Withdrawing Money From The Plan & Loans
You may always request a distribution of contributions you have received from your Employer upon termination of employment after reaching age 65.
You may request a distribution of Deferrals at the times listed below.
- You become Disabled
- On account of hardship
You may request a distribution of the contributions you receive from your Employer at the times listed below, if they are invested in annuity contracts.
- You reach age 59½
In spite of the distribution events listed above, contributions that you receive from your Employer that are held in annuity contracts issued after 2008 will generally not be available to you while you are still employed unless you have participated in the Plan for at least five years.
You may elect a distribution of your transfer contributions and/or rollover contributions at any time subject to the restrictions in the Individual Agreements.
If you experience a financial hardship, you may take a distribution from the Deferrals you have contributed to the Plan, unless restricted under the terms of the Individual Agreements.
The following events qualify as a hardship distribution under the Plan:
- medical expenses for you, your spouse or your dependents, or your beneficiary,
- payment to purchase your principal residence,
- tuition and education-related expenses for you, your spouse or your dependents, or your beneficiary
- payments to prevent eviction from your principal residence,
- funeral expenses for you, your spouse or your dependents, or your beneficiary,
- payments to repair your principal residence that would qualify for a casualty loss deduction.
Before you take a hardship distribution, you must take all other distributions and all nontaxable loans available to you under the Plan. If you take a hardship distribution of Deferrals, you may not be eligible to make Deferrals for the next six months. If you are under age 59½, the amount you take out of the Plan as a hardship distribution may be subject to a 10 percent penalty tax. This is only required under the safe harbor method of determining hardship.
You may be able to take a penalty-free distribution from your Deferrals if you were called to active military duty after September 11, 2001. In order to qualify for these penalty-free distributions, you must have been ordered or called to active duty for a period of at least 180 days or an indefinite period and your distribution must have been taken after you were called to duty and before your active duty ended.
The Individual Agreements governing the investment options that you selected for your Plan contributions may contain additional limits on when you can take a distribution, the form of distribution that may be available as well as your right to transfer among approved investment options. Please review both the following information in this Summary Plan Description and the terms of your annuity contracts or custodial agreements before requesting a distribution. Contact your Employer or the investment vendor if you have questions regarding your distribution options.
If you are married, you must get written consent from your spouse to take a distribution from the Plan in any form other than a qualified joint and survivor annuity. Your spouse’s consent is also needed if you want to name someone other than your spouse as your beneficiary. The annuity would need to be structured to provide a benefit while you are both alive and then to provide a survivor benefit that is equal to 50 percent of the amount you received while you were both living. You can designate a different survivor percentage subject to certain limits under the qualified optional survivor annuity regulations. Your Employer will provide you with more information regarding your annuity options when it comes time for you to make a decision. Follow the procedures established by your Employer to document your spouse’s consent to waive the annuity and take the payment in some other form permitted by the Plan. Your spouse must also consent to any Plan loans that you request.
If you obtain the proper consents, you may choose from the following options for your payout.
- Lump sum
- Partial payments
- Installment payments
- Annuity contract (if assets are held in a custodial account) or converted to an income option (if your assets are invested in an annuity contract)
The Individual Agreements governing the investment options that you selected for your contributions may further restrict your payout options. Please review the annuity contracts or custodial agreements before requesting a distribution and contact your Employer or the investment vendor if you have questions regarding your distribution options.
If your distribution is eligible to be rolled over, you may choose to have your distribution paid to another eligible retirement arrangement. Contact your Employer for information regarding rollover procedures.
Generally, if you take a payout from the Plan before you are age 59½, a 10 percent early distribution penalty will apply to the taxable portion of your payout. There are some exceptions to the 10 percent penalty. Your tax adviser can assist you in determining whether you qualify for a penalty exception.
If your payout is eligible to be rolled over, 20 percent of the taxable portion of your payout will be withheld and remitted to the IRS as a credit toward the taxes you will owe on the payout amount unless you do a direct rollover.
EXAMPLE: You request a $10,000 payout from the pre-tax portion of your Plan balance. If the amount is eligible to be rolled over to another plan, but you choose not to roll it over directly, you will receive $8,000 and $2,000 will be remitted to the IRS.
Although the Plan is designed primarily to help you save for retirement, you may take a loan from the Plan as outlined below, subject to the terms and restrictions in the Individual Agreements. Please review your annuity contracts or custodial agreements before requesting a loan. Contact your Employer or the investment vendor if you have questions regarding your loan options.
The Individual Agreements governing the investment options that you selected for your Plan contributions may contain additional limits on when you can take a loan. Please review both the following information in this Summary Plan Description and your annuity contracts or custodial agreements before requesting a loan. Contact your Employer or the investment vendor if you have questions regarding your loan options.
Generally the minimum loan amount that you may take is $1,000 and the maximum loan amount is $50,000. The maximum amount you can borrow may be less, however, depending on two factors: 1) the amount of your accumulation under the Plan, and 2) whether you have taken other loans from any of this Employer’s plans within the last year. If you have not had a plan loan in the previous year, your maximum loan cannot be greater than one-half of your vested account balance or $50,000, whichever is less. If you have had another loan, the $50,000 maximum will be reduced by the highest outstanding loan balance in the 12 month period prior to the new loan.
If your loan is being taken from a TIAA-CREF Annuity, your maximum loan amount is further limited to
- 45% of your combined TIAA and CREF accumulation attributable to participation under this Plan; or
- 90% or your CREF and TIAA Real Estate accumulation attributable to participation under this Plan for Retirement Loan (RL) loans or
- 90% of your TIAA Annuity accumulation attributable to participation under this Plan for a Group Supplemental Retirement Annuity (GSRA) loan.
