YourRFBenefits
Optional Retirement - Access Your Funds
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There are several ways to gain access to the funds in your account. The types of withdrawals and rules regarding them can differ by contract type and are illustrated briefly in the chart below. For more details please refer to the Benefits Handbook or contact TIAA directly.

 

If you are terminating employment, be sure to wait until you receive your remaining vacation pay before you submit a distribution request to TIAA for processing, since retirement contributions apply to these amounts as well. 

 

NOTE: If you are married, your spouse must consent and the signature needs to be witnessed by a notary or authorized RF campus representative. If you are single, you can complete and sign the Unmarried Determination part of the form without any other signatures required.

 

Type of withdrawal allowed When you can make the withdrawal
Rollover Must be age 59 or no longer employed by the Research Foundation. See also Unmarried Determination.
Cash Withdrawal Must be age 59 or no longer employed by the Research Foundation. See also Unmarried Determination.
Annuities and Other Payment Options Must be age 59 or no longer employed by the Research Foundation. See also Unmarried Determination.
Hardship withdrawal Demonstration of an immediate and heavy financial need. Requires TIAA-CREF approval. RF approval is not required. All plan loan options must be exhausted before you can apply for a hardship withdrawal.
Loan At any time. See also Unmarried Determination.
Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) At any time with the proper documents.

 

Taxes
Retirement distributions from TIAA contracts are normally subject to ordinary income taxes.

Refer to Making a Cash Withdrawal and Tax Implications in the Benefits Handbook. 

A 10 percent tax penalty will generally apply to cash withdrawals made before age 59, unless you have medical expenses exceeding the tax-deductible limit, become disabled, die, or end employment at age 55 or older.

For example, a participant can take a cash distribution of his or her account balance without the additional 10 percent penalty if he or she separates from service after attaining age 55.  The distribution will be taxable, but will not have the additional penalty.  With an age 59 1/2 withdrawal, the participant may have separated from service at age 40 and left his or her money in the plan.  In order to avoid the 10 percent penalty, he or she would have to wait until age 59 1/2 to take a cash distribution of the account balance.

The information provided by TIAA is not intended to be solely relied upon for tax advice. You are encouraged to consult a tax advisor.


 

Optional Retirement

   
 

 

Contact your campus benefits office for more information.

 
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