TIAA-CREF
Funds

 

Statement of
Additional
Information

 

TIAA-CREF Funds

AUGUST 1, 2021 (with respect to the Real Estate Securities Fund and all Fixed-Income Funds other than the Emerging Markets Debt Fund and the International Bond Fund)
MARCH 1, 2021, AS SUPPLEMENTED AUGUST 1, 2021 (with respect to all Equity Funds, the Emerging Markets Debt Fund and the International Bond Fund)

                 
   

Tickers

   

Institutional
Class

Advisor
Class

Premier
Class

Retirement
Class

Retail
Class

Class W

 
                 
                 

Equity Funds

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Emerging Markets Equity Fund

 

TEMLX

TEMHX

TEMPX

TEMSX

TEMRX

TEMVX

 

Emerging Markets Equity Index Fund

 

TEQLX

TEQHX

TEQPX

TEQSX

TEQKX

TENWX

 

Equity Index Fund

 

TIEIX

TEIHX

TCEPX

TIQRX

TINRX

TEQWX

 

Growth & Income Fund

 

TIGRX

TGIHX

TRPGX

TRGIX

TIIRX

TGIWX

 

International Equity Fund

 

TIIEX

TIEHX

TREPX

TRERX

TIERX

TIEWX

 

International Equity Index Fund

 

TCIEX

TCIHX

TRIPX

TRIEX

TCIWX

 

International Opportunities Fund

 

TIOIX

TIOHX

TIOPX

TIOTX

TIOSX

TIOVX

 

Large-Cap Growth Fund

 

TILGX

TILHX

TILPX

TILRX

TIRTX

TILWX

 

Large-Cap Growth Index Fund

 

TILIX

TRIHX

TRIRX

TRIWX

 

Large-Cap Value Fund

 

TRLIX

TRLHX

TRCPX

TRLCX

TCLCX

TRLWX

 

Large-Cap Value Index Fund

 

TILVX

THCVX

TRCVX

THCWX

 

Mid-Cap Growth Fund

 

TRPWX

TCMHX

TRGPX

TRGMX

TCMGX

 

Mid-Cap Value Fund

 

TIMVX

TRVHX

TRVPX

TRVRX

TCMVX

 

Quant International Small-Cap Equity Fund

 

TIISX

TAISX

TPISX

TTISX

TLISX

TAIWX

 

Quant Small-Cap Equity Fund

 

TISEX

TSCHX

TSRPX

TRSEX

TCSEX

TSCWX

 

Quant Small/Mid-Cap Equity Fund

 

TSMWX

TSMNX

TSMMX

TSMOX

TSMEX

TSMUX

 

Small-Cap Blend Index Fund

 

TISBX

TRHBX

TRBIX

TRHWX

 

Social Choice Equity Fund

 

TISCX

TICHX

TRPSX

TRSCX

TICRX

 

Social Choice International Equity Fund

 

TSONX

TSOHX

TSOPX

TSOEX

TSORX

 

Social Choice Low Carbon Equity Fund

 

TNWCX

TCCHX

TPWCX

TEWCX

TLWCX

 

S&P 500 Index Fund

 

TISPX

TISAX

TRSPX

TISWX

 
                 

Fixed-Income Funds

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Bond Index Fund

 

TBIIX

TBIAX

TBIPX

TBIRX

TBILX

TBIWX

 

Core Bond Fund

 

TIBDX

TIBHX

TIDPX

TIDRX

TIORX

TBBWX

 

Core Impact Bond Fund

 

TSBIX

TSBHX

TSBPX

TSBBX

TSBRX

 

Core Plus Bond Fund

 

TIBFX

TCBHX

TBPPX

TCBRX

TCBPX

TCBWX

 

5–15 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund

 

TITIX

TIXHX

TIXRX

 

Green Bond Fund

 

TGRNX

TGRKX

TGRLX

TGRMX

TGROX

 

High-Yield Fund

 

TIHYX

TIHHX

TIHPX

TIHRX

TIYRX

TIHWX

 

Inflation-Linked Bond Fund

 

TIILX

TIIHX

TIKPX

TIKRX

TCILX

TIIWX

 

