Forms of Payment from CREF
(The below also applies to accumulations in a TIAA Real Estate Account)
You may choose to receive your CREF Accounts in one of several ways.
You may receive a lump-sum distribution from your CREF accounts for all or part of the full value of your account at the time of payment.
CREF accumulations may be taken over any period between 2 and 30 years, subject to IRS restrictions. At the end of the selected period, CREF payments will end.
A lifetime annuity may be received from your CREF account. Lifetime annuity income is the only payment method that ensures you will never outlive your retirement income. It is also a permanent arrangement; once you begin receiving payments, you may not stop them. The actual amount of income you receive at retirement depends primarily on the amount in your account, your age when payments begin, and the form of payment you choose.