TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

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KnowNth
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TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by KnowNth » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:15 pm

TIAA Supplemental Retirement account has a 3% guaranteed return, is fully liquid, is paying 3.25% at the moment. The last time 10 year treasure rate over 3% was 2011.

TIAA must have taken more risks to get the extra return, but what were they doing? Invest in Stocks? Corp Bonds? Junk Bonds? I keep reading how sound TIAA balance sheets are, but there has to be a possibility all these extra risks could backfire, right?

And, why haven't any other institutes offer something similar? Even 2% guaranteed at the moment would attract many savers.

aristotelian
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by aristotelian » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:54 pm

I have wondered the same thing and came up empty. I don't get it. The non-liquid version is even higher. I think I am getting 4.25% right now. If what they are doing is legit, someone else should be able to replicate it and offer a competitive rate. The only comparable investment I can think of is EE Bonds from the Treasury, which offer 3.5% in exchange for restrictions on liquidity, but EE Bonds are less liquid and have the backing of US taxpayers.

student
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by student » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:55 pm

KnowNth wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:15 pm
TIAA Supplemental Retirement account has a 3% guaranteed return, is fully liquid, is paying 3.25% at the moment. The last time 10 year treasure rate over 3% was 2011.

TIAA must have taken more risks to get the extra return, but what were they doing? Invest in Stocks? Corp Bonds? Junk Bonds? I keep reading how sound TIAA balance sheets are, but there has to be a possibility all these extra risks could backfire, right?

And, why haven't any other institutes offer something similar? Even 2% guaranteed at the moment would attract many savers.
There is no catch as far as I can tell. Remember in the old days, 3% is not a very bar. These days it is a very good deal. So TIAA is trying to ride out the low interest rate environment with their "reserve" in the general account. However, they have begun taking steps to stop the "bleeding" by changing some of the contracts to a lower guaranteed rate called retirement choice annunity. However, this only applies to new money going into the account. They have changed the rate for IRA long long time ago.

student
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by student » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:57 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:54 pm
I have wondered the same thing and came up empty. I don't get it. The non-liquid version is even higher. I think I am getting 4.25% right now. If what they are doing is legit, someone else should be able to replicate it and offer a competitive rate. The only comparable investment I can think of is EE Bonds from the Treasury, which offer 3.5% in exchange for restrictions on liquidity, but EE Bonds are less liquid and have the backing of US taxpayers.
I think the general fund holds some real estate as well as commercial mortgages. https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/perform ... rength.pdf

columbia
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by columbia » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:21 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:54 pm
I have wondered the same thing and came up empty. I don't get it. The non-liquid version is even higher. I think I am getting 4.25% right now. If what they are doing is legit, someone else should be able to replicate it and offer a competitive rate. The only comparable investment I can think of is EE Bonds from the Treasury, which offer 3.5% in exchange for restrictions on liquidity, but EE Bonds are less liquid and have the backing of US taxpayers.
Info on said 3.5% EE BONDS?

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oldzey
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by oldzey » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:40 pm

When you figure it out, please let me know.
"The broker said the stock was 'poised to move.' Silly me, I thought he meant up." ― Randy Thurman

aristotelian
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by aristotelian » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:55 pm

columbia wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:21 pm
aristotelian wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:54 pm
I have wondered the same thing and came up empty. I don't get it. The non-liquid version is even higher. I think I am getting 4.25% right now. If what they are doing is legit, someone else should be able to replicate it and offer a competitive rate. The only comparable investment I can think of is EE Bonds from the Treasury, which offer 3.5% in exchange for restrictions on liquidity, but EE Bonds are less liquid and have the backing of US taxpayers.
Info on said 3.5% EE BONDS?
EE Bonds are a US Treasury savings bond. They are guaranteed to double after 20 years which turns out to be 3.5%. You can buy them electronically up to $10k per person annually.

beardsworth
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by beardsworth » Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:33 pm

KnowNth (original poster),

It's not clear whether you attempted any of your own research before starting a thread here (the questions are so basic that I suspect not), but just going to tiaa.org and entering a search for "TIAA Traditional" produces all of the following, as a start toward better understanding:

https://www.tiaa.org/public/search-resu ... raditional

You may also wish to look at the many threads about TIAA Traditional on the Morningstar forum for TIAA-related subjects, although you'll have to skip a lot of other threads that have no direct relationship with TIAA.