Short Duration Impact Bond Fund

 

TSDJX

TSDHX

TSDFX

TSDDX

TSDBX

 

Short-Term Bond Fund

 

TISIX

TCTHX

TSTPX

TISRX

TCTRX

TCTWX

 

Short-Term Bond Index Fund

 

TNSHX

TTBHX

TPSHX

TESHX

TRSHX

TTBWX

 

Emerging Markets Debt Fund

 

TEDNX

TEDHX

TEDPX

TEDTX

TEDLX

TEDVX

 

International Bond Fund

 

TIBWX

TIBNX

TIBLX

TIBVX

TIBEX

TIBUX

 

Money Market Fund

 

TCIXX

TMHXX

TPPXX

TIEXX

TIRXX

TMWXX

 
                 

Real Estate Securities Fund

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Real Estate Securities Fund

 

TIREX

TIRHX

TRRPX

TRRSX

TCREX

 
                 

This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) contains additional information that you should consider before investing in any of the above-listed series, which are investment portfolios or “Funds” of the TIAA-CREF Funds (the “Trust”). The SAI is not a prospectus, but


is incorporated by reference into and made a part of the (i) TIAA-CREF Funds’ prospectuses, dated August 1, 2021, as supplemented (with respect to the Real Estate Securities Fund and all Fixed-Income Funds other than the Emerging Markets Debt Fund and the International Bond Fund); and (ii) TIAA-CREF Funds’ prospectuses, dated March 1, 2021, as subsequently supplemented (with respect to the Equity Funds, the Emerging Markets Debt Fund and the International Bond Fund) (each, a “Prospectus”). The SAI should be read carefully in conjunction with the Prospectuses. The Prospectuses may be obtained, without charge, by writing the Funds at TIAA-CREF Funds, 730 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017-3206 or by calling 877-518-9161.

This SAI describes 36 Funds. Each Fund offers Institutional Class and Advisor Class shares. Certain of the Funds also offer other share classes, such as Premier Class, Retirement Class, Retail Class and/or Class W shares.

Capitalized terms used, but not defined, herein have the same meaning as in the Prospectuses. The audited financial statements of the Trust for the Funds covered by this SAI for the fiscal periods ended October 31, 2020 (with respect to the Equity Funds, the Emerging Markets Debt Fund and the International Bond Fund) and March 31, 2021 (with respect to the Fixed-Income Funds and the Real Estate Securities Fund, other than the Emerging Markets Debt and International Bond Funds, which have a different fiscal year end) are incorporated into this SAI by reference to the TIAA-CREF Funds’ Annual Reports to shareholders dated October 31, 2020 and March 31, 2021. The Funds will furnish you, without charge, a copy of the Annual Reports on request by calling 877-518-9161.


 

Table of contents

     

Investment objectives, policies, restrictions and risks 4

Disclosure of portfolio holdings 41

Management of the Trust 43

Proxy voting policies 52

Principal holders of securities 53

Investment advisory and other services 81

Underwriter and other service providers 86

Personal trading policy 86

Information about the Funds’ portfolio management 87

 

About the Trust and the shares 92

Pricing of shares 99

Tax status 100

Brokerage allocation 106

Legal matters 111

Experts 111

Financial statements 111

Appendix A: TIAA policy statement on responsible investing 113

TIAA-CREF Funds    Statement of Additional Information     3


Investment objectives, policies, restrictions and risks

The following discussion of investment objectives and policies supplements the Prospectus descriptions of the investment objective and principal investment strategies of the 36 Funds of the Trust described in this SAI.

Under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), any fundamental policy of a registered investment company may not be changed without the vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the 1940 Act) of that series. However, except for the 5–15 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund, the investment objective of each Fund as described in its Prospectus, and its non-fundamental investment restrictions as described in “Investment policies” below, may be changed by the Board of Trustees of the Trust (the “Board of Trustees” or the “Board”) at any time without shareholder approval. The Trust is an open-end management investment company.

