TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company

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Although it may not have the same level of name recognition as some other life insurance companies, TIAA-CREF Life Insurance, the life insurance unit of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America — more commonly known as TIAA — has a long and distinguished history that was founded to help teachers optimize their retirement.

Famed philanthropist Andrew Carnegie founded TIAA as the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association in 1918. CREF, the College Retirement Equities Fund, came into existence in 1952. It was created in that year to introduce the world’s first variable annuity.

Together, TIAA-CREF offers consumers today a broad range of financial products:

  • Life insurance
  • After-tax annuities
  • College savings accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Brokerage services

The company offers both term life and permanent life policies. Its plans include level term life insurance, annual renewable term life insurance, universal life insurance and variable universal life insurance.

Unlike publicly traded firms, CREF is a nonprofit entity, while TIAA is a stock life insurance company that pays dividends to policyholders. In addition, life insurance customers are served by a company that has received high marks for customer service and overall corporate culture.

Founded more than 100 years ago, TIAA, serves 5 million active and retired individuals. It employs nearly 8,000 workers at its 80 local offices. The company headquarters are located in New York City.

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