TIAA CEO Roger Ferguson: Why It's Not Your Grandparents' Retirement Anymore

"I believe what most of us want most is to have the option to make our own choices about work and retirement," writes Ferguson.

TIAA is No. 27 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list

(Originally posted on LinkedIn)

It's time to drop some of the common assumptions about work and retirement.

For one thing, there are many Americans (myself included) who are continuing to work past what was once considered the "traditional retirement age" of 65. Today, nearly 19 percent of those 65-and-older have at least a part-time job – and experts expect the trend to continue.

Roger W. Ferguson, Jr.

There are various reasons why. Many people (again, myself included) enjoy their jobs and the stimulation that comes from working. When the Nobel Prizes were recently announced, I loved reading that Rainer Weiss – a professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who won the Nobel in Physics – still works six days a week at the age of 85.

For some, however, work is more necessity than choice. Recent articles have highlighted the plight of the so-called "workampers," older Americans who travel around the U.S. in RVs in search of seasonal jobs that pay hourly wages and offer few, if any, benefits.

I believe what most of us want most is to have the option to make our own choices about work and retirement. We want to call the shots on how long we stay in the workforce and what our lives look like when we're not employed in a full-time job anymore. That's real freedom, and the only route to get there is financial security.

I recently wrote about how annuities are great vehicles for getting to a financially secure retirement, because they give retirees guaranteed monthly income for life. It turns out that most Americans recognize the importance of having monthly income they can't outlive – but they don't know that annuities actually provide it.

And in any event, most Americans don't have access to annuities in their retirement plans. These are the findings of a recent TIAA survey on non-retired Americans that also showed a majority of people support legislative changes that would provide them more information about, and access to, lifetime income within their workplace retirement plans.

TIAA's survey also showed that Americans continue to have many concerns around retirement, including whether they will outlive their savings. Fortunately, there are many steps that both individuals and employers can take to mitigate that risk:

  • Individuals can save more. TIAA's survey shows that 73 percent are saving less than 11 percent of their current annual income (including contributions from employers). Most experts recommend that you save 10-15 percent of your annual income for retirement if your personal situation allows.
  • Employers can adjust the retirement plans they offer. They can add features that would automatically enroll employees in the plan and automatically increase their contributions each year. Our survey found that a majority of Americans would support legislation making it easier for employers to include these features.
  • Individuals can identify how much income they need to replace in retirement – and employers can provide education to help them gain that understanding. Most experts agree that people should aim to replace 70-100 percent of their pre-retirement income, but TIAA found that only one-quarter of Americans think they will need at least 70 percent.
  • Individuals can analyze how their savings will translate into retirement income. This is a critical step in the retirement planning process, and the earlier it's done, the better. But our survey found that over 40% have not taken this step, with women far less likely to have done so than men.

Taking these steps can help you build a financially secure retirement for yourself. And just as important, it can ensure that you have the freedom to live your own definition of retirement – not your grandparents'!

The Lifetime Income Survey was conducted by KRC Research from August 3 to 14, 2017, via an online survey among a random sample of 1,000 American adults age 18 or older. The sample includes 761 respondents who are not retired and 239 respondents who are retired.

Guaranteed lifetime income is subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing company.

This material is for informational or educational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or investment advice in connection with a distribution, transfer or rollover, a purchase or sale of securities or other investment property, or the management of securities or other investments, including the development of an investment strategy or retention of an investment manager or advisor. This material does not take into account any specific objectives or circumstances of any particular investor, or suggest any specific course of action. Investment decisions should be made in consultation with an investor's personal advisor based on the investor's own objectives and circumstances.

TIAA Names Lori Fouché as CEO of Retail & Institutional Financial Services

TIAA combines businesses to meet the evolving needs of customers through an integrated team

Originally Published by TIAA.

TIAA, a leading financial services provider, announced the appointment of Lori Fouché as Senior Executive Vice President and CEO of Retail & Institutional Financial Services, effective August 7. Fouché will report directly to TIAA President and CEO Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., and will serve as a member of the company's executive committee.

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TIAA Introduces TIAA Bank, Serving Consumer, Institutional and Commercial Clients Nationwide

TIAA acquired EverBank, a pioneer in direct banking, in June 2017. Building on EverBank's nationwide consumer and commercial platforms, TIAA Bank offers a full suite of financial products and services for consumer, commercial and institutional clients, furthering TIAA's mission to help clients achieve financial well-being up to and through retirement.

Originally Published by TIAA.

TIAA, a leading financial services provider, today announced the launch of TIAA Bank, bringing together EverBank and TIAA Direct under a new name and brand dedicated to helping clients reach their unique financial goals at every stage of their lives."

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TIAA Celebrates Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month by Addressing Overcoming Stereotypes​

One of the national events featured Amy Chua, Yale University law professor and New York Times best-selling author of multiple books including "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" and "The Triple Package," which is particularly relevant to the workplace and ERGs.



May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, which celebrates the history, heritage and contributions of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month started in May 1979 as a week celebration, and in 1992, Congress passed a law that annually designates May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.

To honor and recognize this heritage month and its employees with this heritage, the TIAA Asian-American professionals' Employee Resource Group (ERG), called Engage ERG, hosted events in multiple TIAA offices for employees to enjoy and learn more about the Asian culture. One of the national events the Engage ERG hosted was a speaker event on May 10 with Amy Chua, best-selling author of multiple books and law professor at Yale University. Amy Chua is well-known for her New York Times bestseller books, including "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" and "The Triple Package," which is particularly relevant to the workplace and ERGs.

The TIAA Engage ERG's motto, "loud & proud", was a theme in Chua's internal speaker event to TIAA employees. She shared her journey growing up with immigrant parents in the US, and how she felt like an outsider at school and work. She later used this feeling as a strength and it motivated her to be proud of her heritage; using her unique skills as a competitive advantage to connect with global issues.

As a part of this month's activities, TIAA employees were encouraged to stand "loud and proud" and be their authentic selves and deterring individuals from "being" what society expects them to be, and to let the workforce embrace all types of cultures, skills, strengths and backgrounds for the company's advantage.

Amy Chua's story and experience resonated with many of the over 380 TIAA employees who attended the event in conference rooms and on the phones nationwide. She encouraged employees to embrace their culture, and to not let their individuality hold them back simply because it is different.

"Although Amy talked a lot about the challenges and struggles of Asian Americans, I think these are struggles that everyone can relate to. Regardless of your race, gender, beliefs, or sexuality, we are all trying to fit in, trying to overcome stereotypes, trying to make our voices heard," said Wen-Fu Wu, National Co-Chair of the Engage ERG and Managing Director of Asset Allocation at TIAA. "Conversations like these really help us realize that we're all more alike than we are different, and ultimately bring the organization closer together."

Carolynne Singerman, the National Communications Chair of the Engage ERG and a Financial Services Consultant at TIAA, said what resonated with her the most was to realize that positive things can come out of terrible and misfortunate events. . "To me that means instead of looking at it as "why me?" look at it as a way to learn and grow." Singerman added, "I believe it is important to have cultural discussions in the workplace so that we, as employees, can embrace and respect our differences and that we all are human. This acceptance also projects through our business practices."

The TIAA Engage ERG started in 2015 and currently has 501 members. Its mission is to elevate the success of the firm by providing recognition, development, and networking opportunities, especially for Asian-American employees. The ERG hosted additional events this month, including another guest speaker, a kite festival in Denver, and a Dragon Boat festival in Charlotte.