Each Fund is classified as “diversified” within the meaning of the 1940 Act, as set forth in Restriction #8 below. However, the Equity Index Fund, Large-Cap Growth Index Fund, Large-Cap Value Index Fund, S&P 500 Index Fund, Small-Cap Blend Index Fund, Emerging Markets Equity Index Fund, International Equity Index Fund, Bond Index Fund and Short-Term Bond Index Fund may become non-diversified under the 1940 Act without the approval of Fund shareholders solely as a result of a change in relative market capitalization or index weighting of one or more constituents of their benchmark indices. Therefore, these Funds have a different diversification-related policy than the other Funds as noted in Restriction #8 below. When formed, the Emerging Markets Debt Fund was classified as a “non-diversified” fund as defined in the 1940 Act. However, the Fund has historically operated as a “diversified” fund and, by operation of Rule 13a-1 under the 1940 Act, the Fund’s classification has changed from “non-diversified” to “diversified.” The Fund will not resume operation as a “non-diversified” fund without first obtaining shareholder approval. In addition, each Fund intends to meet the diversification requirements of Subchapter M of Chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).

The International Bond Fund may pursue its investment objective by investing in its wholly owned subsidiary, TIAA-CREF International Bond Fund Offshore Limited (the “Subsidiary”), which is a Cayman Islands exempted company. The International Bond Fund invests in the Subsidiary to obtain exposure to certain Regulation S securities not eligible for investment by the International Bond Fund until the expiration of the applicable Regulation S security restricted period. The Subsidiary is advised by Teachers Advisors, LLC (“Advisors”), has the same investment objective as the International Bond Fund, and is subject to the same investment policies and restrictions that apply to the management of the International Bond Fund (except that the Subsidiary may invest without limitation in Regulation S securities). The International Bond Fund and the Subsidiary will test for compliance with investment restrictions on a consolidated basis. By investing in the Subsidiary, the International Bond Fund is indirectly exposed to the risks associated with the Subsidiary’s investments. The investments held by the Subsidiary are generally similar to those held by the International Bond Fund and are subject to the same risks that apply to similar investments if held directly by the International Bond Fund. See the International Bond Fund’s Prospectus and the section titled “Investment in a Wholly Owned Subsidiary” below for a more detailed discussion of the Subsidiary.

Unless otherwise noted, each of the following investment policies and risk considerations applies to each Fund.

Fundamental policies

Except as noted, the following restrictions are fundamental policies of each Fund:

1. The Fund will not issue senior securities except as permitted by law.

2. The Fund will not borrow money, except: (a) each Fund may purchase securities on margin, as described in Restriction #7 below; and (b) from banks (only in amounts not in excess of 331/3% of the market value of that Fund’s assets at the time of borrowing), and, from other sources, for temporary purposes (only in amounts not exceeding 5%, or such greater amount as may be permitted by law, of that Fund’s total assets taken at market value at the time of borrowing).

3. The Fund will not underwrite the securities of other companies, except to the extent that it may be deemed an underwriter in connection with the disposition of securities from its portfolio.

4. The Fund will not purchase real estate or mortgages directly.

5. The Fund will not purchase commodities or commodities contracts, except to the extent futures are purchased as described herein.

6. The Fund will not lend any security or make any other loan if, as a result, more than 331/3% of its total assets would be lent to other parties, but this limit does not apply to repurchase agreements.

7. The Fund will not purchase any security on margin except that the Fund may obtain such short-term credit as may be necessary for the clearance of purchases and sales of portfolio securities.

Restriction #8 is a fundamental policy of each Fund:

8. With respect to each of the Equity Index Fund, Large-Cap Growth Index Fund, Large-Cap Value Index Fund, S&P 500 Index Fund, Small-Cap Blend Index Fund, Emerging Markets Equity Index Fund, International Equity Index Fund, Bond Index Fund and Short-Term Bond Index Fund, the Fund will not, with respect to at least 75% of the value of its total assets, invest more

4     Statement of Additional Information    TIAA-CREF Funds


than 5% of its total assets in the securities of any one issuer, other than securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities, or hold more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any one issuer, except as may be necessary to approximate the composition of its benchmark index.