http://socialize.morningstar.com/NewSoc ... 00044.aspx

KnowNth
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by KnowNth » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:25 am

Hmm, if they are bleeding, why are they paying 3.25% instead of the minim 3% right now?

student wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:55 pm

There is no catch as far as I can tell. Remember in the old days, 3% is not a very bar. These days it is a very good deal. So TIAA is trying to ride out the low interest rate environment with their "reserve" in the general account. However, they have begun taking steps to stop the "bleeding" by changing some of the contracts to a lower guaranteed rate called retirement choice annunity. However, this only applies to new money going into the account. They have changed the rate for IRA long long time ago.

student
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by student » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:43 am

KnowNth wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:25 am
Hmm, if they are bleeding, why are they paying 3.25% instead of the minim 3% right now?

student wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:55 pm

There is no catch as far as I can tell. Remember in the old days, 3% is not a very bar. These days it is a very good deal. So TIAA is trying to ride out the low interest rate environment with their "reserve" in the general account. However, they have begun taking steps to stop the "bleeding" by changing some of the contracts to a lower guaranteed rate called retirement choice annunity. However, this only applies to new money going into the account. They have changed the rate for IRA long long time ago.
Good question. Perhaps "bleeding" is not the correct word. Maybe "limiting exposure" is a better phrase.

aristotelian
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by aristotelian » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:49 am

beardsworth wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:33 pm
KnowNth (original poster),

It's not clear whether you attempted any of your own research before starting a thread here (the questions are so basic that I suspect not), but just going to tiaa.org and entering a search for "TIAA Traditional" produces all of the following, as a start toward better understanding:

https://www.tiaa.org/public/search-resu ... raditional

You may also wish to look at the many threads about TIAA Traditional on the Morningstar forum for TIAA-related subjects, although you'll have to skip a lot of other threads that have no direct relationship with TIAA.

http://socialize.morningstar.com/NewSoc ... 00044.aspx
I don't think there is anything basic about TIAA Traditional. If OP's question is basic to you, it would be more helpful to answer it or say nothing than to post irrelevant links.

The Wizard
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by The Wizard » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:04 am

student wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:43 am
KnowNth wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:25 am
Hmm, if they are bleeding, why are they paying 3.25% instead of the minim 3% right now?

student wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:55 pm

There is no catch as far as I can tell. Remember in the old days, 3% is not a very bar. These days it is a very good deal. So TIAA is trying to ride out the low interest rate environment with their "reserve" in the general account. However, they have begun taking steps to stop the "bleeding" by changing some of the contracts to a lower guaranteed rate called retirement choice annunity. However, this only applies to new money going into the account. They have changed the rate for IRA long long time ago.
Good question. Perhaps "bleeding" is not the correct word. Maybe "limiting exposure" is a better phrase.
And why is restricted Trad paying 4.0% instead of its minimum 3.0%?
It's because business is good nowadays, I suspect...
Attempted new signature...

aristotelian
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by aristotelian » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:08 am

The Wizard wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:04 am
And why is restricted Trad paying 4.0% instead of its minimum 3.0%?
It's because business is good nowadays, I suspect...
Traditional has always paid 1% or so above the minimum rate, at least as long as I have had it. I don't think that's a sign of anything. Why do they do it that way? Another one of the mysteries of TIAA Traditional...

student
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by student » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:11 am

The Wizard wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:04 am
student wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:43 am
KnowNth wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:25 am
Hmm, if they are bleeding, why are they paying 3.25% instead of the minim 3% right now?

student wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:55 pm

There is no catch as far as I can tell. Remember in the old days, 3% is not a very bar. These days it is a very good deal. So TIAA is trying to ride out the low interest rate environment with their "reserve" in the general account. However, they have begun taking steps to stop the "bleeding" by changing some of the contracts to a lower guaranteed rate called retirement choice annunity. However, this only applies to new money going into the account. They have changed the rate for IRA long long time ago.
Good question. Perhaps "bleeding" is not the correct word. Maybe "limiting exposure" is a better phrase.
And why is restricted Trad paying 4.0% instead of its minimum 3.0%?
It's because business is good nowadays, I suspect...
Could be. I also think that if they don't pay above the minimum, few are willing to be in the restricted version. Historically, the restricted version pays more. I assume that if they can afford it, they will maintain it. Of course, just speculation on my part.