If you default on a loan, your right to a future loan may be restricted. Further, the maximum amount that you can borrow from the Plan will be reduced by the amount in default (plus interest) until the defaulted amount can be deducted from your Plan accumulation. If more than one employer contributed to your TIAA-CREF Annuities, you can only take loans based on the amount you accumulated under this Employer’s plan. You should check with your other employers for the rules that apply to loans from the amounts you accumulated while working for the other employers.
If your loan is based on amounts invested in your TIAA-CREF mutual funds, you may not have more than three loans at any one time (from all plans of all employers.)
If your loan is used to purchase a primary residence, you must repay it within ten years. Other loans must be repaid within one to five years.
The interest rate for your loan will vary, as described below, depending upon how your retirement balance is invested.
- Group Supplemental Retirement Unity-Annuity (GSRA) contract - The interest rate is variable and can increase or decrease every three months. The interest rate you pay initially will be the higher of 1) the Moody’s Corporate Bond Yield Average for the calendar month ending two months before your loan is issued; or 2) the interest rate credited before your annuity starting date, as stated in the applicable rate schedule, plus 1 percent. Thereafter, the rate may change quarterly, but only if the new rate differs from your current rate by at least ½ percent.
- Retirement Loan (RL) contract - For all Employers except those located in Arkansas, Hawaii, or New Jersey, the interest rate you pay initially will be the higher of 1) the Moody’s Corporate Bond Yield Average for the calendar month ending two months before your loan is issued; or 2) the interest credited before your annuity starting date, as stated in the applicable rate schedule, plus 1 percent. Thereafter the rate will change annually, but only if the Moody’s Corporate Bond Yield Average for the calendar month ending two months before the anniversary of your loan differs from your current rate by at least a half percent. If the latest average differs by less, your interest rate will remain the same for the next year. For Employers located in Arkansas, Hawaii, or New Jersey, the interest rate will be a fixed rate of 8 percent.
- TIAA-CREF mutual funds - The interest rate for loans from TIAA-CREF mutual funds will be fixed for the term of the loan and will be equal to the Federal Reserve Board Bank prime loan rate plus 1 percent at the time of the loan origination.
You will be required to repay the loan amount (plus interest) to the Plan. If you default on the loan, you will be taxed on the amount of the outstanding loan balance and will be subject to a 10 percent penalty if you are under age 59 ½. In addition, your Employer has the right to foreclose its security interest in the portion of your vested account under the Plan that you pledged as security for the loan, when an event allowing a Plan distribution occurs. The following events will cause a loan default:
- Not repaying your loan as set forth in your loan agreement.
- Breaching any of your obligations under your loan agreement.
- Severing your employment (for loans from mutual funds in custodial accounts)
If your loan is defaulted, your Employer has the right to foreclose the security interest in your vested account balance pledged for repayment, when an event which triggers a distribution of your benefits occurs. In addition, the loan administrator will report the loan default to the IRS and the outstanding loan amount and accrued interest will be treated as a taxable distribution. If you are under age 59½, this could result in a 10 percent penalty on the taxable portion of the default.
If you die before taking all of your assets from the Plan, the remaining balance will be paid to your designated beneficiary. To designate your beneficiary, you must follow the procedures established by your Employer. If you are married and decide to name someone other than your spouse as your beneficiary, your spouse must consent in writing to your designation. It is important to review your designation from time to time and update it if your circumstances change (e.g., a divorce, death of a named beneficiary).
If you do not name a beneficiary, 50% of your balance will be paid to your spouse and 50% will be paid to your estate. If you do not name a beneficiary and have no surviving spouse, your remaining balance in the Plan will be paid to your estate, unless a different alternative is provided in the Individual Agreement.
If your Plan balance is $5,000 or less at the time of your death, your beneficiary will generally have the same options regarding the form of the distribution that are available to you as a Participant. If the balance is greater than $5,000, your beneficiary may be required to take the payouts in the form of a life annuity, unless the annuity has been properly waived by you and your spouse during your lifetime. Your beneficiary may also have the option of rolling their distribution into an IRA. The Individual Agreements governing the investment options that you selected for your contributions may further restrict your beneficiary’s options regarding the manner in which the accumulation will be distributed.
If you die after beginning age 70½ distributions, as described in the following question, your beneficiary must continue taking distributions from the plan at least annually. If you die before beginning age 70½ payments, your beneficiary may have the option of (1) taking annual payments beginning the year following your death (or the year you would have reached age 70½, if your spouse is your beneficiary), or (2) delaying their distribution until the year containing the fifth anniversary of your death, provided they take the entire amount remaining amount during that fifth year.
When you terminate from employment, your balance will generally not be paid out of the Plan until you request a payout from your Employer.
Age 70½ Required Distributions
When you reach age 70½ you will generally need to begin taking a distribution each year based on your balance in the Plan. However, unless you own more than 5% of the Employer, you can delay required distributions until you actually separate from service. Contributions for periods before 1987 (excluding earnings on those contributions) will generally not be subject to the required distribution rules until you reach age 75. You may also have the option to satisfy your required minimum distribution from the Plan by aggregating all your 403(b) plans and taking the required minimum distribution from any one or more the individual 403(b) plans.
If the Plan is terminated, your entire account balance will be distributed from the Plan. To the extent you are invested in an annuity contract, you will receive a distribution of the contract.