 With respect to each other Fund, the Fund will not, with respect to at least 75% of the value of its total assets, invest more than 5% of its total assets in the securities of any one issuer, other than securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities, or hold more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any one issuer.

Restrictions #9 and #10 are fundamental policies of the 515 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund only:

9. The Fund may invest more than 25% of its assets in tax-exempt securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities, or by any state or local government or a political subdivision of any of the foregoing; the Fund will not otherwise invest in any industry if after giving effect to that investment the Fund’s holding in that industry would exceed 25% of its total assets.

10. Under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its assets in tax-exempt bonds, a type of municipal security, the interest on which is exempt from federal income tax, including federal alternative minimum tax.

11. The Fund (other than the Real Estate Securities Fund) will not invest 25% or more of its total assets in the securities of one or more issuers conducting their principal business activities in the same industry (excluding the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities). The Real Estate Securities Fund has a policy of investing more than 25% of its total assets in securities of issuers in the real estate sector.

With the exception of percentage restrictions relating to borrowings, if a percentage restriction is adhered to at the time of investment, a later increase or decrease in percentage beyond the specified limit resulting from a change in values of portfolio securities will not be considered a violation by the Fund.

Investment policies

The following policies and restrictions are non-fundamental policies of each Fund. These restrictions may be changed by the Board without the approval of Fund shareholders.

Non-Equity Investments of the Equity and Real Estate Securities Funds. The Equity Funds and the Real Estate Securities Fund can, in addition to stocks, hold other types of securities with equity characteristics, such as convertible bonds, preferred stock, warrants and depository receipts or rights for such securities. Pending more permanent investments or to use cash balances effectively, these Funds may hold the same types of money market instruments as held by money market funds, as well as other short-term instruments. These other instruments are the same type of instruments a money market fund may hold, but they have longer maturities than the instruments allowed in money market funds, or otherwise do not meet the requirements for “Eligible Securities” (as defined in Rule 2a-7 under the 1940 Act).

When market conditions warrant, the Equity Funds and the Real Estate Securities Fund may invest directly in investment-grade debt securities similar to those the Core Bond Fund may invest in. The Equity Funds and the Real Estate Securities Fund may also hold debt securities that they acquire because of mergers, recapitalizations or otherwise.

The Equity Funds and the Real Estate Securities Fund also may invest in options and futures, as well as newly developed financial instruments, such as equity swaps and equity-linked fixed-income securities, so long as these are consistent with their investment objectives and regulatory requirements, except that such instruments will not be subject to the Social Choice Equity Fund’s, Social Choice International Equity Fund’s and Social Choice Low Carbon Equity Fund’s environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) criteria.

These investments and other Fund investment strategies are discussed in detail below.

Temporary Defensive Positions. The Funds may take temporary defensive positions. During periods when Advisors believes there are unstable market, economic, political or currency conditions domestically or abroad, Advisors may assume, on behalf of a Fund, a temporary defensive posture and (1) without limitation, hold cash and/or invest in money market instruments, or (2) restrict the securities markets in which the Fund’s assets will be invested by investing those assets in securities markets deemed by Advisors to be conservative in light of the Fund’s investment objective and policies. Under normal circumstances, each Fund may invest a portion of its total assets in cash or money market instruments for cash management purposes, pending investment in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies and to meet operating expenses. To the extent that a Fund holds cash or invests in money market instruments, it may not achieve its investment objective. Cash assets are generally not income-generating and would impact a Fund’s performance.

Credit Facility and Inter-Fund Borrowing and Lending. Many of the Funds participate in an unsecured revolving credit facility for temporary or emergency purposes, including, without limitation, funding of shareholder redemptions that otherwise might require the untimely disposition of securities. Certain accounts or series of the College Retirement Equities Fund (“CREF”), TIAA-CREF Life Funds (“TCLF”) and TIAA Separate Account VA-1 (“VA-1”), as well as certain other series of the Trust, each of which is managed by Advisors or an affiliate of Advisors, also participate in this credit facility. An annual commitment fee for the credit facility is borne by the participating Funds. Interest associated with any borrowing under the credit facility will be charged to the borrowing Funds at rates that are based on a specified rate of interest.

