 2009, TIAA–CREF signed an agreement with a third-party to sublet the 17th, 18th, and 27th floors of the New York headquarters building at 730 Third Avenue to a third-party company that offers NY conference space and services.

See also

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External links

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