If you die before you have annuitized all funds in your TIAA contracts, any unannuitized balance is available to your beneficiary in a lump sum, unless you have chosen another payment option for your beneficiary, as described in your annuity contract. Your beneficiary may also contact TIAA at 1-800-842-2252 for additional options.
Your entire balance must normally be distributed to your beneficiary by December 31 of the fifth calendar year after your death.
If elected, death benefits may be payable over the life expectancy of a designated beneficiary if the distribution of benefits begins no later than December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year of your death. If the designated beneficiary is your spouse, the commencement of benefits may be deferred until December 31 of the calendar year when you would have attained age 70½, had you lived.
If you die after all funds have been annuitized, any additional payments will be determined by the annuity option you selected at retirement.