TIAA-CREF Funds    Statement of Additional Information     5


If a Fund borrows money, it could leverage its portfolio by keeping securities it might otherwise have had to sell. Leveraging exposes a Fund to special risks, including greater fluctuations in net asset value (“NAV”) in response to market changes.

Additionally, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has granted an exemptive order (the “Order”) permitting the Funds to participate in an inter-fund lending facility whereby the participating Funds may directly lend to and borrow money from each other for temporary purposes (e.g., to satisfy redemption requests or to cover unanticipated cash shortfalls) (the “Inter-Fund Program”). Certain accounts or series of CREF, TCLF and VA-1, as well as certain other series of the Trust, each of which is managed by Advisors or an affiliate of Advisors, also participate in the Inter-Fund Program, and each such account or series is considered to be a “Fund” for the purpose of the description of the Inter-Fund Program in this section. The Inter-Fund Program is subject to a number of conditions, including, among other things, the requirements that: (i) no Fund may borrow or lend money through the Inter-Fund Program unless it receives a more favorable interest rate than is available from a bank or other financial institution for a comparable transaction; (ii) no Fund may borrow on an unsecured basis through the Inter-Fund Program unless the Fund’s outstanding borrowings from all sources immediately after the inter-fund borrowing total 10% or less of its total assets; provided that if the borrowing Fund has a secured borrowing outstanding from any other lender, including but not limited to another Fund, the inter-fund loan must be secured on at least an equal priority basis with at least an equivalent percentage of collateral to loan value; (iii) if a Fund’s total outstanding borrowings immediately after an inter-fund borrowing would be greater than 10% of its total assets, the Fund may borrow through the inter-fund loan on a secured basis only; (iv) no Fund may lend money if the loan would cause its aggregate outstanding loans through the Inter-Fund Program to exceed 15% of its current net assets at the time of the loan; (v) a Fund’s inter-fund loans to any one Fund shall not exceed 5% of the lending Fund’s net assets; (vi) the duration of inter-fund loans will be limited to the time required to receive payment for securities sold, but in no event more than seven days; and (vii) each inter-fund loan may be called on one business day’s notice by a lending Fund and may be repaid on any day by a borrowing Fund. In addition, a Fund may participate in the Inter-Fund Program only if and to the extent that such participation is consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and investment policies, including the fundamental investment policies on borrowing and lending set forth above, and authorized by its portfolio manager(s). The Board has approved the Funds’ participation in the Inter-Fund Program and is responsible for ongoing oversight of the Inter-Fund Program, as required by the Order.

The limitations detailed above and the other conditions of the SEC exemptive order permitting the Inter-Fund Program are designed to minimize the risks associated with the Inter-Fund Program for both the lending Fund and the borrowing Fund. However, no borrowing or lending activity is without risk. When a Fund borrows money from another Fund, there is a risk that the loan could be called on one day’s notice or not renewed, in which case the Fund may have to borrow from a bank at a higher rate or take other actions to pay off such loan if an inter-fund loan is not available from another Fund. Any delay in repayment to a lending Fund could result in a lost investment opportunity or additional costs.

Taxable Securities Purchased by the 5–15 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund. Under normal conditions, the 5–15 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund intends to invest only in securities that are tax-exempt for federal income tax purposes. However, the Fund may invest on a temporary basis in taxable securities. In that case, the investments would be limited to securities that the Fund determines to be high quality, such as those issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government.

Additional Risks Resulting From Market or Other Events and Government Intervention in Financial Markets. National and regional economies and financial markets are becoming increasingly interconnected, which increases the possibilities that conditions in one country, region or market might adversely impact issuers in a different country, region or market. Changes in legal, political, regulatory, tax and economic conditions may cause fluctuations in markets and securities prices around the world, which could negatively impact the value of a Fund’s investments. Major economic or political disruptions, particularly in large economies, may have global negative economic and market repercussions. Events such as war, terrorism, natural and environmental disasters and the spread of infectious illnesses or other public health emergencies may adversely affect the global economy and the markets and issuers in which a Fund invests. These events could reduce consumer demand or economic output, result in market closures, travel restrictions or quarantines, and generally have a significant impact on the economy. These events could also impair the information technology and other operational systems upon which a Fund’s service providers, including Advisors, rely, and could otherwise disrupt the ability of employees of a Fund’s service providers to perform essential tasks on behalf of a Fund.

