How TIAA Locks Down Teachers’ Retirement Money

This is my Facebook comment to someone on a Democratic group about retirement accounts for teachers that do not act in their best interest.

January 31, 2020

I’m not a fan of TIAA. They do have some good products but it’s hard when there are so many bad options on there and of course annuities are like negotiating a field of landmines for most Americans including educators as only the single premium immediate or deferred annuities are good, but bad options are heavily marketed due to high profit potential for the agent and company. Try taking your money out of TIAA and you’ll see the ridiculous hoops. As an adjunct at University of Central Florida I don’t get to participate in Social Security. Instead the university compels me to contribute at least 7.5% to a FICA replacement account with TIAA (the only option), and when I leave this position, to roll it over to Vanguard, TIAA requires signed forms to be sent by postal mail by me, UCF’s HR department, and the receiving institution (Vanguard). It’s ridiculous. They want to lock your money down so they can keep bombarding you with fees. There could be an index mutual fund in there that’s only a 0.04% annual fee at Vanguard or even 0% at Fidelity that they’ll charge upwards of 0.5% per year.

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