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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by The Wizard » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:20 am

student wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:11 am
...Could be. I also think that if they don't pay above the minimum, few are willing to be in the restricted version. Historically, the restricted version pays more. I assume that if they can afford it, they will maintain it. Of course, just speculation on my part.
And for those of us who have annuitized Trad for lifetime income, TIAA has, at times, given us an unscheduled 1% to 2% increase in what was signed up to be a fixed payout.
This happened at the end of 2014 and 2015, but not 2016.
Their announcements for these increases said something about strong reserves...
Attempted new signature...

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House Blend
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by House Blend » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:46 am

aristotelian wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:08 am
The Wizard wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:04 am
And why is restricted Trad paying 4.0% instead of its minimum 3.0%?
It's because business is good nowadays, I suspect...
Traditional has always paid 1% or so above the minimum rate, at least as long as I have had it. I don't think that's a sign of anything.
You must have started < 5 years ago.

Circa 2012, new contributions to Trad in an RA/GRA were paying 3.35%, (G)SRA 3%.

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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by beardsworth » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:48 am

aristotelian wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:49 am
beardsworth wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:33 pm
KnowNth (original poster),

It's not clear whether you attempted any of your own research before starting a thread here (the questions are so basic that I suspect not), but just going to tiaa.org and entering a search for "TIAA Traditional" produces all of the following, as a start toward better understanding:

https://www.tiaa.org/public/search-resu ... raditional

You may also wish to look at the many threads about TIAA Traditional on the Morningstar forum for TIAA-related subjects, although you'll have to skip a lot of other threads that have no direct relationship with TIAA.

http://socialize.morningstar.com/NewSoc ... 00044.aspx
I don't think there is anything basic about TIAA Traditional. If OP's question is basic to you, it would be more helpful to answer it or say nothing than to post irrelevant links.
I furnished links for the OP's further exploration. It's a mystery to me why you, or anyone, would find TIAA's own pronouncements about TIAA Traditional, or a Morningstar forum with years of threads about TIAA Traditional, to be "irrelevant," but if you choose to characterize them that way, I can't stop you.

I hope that perhaps tomorrow morning you'll have better luck in getting out of bed on the right side. :)

KnowNth
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by KnowNth » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:54 am

Hi beardsworth,

Thanks for the link. I did read the TIAA Traditional FAQ, but couldn't find my answer. I need to read more for sure.

I also read the morning star link. The reason I asked this question is because the morningstar forum post about TIAA lawsuit, I only realized TIAA is a for-profit organization yesterday. And that spooked me a little.


beardsworth wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:33 pm
KnowNth (original poster),

It's not clear whether you attempted any of your own research before starting a thread here (the questions are so basic that I suspect not), but just going to tiaa.org and entering a search for "TIAA Traditional" produces all of the following, as a start toward better understanding:

https://www.tiaa.org/public/search-resu ... raditional

You may also wish to look at the many threads about TIAA Traditional on the Morningstar forum for TIAA-related subjects, although you'll have to skip a lot of other threads that have no direct relationship with TIAA.

http://socialize.morningstar.com/NewSoc ... 00044.aspx

Levett
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by Levett » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:15 am

Beardsworth,

Your level-headedness is much appreciated.

Lev

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jjustice
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by jjustice » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:58 am

KnowNth wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:54 am
I also read the morning star link. The reason I asked this question is because the morningstar forum post about TIAA lawsuit, I only realized TIAA is a for-profit organization yesterday. And that spooked me a little.
You need to go back and reread our discussion at Morningstar's TIAA forum. I asked there whether TIAA was still a not-for-profit organization. The answer was that it is, even though it has for-profit subsidiaries like Evergreen Bank, Nuveen, and TIAA mutual funds. Not-for-profit organizations can own for-profit enterprises. Universities and their bookstores was an example. There is also a statement from the CEO Roger Ferguson at TIAA.org reaffirming that TIAA is not for profit.

By the way, I share in your mystification about how Traditional does so well in the low-interest environment. It is a mystery--but one that makes me happy.

