TIAA-Cref Life Insurance Company (TIAA-Cref) is a stock company incorporated in 1918 by the Carnegie Foundation (founded by Andrew Carnegie). The Carnegie Foundation founded Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA), which started as a fully funded system of pensions for professors.
TIAA-Cref is the leading retirement provider for those working in medical, cultural, academic and research fields. As a Fortune 100 organization, they have 3.7 million employees (both active and retired) who participate in 15,000 institutions. TIAA-Cref’s combined assets as of June 30th, 2011 were $469 billion.
The initial funding for TIAA was provided by a combination of grants from the Carnegie Foundation and also from Carnegie Corporation of New York. Starting as a life insurance company in New York State, TIAA-Cref began operations for pensions and by the end of their first year (1918); they added 30 public and private institutions to their membership.
TIAA-Cref’s approach to investing has always been from a long-term frame of mind. This approach allowed the company to push through the depression and TIAA-Cref’s assets grew from 1929 to 1939.
By 1950, TIAA-Cref had almost 600 institutions participating. However, TIAA-Cref started to face some problems. Their pension plans were suppose to last the average lifetime of an individual, but people were living longer thanks to advances in medicine and society. TIAA-Cref then created College Retirement Equities Fund, which is a variable annuity (the first one ever).
Another intuitive and innovative solution concocted by TIAA-Cref was the use of international stocks as part of investment strategies. In 1988, TIAA started to expand its variable annuities and eventually allowed participants to invest directly with their own real estate properties.
As of today, TIAA-Cref offers a full spectrum of financial services including the following:
- Retirement plans
- Brokerage services
- Mutual funds
- Life insurance
- Education savings plans
TIAA-Cref wants to help investors by offering them a range of investment products and services. Some descriptions of the services are the following:
All of TIAA-Cref’s funds and variable annuity accounts are received by Morningstar overall ratings across all of their asset classes (three stars have been given to 72%; four stars have been given to 26%, and 2% have five stars).
TIAA-Cref’s retirement plans give their members a range of options in order to meet their retirement plans and savings goals. Their plans also help their income and wealth protection needs. These options include:
- Mutual funds
- Variable annuities
- Tax deferred and after tax annuities
- Brokerage accounts
As the global leader in socially responsible investing, TIAA-Cref also advocates for better governing practices for companies they invest in. Because of this, the TIAA-Cref Social Choice Account is balanced with more than $10.7 billion in assets.
TIAA-Cref offers trusted advice that is personalized for each individual. The point of this is to make sure members have a plan tailored to their goals and stages in life.
TIAA-Cref is one of the highest rated insurance companies in the U.S. with capital reserves that underscore the company’s stability. The capital also underscores the company’s claims paying ability and overall financial strength, making it a very stable company to work with.
TIAA-Cref Company Rating
According to A.M. Best ratings, TIAA-Cref has a “Superior” rating of A++ in terms of financial strength. Their financial strength outlook was rated “Stable.” Ratings for financial strength can be anywhere between A++ and F. Any rating between A++ and B+ is considered a “Stable” rating.
As for their credit rating, they were given an “aaa” grade, which is termed “Exceptional” and is the highest rating you can get. There outlook for credit rating is also “Stable.”
Health Insurance Companies that are Top Rated
While TIAA-Cref is an outstanding insurance company with unbelievable ratings, it does not offer health insurance. There are other companies with outstanding ratings that do offer health insurance. The following are five companies that have been ranked by U.S. News as some of the top 25 health insurance companies.
- HIP Ins. Group
- Independence Blue Cross Group
- Kaiser Foundation Group
- Highmark Group
- HCSC Group
You can take a closer look at these health insurance rates and many others by simply entering your zip code. You can compare the rates of the above mentioned and other health insurance companies as well.