The recent spread of an infectious respiratory illness caused by a novel strain of coronavirus (known as COVID-19) has caused volatility, severe market dislocations and liquidity constraints in many markets, including markets for the investments the Funds hold, and may adversely affect the Funds’ investments and operations. The transmission of COVID-19 and efforts to contain its spread have resulted in travel restrictions and disruptions, closed international borders, enhanced health screenings at ports of entry and elsewhere, disruption of and delays in healthcare service preparation and delivery, quarantines, event and service cancellations or interruptions, disruptions to business operations (including staff furloughs and reductions) and supply chains, and a reduction in consumer and business spending, as well as general concern and uncertainty that has negatively affected the economy. These disruptions have led to instability in the marketplace, including equity and debt market losses and overall volatility, and have negatively affected the jobs market. The impact of COVID-19, and other infectious illness outbreaks, epidemics or pandemics that may arise in the future, includes disruption of or negative effects on the economies of many

6     Statement of Additional Information    TIAA-CREF Funds


nations or the entire global economy, a decline in the financial well-being and performance of individual issuers, borrowers and sectors and the health of the markets generally in potentially significant and unforeseen ways. In addition, the impact of infectious illness, such as COVID-19, may be greater in circumstances or geographies where the relevant healthcare system is either less established or inadequately prepared to respond to the significance of the illness. This crisis or other public health crises may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social and economic risks in certain countries or globally. The spread of COVID-19 or other infectious illness outbreaks, epidemics or pandemics that may arise in the future, could lead to significant economic downturns or recessions in economies throughout the world.

Governmental and quasi-governmental authorities and regulators throughout the world have in the past responded to major economic disruptions with a variety of significant fiscal and monetary policy changes, including but not limited to direct capital infusions into companies, new monetary programs and dramatically lowering of interest rates. For example, in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, the U.S. Government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) into law in March 2020, which provides approximately $2.0 trillion in economic relief to certain businesses and individuals affected by COVID-19. Additionally, the U.S. Government passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“American Rescue Plan”) into law in March 2021, which provides for approximately $1.9 trillion in direct economic relief provisions to address the continuing impact of COVID-19 on the economy, public health, individuals and businesses. The American Rescue Plan builds upon many of the measures from the CARES Act and subsequent COVID-19 related legislation. There can be no guarantee that the CARES Act, American Rescue Plan or other economic stimulus bills (within the United States or other affected countries throughout the world) will be sufficient or will have their intended effects to mitigate the negative effect of COVID-19 on the economy. In addition, an unexpected or quick reversal of such policies could increase volatility in securities markets, which could adversely affect a Fund’s investments. As discussed elsewhere in this SAI, during periods when interest rates are low (or negative), a Fund’s yield (or total return) may also be low and fall below zero. Very low or negative interest rates may magnify interest rate risk. Changing interest rates, including rates that fall below zero, may have unpredictable effects on markets, may result in heightened market volatility and may detract from Fund performance to the extent a Fund is exposed to such interest rates and/or volatility.

Until any policy or regulatory changes are made, it is not possible to predict the impact such changes may have on the value of portfolio holdings of a Fund, the issuers thereof or Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (“TIAA”) (or their affiliates). It is unclear whether such calls for change will continue due to the COVID-19 outbreak, or whether additional or different calls for change will arise due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Legislation or regulation may also change the way in which a Fund itself is regulated. Such legislation or regulation could limit or preclude the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.

Governments or their agencies may also acquire distressed assets from financial institutions and acquire ownership interests in those institutions. The implications of government ownership and disposition of these assets are unclear, and such a program may have positive or negative effects on the liquidity, valuation and performance of a Fund’s portfolio holdings. Furthermore, volatile financial markets can expose a Fund to greater market and liquidity risk and potential difficulty in valuing portfolio holdings, as well as potentially higher portfolio turnover and related transaction costs. Advisors will monitor developments and seek to manage each Fund in a manner consistent with achieving its investment objective, but there can be no assurance that Advisors will be successful in doing so.

