Benefits Plans - 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan: TIAA-CREF

Founded in 1918, TIAA-CREF is the nationwide retirement and financial services system for people who work at more than 15,000 colleges, universities, independent schools, and other nonprofit education, hospital and health care, and research institutions throughout the United States. In fact, the University of Michigan was the first in the nation to offer TIAA in 1919.

TIAA is the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, an insurance company founded in 1918 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. CREF is the College Retirement Equities Fund, first set up in 1952 and now registered with the SEC as an open-end, diversified management company under the federal Investment Company Act of 1940.

What are my investment choices?

TIAA-CREF offers more than 40 fund choices, including mutual funds, and fixed and variable annuities.  Domestic and international stock funds, bond funds, money market funds and real estate funds are available, along with a guaranteed fixed annuity and socially responsible funds.  For a complete list of available investment funds visit:

TIAA-CREF Institutional Class Mutual Funds

All TIAA-CREF mutual funds available through the University of Michigan plans are offered under the Institutional share class.  The Institutional Class is the share class with the lowest management fees and expenses TIAA-CREF offers and charges 25 basis point (¼ of a percent) less in expenses than the Retirement share class that is typically offered through most employers.  The low fees mean more of your money remains in your account, working toward your financial future, and your retirement account balances have more earning potential. 

Two ways to invest with TIAA-CREF

  1. Lifecycle Index Fund
    The default investment fund designation for TIAA-CREF is automatically a Lifecycle Index Fund.  Your date of birth will be included with your enrollment data that will be sent to TIAA-CREF in order to determine the Lifecycle Index Fund that is appropriate for you based on your age.  Each fund is a diversified portfolio of TIAA-CREF mutual funds, including stocks, bonds, and real estate investment trusts targeted to a specific retirement date.

    • TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index Fund 2010
    • TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index Fund 2015
    • TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index Fund 2020
    • TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index Fund 2025
    • TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index Fund 2030
    • TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index Fund 2035
    • TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index Fund 2040
    • TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index Fund 2045
    • TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index Fund 2050
  1. Create a Custom Portfolio
    You can create your own custom-made portfolio by allocating your contributions among the various TIAA-CREF variable annuities and mutual funds according to your own specifications.  You will receive a welcome packet from TIAA-CREF after you have been enrolled.  It will contain information about how to change your investment choices if you do not want a Lifecycle Index Fund.

To find out more about TIAA-CREF fund choices:

  • Visit:
  • Call TIAA-CREF at 1-800-842-2776
  • Meet with a TIAA-CREF investment professional by calling 1-800-732-8353.
  • You may also create your account online at by entering in all caps UM457B to enroll in the U-M 457(b) plan.


Here are prospectuses for TIAA-CREF funds. For additional investment performance and fund information, visit or call TIAA at 1-800-842-2776.


Next: Fidelity Investments

The University of Michigan in its sole discretion may modify, amend, or terminate the benefits provided with respect to any individual receiving benefits, including active employees, retirees, and their dependents. Although the university has elected to provide these benefits this year, no individual has a vested right to any of the benefits provided. Nothing in these materials gives any individual the right to continued benefits beyond the time the university modifies, amends, or terminates the benefit. Anyone seeking or accepting any of the benefits provided will be deemed to have accepted the terms of the benefits programs and the university's right to modify, amend or terminate them.