TIAA CREF Investing account closure fee. Cost and how to close taxable brokerage and IRA accounts. TIAA online cancellation and ACAT fees.

How to Close or Transfer a TIAA Account

If you’ve tried TIAA’s brokerage services, but haven’t found them to your liking, you can close or transfer your account. Here are the available options to you:

TIAA Automated Customer Account Transfer (ACAT)

The simplest method to close a brokerage account is to transfer it to another company using the electronic ACAT system. When the transfer is complete, your old brokerage account will be automatically closed.

The disadvantage with this service is that it is usually the most expensive avenue to take. TIAA charges $50 to transfer an account via the ACAT system.

To start an ACAT transfer, you’ll want to download a transfer form from the new brokerage firm. Usually today, brokers have an e-form. It takes just a few minutes to complete online (you’ll need your TIAA account number), and you’ll be good to go.

TIAA Top Competitors

Broker Review Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
Promotion
Offer
Firstrade $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 commissions + up to $200 in transfer fee rebates.
Ally Invest $4.95 $9.95 $0 $0 Up to $3,500 cash bonus + commission free trades for new accounts.
TD Ameritrade $6.95 $49.95 $0 $0 Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.

Closing With a Wire Transfer

If $50 is too steep for you, you could send a wire instead. The disadvantage of this option is that you first have to liquidate your securities. Only cash can be sent via wire. With an ACAT, you don’t have to sell anything. Securities can be transferred along with cash. This allows you to keep all your positions open.

TIAA charges $25 for outgoing wires, half the ACAT fee. This is the primary advantage of wire service. And there’s no limit to the amount that can be transferred with a wire service.

After you receive the wire at the other financial institution, you’ll need to contact TIAA to request your brokerage account be closed. Although an ACAT transfer will automatically close an account, a wire will not.

Closing With an ACH

If the wire fee is too pricey for you, the third option is to send funds out with the broker’s ACH service, which is completely free of charge. The disadvantage here is that there are usually limits on the amount that can be transferred. TIAA’s cutoff time for ACH transfers is 1:30 pm, EST.

Closing by Check

TIAA also allows withdrawals by paper check. To submit a request for this, click on ‘Actions’ in the top menu of the broker’s website, then select ‘Transfer money’ under the ‘Brokerage’ heading. On the new page that appears, you’ll need to first choose the TIAA brokerage account you want to close, and then select ‘check’ in the drop-down menu. You’ll be able to request your entire balance be sent to you through the postal service. Remember to sell all securities first.

How to Contact TIAA

If you choose any method besides ACAT, you’ll want to send a request to TIAA to request your account be closed. We recommend doing this instead of leaving your account open with a $0 balance because of the prevalence of cybercrime today.

The brokerage arm of TIAA can be reached at 800-927-3059, and the website also has an online messaging system.

Alternatives to TIAA

Brokers that offer better investing services at a lower price than TIAA include Fidelity, Schwab, and Ally Invest.

Continue Reading