Basic Retirement - Beneficiaries

Your beneficiary will receive any available benefits from your Basic Retirement account in the case of your death.  Your estate will be your default beneficiary.  You should designate a beneficiary of your choice by calling TIAA at 1-800-842-2252 or by making the change online at


Spousal rights


You may not choose the single life annuity option or designate an annuity partner who is not your spouse unless your spouse consents in writing during the 180 days preceding the date benefits begin.  If you are married and die before annuity benefit payments begin or before your mutual fund balances are distributed, your spouse is automatically designated as your beneficiary and must receive a benefit that is at least 50 percent of your retirement plan accumulations.  No other beneficiary may receive more than 50 percent of your accumulations unless your spouse waives this benefit in writing.


Your spouse can waive his or her rights to this preretirement death benefit once you have reached age 35 or at any age after your employment ends. 


If you are unmarried, your campus Benefits Office will complete the “Unmarried Determination” section of the withdrawal form.




Contact your campus benefits office for more information.

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