John

student
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by student » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:18 pm

KnowNth wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:54 am
I also read the morning star link. The reason I asked this question is because the morningstar forum post about TIAA lawsuit, I only realized TIAA is a for-profit organization yesterday. And that spooked me a little.
I do not believe TIAA is for profit. It does own for profit companies. Surpluses are returned to participants.

anonenigma
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by anonenigma » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:25 pm

It's for profit:

"In 1997, Congress revoked the company’s nonprofit status as part of a tax reform bill, saying the status gave TIAA an unfair advantage over other companies. This meant TIAA’s costs would rise significantly because it would have to pay taxes."

from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/21/busi ... .html?_r=0

Levett
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by Levett » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:31 pm

jjustice wrote:

"By the way, I share in your mystification about how Traditional does so well in the low-interest environment. It is a mystery--but one that makes me happy."

I can solve some of the mystery.

Read carefully paragraph 3 of the link below. Nuveen's (higher) expense ratios flow to the General Account's bottom line, and we Traditional annuitants (and other participants with sticky versions of Traditional)--so dependent on the General Account--are the beneficiaries.

https://www.nuveen.com/Home/Documents/D ... leId=63986

It's not a secret, but it seems to have escaped notice, even though Roger Ferguson has called attention to it on occasion.

Lev
Last edited by Levett on Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by jjustice » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:34 pm

anonenigma wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:25 pm
It's for profit:

"In 1997, Congress revoked the company’s nonprofit status as part of a tax reform bill, saying the status gave TIAA an unfair advantage over other companies. This meant TIAA’s costs would rise significantly because it would have to pay taxes."

from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/21/busi ... .html?_r=0
This was one of the errors in Morgenson's article on Sunday. What TIAA lost in the budget act of 1997 was its tax-exempt status. This had no effect on TIAA's not-for-profit status. Congress did not revoke TIAA's New York state charter. Here is a NYT article from 1997.
http://www.nytimes.com/1997/07/30/busin ... ption.html

John

PS Lev's post as I was writing also shows that TIAA is not-for-profit. It has for-profit subsidiaries--not only Nuveen--but the profits go to us TIAA participants.

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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by alec » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:11 pm

student wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:57 pm
aristotelian wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:54 pm
I have wondered the same thing and came up empty. I don't get it. The non-liquid version is even higher. I think I am getting 4.25% right now. If what they are doing is legit, someone else should be able to replicate it and offer a competitive rate. The only comparable investment I can think of is EE Bonds from the Treasury, which offer 3.5% in exchange for restrictions on liquidity, but EE Bonds are less liquid and have the backing of US taxpayers.
I think the general fund holds some real estate as well as commercial mortgages. https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/perform ... rength.pdf
Looks like mostly medium to long term investment grade/corporate debt - some private and some public, with some real estate thrown in. 3-4% from that doesn't seem that far fetched. For the illiquid version of TIAA, 4 - 4.25% doesn't seem that far fetched because TIAA can invest in illiquid stuff (private placement debt, long term corp debt, long term real estate stuff).
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" - Upton Sinclair

columbia
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by columbia » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:17 pm

My 4.25% Trad. account is pretty sweet. The liquidity issues aren't issues for me - it's not like I would be selling bonds in my 403b before I retire.

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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by stlrick » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:11 pm

columbia wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:17 pm
My 4.25% Trad. account is pretty sweet. The liquidity issues aren't issues for me - it's not like I would be selling bonds in my 403b before I retire.
+1

I've never understood all the fussing about the liquidity issue. These are retirement funds. I plan to live in retirement for more than 10 years. The portion of my accumulation in TRAD is the portion that I know in advance can be taken no more quickly than 9 years and a day, if I decide not to annuitize it. Only use TRAD for that portion of your accumulation for which it is not a problem. No one forces you to put in more. It's a rather trivial problem to work around, and it provides great stability to TRAD. A large portion of the account cannot have a run on the bank.

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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by talzara » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:49 pm

jjustice wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:34 pm
This was one of the errors in Morgenson's article on Sunday. What TIAA lost in the budget act of 1997 was its tax-exempt status. This had no effect on TIAA's not-for-profit status. Congress did not revoke TIAA's New York state charter. Here is a NYT article from 1997.
http://www.nytimes.com/1997/07/30/busin ... ption.html
TIAA still operates under its original 1937 corporate charter, as amended most recently in 2010: https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/overseers_charter.pdf

TIAA is organized under the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law, and it is allowed to own for-profit corporations.
(c) by conducting other activities to the full extent permitted by the applicable provisions of the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law including, without limitation, organizing corporations or other entities conducting business for profit, and acquiring, owning and administering a controlling or non-controlling interest in the stock of or other equity interests in said entities.

