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Frequently Asked Questions
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Q. How do I find my Plan Access Code?

A. Your access code(s) can be found on the Enrollment Page after your date of migration. There is one code per plan.

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Q. What do I do after I've enrolled?

A. After you have enrolled, you will receive a TIAA-CREF Welcome Kit and a Legal Package, which will include your contract and contract number. Review your Welcome Kit carefully as it will contain the information you indicated during the enrollment process - including allocations and beneficiary information.

You will also be able to review your accounts and perform transactions online by using Secure Access.

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Q. How do I get help choosing my allocation mix?

A. TIAA-CREF offers a series of financial education seminars through [institution-name] or at various locations in your local area. You may also be able to meet with a TIAA-CREF investment professional to assess your financial situation.

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Q. What is the difference between a fixed annuity, a variable annuity and a mutual fund?

A. In general, an annuity is a contract by which an insurance company agrees to make regular payments. A fixed annuity guarantees principal and a specified interest rate, and may also offer additional amounts based on the claims-paying ability of the issuing company. A variable annuity does not make any guarantees.

The returns and value of a variable annuity account will fluctuate based on the investment performance of the underlying securities in its portfolio. For the purposes of your retirement plan, the main difference between variable annuities and mutual funds is that a mutual fund cannot be used for receiving income in the same manner as an annuity. However mutual funds offer more focused investment styles than annuities, offering you the ability to choose the funds that correspond closely to your more specific investment objectives.

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Q. Is there an advantage to owning variable annuities over mutual funds?

A. No, there is no advantage to contributing to either variable annuities or mutual funds in your TIAA-CREF-funded retirement plan. Both options receive favorable tax treatment under the plan.

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Q. What are the advantages of owning mutual funds?

A. Many participants enjoy the advantages of owning mutual funds alongside annuity accounts in their retirement plans. The mutual funds chosen for your retirement savings plan provide the opportunity to focus on specific market segments – all of which offer varying degrees of risk and reward opportunities.

By owning a combination of funds with different investment characteristics, you may be able to offset the poor performance of one asset class with another that is benefiting from an upward trend. However, diversification doesn’t guarantee against loss.

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Q. Who would benefit most from owning mutual funds?

A. For some participants, being able to invest in accounts that broadly represent their asset classes is an appropriate investment strategy. Others may want to exercise more control over their exposure to different types of investments. Having mutual funds on your fund lineup allows you to fine-tune your portfolio to the extent you wish.

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Q. How can I see my accounts and perform transactions online?

A. You can view your account information, change allocations, and make transfers by visiting Secure Access. You will need a user ID and password to use this portion of our site.

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Q. How do I speak to someone at TIAA-CREF?

A. Call a TIAA-CREF Consultant at 800-842-2776, Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET, Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET.

You may also be able to meet with a TIAA-CREF investment professional to assess your financial situation.

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TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC and Teachers Personal Investors Services Inc. distribute securities products.
TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association), New York, NY issues annuities.
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