The value of the Fund’s holdings is also generally subject to the risk of future local, national, or global economic disturbances based on unknown weaknesses in the markets in which a Fund invests. For example, any public health emergency could reduce consumer demand or economic output, result in market closures, travel restrictions or quarantines, and generally have a significant impact on the economy, which in turn could adversely affect the Fund’s investments. In the event of such a disturbance, issuers of securities held by a Fund may experience significant declines in the value of their assets and even cease operations, or may receive government assistance accompanied by increased restrictions on their business operations or other government intervention. In addition, it is not certain that the U.S. Government will intervene in response to a future market disturbance and the effect of any such future intervention cannot be predicted. It is difficult for issuers to prepare for the impact of future financial downturns, although companies can seek to identify and manage future uncertainties through risk management programs.

Investors should be aware that current uncertainty, volatility and distress in economies, financial markets, and labor and health conditions around the world significantly heighten the risks identified below compared to normal conditions and therefore subject a Fund’s investments and a shareholder’s investment in a Fund to the risk of reduced yield and/or income and sudden and substantial losses. The fact that a particular risk is not specifically identified as being heightened under current conditions does not mean that the risk is not greater than under normal conditions.

Illiquid Investments. The Funds have implemented a written liquidity risk management program (the “Liquidity Risk Program”), as required by applicable SEC regulation, reasonably designed to assess and manage the Funds’ liquidity risk. As a result of its designation as Liquidity Risk Program administrator by the Board, Advisors is also responsible for determining the liquidity of investments held by each Fund. The Funds may invest up to 15% of their net assets (5% of total assets in the case of the Money Market Fund), measured at the time of investment, in illiquid investments that are assets. Illiquid investments are those that are not reasonably expected to be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less

TIAA-CREF Funds    Statement of Additional Information     7


without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. Investments may be illiquid because of, among other factors, the absence of a trading market or distress in a trading market, making it difficult to value the investments or dispose of them promptly at the value at which they are carried. Investments in illiquid investments or holding securities that have become illiquid pose risks of potential delays in resale. Limitations on or delays in resale may have an adverse effect on the marketability of portfolio securities, and it may be difficult for the Funds to dispose of illiquid investments promptly or to sell such investments for the value at which they are carried, if at all, or at any price within the desired time frame. The Funds may receive distressed prices and incur higher transaction costs when selling illiquid investments. There is also a risk that unusually high redemption requests, including redemption requests from certain large shareholders (such as institutional investors), asset allocation changes, or other unusual market conditions may make it difficult for a Fund to sell investments in sufficient time to allow it to meet redemptions. Redemption requests could require a Fund to sell illiquid investments at reduced prices or under unfavorable conditions, which may negatively impact a Fund’s performance. The regulations adopted by the SEC may limit a Fund’s ability to invest in illiquid investments, which may adversely affect a Fund’s performance and ability to achieve its investment objective.

Lower-Quality Municipal Securities. Because the market for certain municipal securities is thin, the 515 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund may encounter difficulties in disposing of lower-quality securities. At the Fund’s option, it may pursue litigation or other remedies in order to protect the Fund’s interests.

Municipal Market Disruption Risk. The value of municipal securities may be adversely affected by legal uncertainties regarding legislative proposals involving the taxation of municipal securities or rights of securities holders in the event of bankruptcy. From time to time, these uncertainties may affect the municipal securities market or certain parts thereof, having a significant impact on the prices of securities in the 515 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund.

Restricted Securities. The Funds may invest in restricted securities. A restricted security is one that has a contractual restriction on resale or cannot be resold publicly until it is registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”). From time to time, restricted securities can be considered illiquid under the Funds’ Liquidity Risk Program. However, purchases by a Fund of securities of foreign issuers offered and sold outside the United States may not be considered illiquid even though they are restricted. The Board of Trustees has designated Advisors to determine the value and liquidity of restricted securities and other investments held by each Fund.