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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by aristotelian » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:51 am

House Blend wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:46 am
aristotelian wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:08 am
The Wizard wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:04 am
And why is restricted Trad paying 4.0% instead of its minimum 3.0%?
It's because business is good nowadays, I suspect...
Traditional has always paid 1% or so above the minimum rate, at least as long as I have had it. I don't think that's a sign of anything.
You must have started < 5 years ago.

Circa 2012, new contributions to Trad in an RA/GRA were paying 3.35%, (G)SRA 3%.
I see, you are right, it did dip briefly. I must have a short memory. The second page of the fact sheet has a breakdown:
https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/ffs/878094101-RA.pdf

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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:57 am

aristotelian wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:51 am
House Blend wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:46 am
aristotelian wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:08 am
The Wizard wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:04 am
And why is restricted Trad paying 4.0% instead of its minimum 3.0%?
It's because business is good nowadays, I suspect...
Traditional has always paid 1% or so above the minimum rate, at least as long as I have had it. I don't think that's a sign of anything.
You must have started < 5 years ago.

Circa 2012, new contributions to Trad in an RA/GRA were paying 3.35%, (G)SRA 3%.
I see, you are right, it did dip briefly. I must have a short memory. The second page of the fact sheet has a breakdown:
https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/ffs/878094101-RA.pdf
Thanks aristotelian for that link.

It apparently shows that *all* (?) pre-2000 vintages are now collapsed to a 4.50% return (pre-annuitization).
Does that mean that the supposed advantage of having money from the 70's - 90's is no longer any advantage during accumulation?
We had seen higher accumulation rates for some of those earlier vintages, but haven't looked for quite some time.

Is there any advantage to those earlier vintages if one annuitizes?

Thanks.

RM
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House Blend
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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by House Blend » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:02 am

aristotelian wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:51 am
I see, you are right, it did dip briefly. I must have a short memory. The second page of the fact sheet has a breakdown:
https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/ffs/878094101-RA.pdf
Just an FYI for those reading along, that page you linked is showing the *current* interest rates on old vintages. Which is not the same thing as the rates that were being paid when those old vintages were new.

Rates for new contributions in Month X are set on the last day of Month X-1. Once set, that rate is in force for Month X contributions until the last day of February.

Then on the last day of February *all* rates on *all* vintages are adjusted up or down according to the whims of the Trustees, and these new rates stay in force until the next end-of-February.

For example, new contributions to Traditional in an RA for June 2000 were earning 7.75% (7.25% in an SRA), at least until Feb. 28, 2001. Today, those contributions are earning 4.0%.

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Re: TIAA traditional -- How did they do that and What's the catch?

Post by student » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:08 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:57 am
aristotelian wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:51 am
House Blend wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:46 am
aristotelian wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:08 am
The Wizard wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:04 am
And why is restricted Trad paying 4.0% instead of its minimum 3.0%?
It's because business is good nowadays, I suspect...
Traditional has always paid 1% or so above the minimum rate, at least as long as I have had it. I don't think that's a sign of anything.
You must have started < 5 years ago.

Circa 2012, new contributions to Trad in an RA/GRA were paying 3.35%, (G)SRA 3%.
I see, you are right, it did dip briefly. I must have a short memory. The second page of the fact sheet has a breakdown:
https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/ffs/878094101-RA.pdf
Thanks aristotelian for that link.

It apparently shows that *all* (?) pre-2000 vintages are now collapsed to a 4.50% return (pre-annuitization).
Does that mean that the supposed advantage of having money from the 70's - 90's is no longer any advantage during accumulation?
We had seen higher accumulation rates for some of those earlier vintages, but haven't looked for quite some time.

Is there any advantage to those earlier vintages if one annuitizes?

Thanks.

RM
Probably not. If you scroll to the bottom of https://www.tiaa.org/public/investment- ... r=47933632
it has the info.

INCOME PAYOUT RATES FOR LIFETIME ANNUITIES ISSUED DURING November 2017

Vintage Lifetime Income Payout Rate Lifetime Income Payout Rate
(when money was contributed) Single Life with 10-year guarantee Joint Life with 20-year guarantee
2016 - 2017 6.0% 5.1%
2012 - 2015 6.2% 5.3%
2000 - 2011 7.0% 6.1%
Pre-2000 8.4% 7.5%

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