Preferred Stock. The Funds (other than the Money Market Fund) can invest in preferred stock consistent with their investment objectives. Preferred stock pays dividends at a specified rate and generally has preference over common stock in the payment of dividends and the liquidation of the issuer’s assets but is junior to the debt securities of the issuer in those same respects. Unlike interest payments on debt securities, dividends on preferred stock are generally payable at the discretion of the issuer’s board of directors, and shareholders may suffer a loss of value if dividends are not paid. Preferred shareholders generally have no legal recourse against the issuer if dividends are not paid. The market prices of preferred stocks are subject to changes in interest rates and are more sensitive to changes in the issuer’s creditworthiness than are the prices of debt securities. Under ordinary circumstances, preferred stock does not carry voting rights.

Small and Medium Capitalization Companies. Some Funds may invest in common stocks of issuers with small or medium market capitalizations. An investment in common stocks of issuers with small or medium market capitalizations generally involves greater risk and price volatility than an investment in common stocks of larger, more established companies. This increased risk may be due to the greater business risks of their small or medium size, limited markets and financial resources, narrow product lines and frequent lack of management depth. The securities of small and medium capitalization companies are often traded in the over-the-counter market, and might not be traded in volumes typical of securities traded on a national securities exchange. Thus, the securities of small and medium capitalization companies are likely to be less liquid and subject to more abrupt or erratic market movements than securities of larger, more established companies.

Initial Public Offerings (“IPOs”). Some Funds may invest a portion of their assets in securities of companies offering shares in IPOs. IPOs may have a magnified performance impact on a Fund with a small asset base. The impact of IPOs on a Fund’s performance likely will decrease as the Fund’s asset size increases. IPOs may not be consistently available to a Fund for investing, particularly as the Fund’s asset base grows. Because IPO shares frequently are volatile in price, a Fund may hold IPO shares for a very short period of time. This may increase the portfolio turnover of a Fund and may lead to increased expenses for the Fund, such as commissions and transaction costs. By selling shares, a Fund may realize taxable gains it will subsequently distribute to shareholders. In addition, the market for IPO shares can be speculative and/or inactive for extended periods of time. The limited number of shares available for trading in some IPOs may make it more difficult for a Fund to buy or sell significant amounts of shares without an unfavorable impact on prevailing prices. Holders of IPO shares (including a Fund) can be affected by substantial dilution in the value of the IPO issuer’s shares, by sales of additional shares and by concentration of control in existing management and principal shareholders.

A Fund’s investment in IPO shares may include the securities of unseasoned companies (companies with less than three years of continuous operations), which present risks considerably greater than common stocks of more established companies. These companies may have limited operating histories and their prospects for profitability may be uncertain. These companies may be involved in new and evolving businesses and may be vulnerable to competition and changes in technology, markets and

8     Statement of Additional Information    TIAA-CREF Funds


economic conditions. These companies may also be more dependent on key managers and third parties and may have limited product lines.

Options and Futures. Each of the Funds (other than the Money Market Fund) may engage in options (puts and calls) and futures strategies to the extent permitted by the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”). Advisors intends to use options and futures contracts for a variety of purposes. These purposes include the following: (i) hedging; (ii) cash management; (iii) risk management; (iv) seeking to stay fully invested; (v) seeking to increase total return; (vi) seeking to reduce transaction costs; (vii) seeking to simulate an investment in equity or debt securities or other investments; (viii) seeking to add value by using derivatives to more efficiently implement portfolio positions when derivatives are favorably priced relative to equity or debt securities or other investments; and (ix) for other purposes.

Options and futures transactions may increase a Fund’s transaction costs and portfolio turnover rate and will be initiated only when consistent with the Fund’s investment objective.

Options. Options-related activities could include: (1) the sale of call option contracts (including covered call options) and the purchase of call option contracts, including for the purpose of closing a purchase transaction; (2) buying put option contracts (including covered put options) and selling put option contracts, including to close out a position acquired through the purchase of such options; and (3) selling call option contracts or buying put option contracts on groups of securities and on futures on groups of securities, and buying similar call option contracts or selling put option contracts, including to close out a position acquired through a sale of such options. This list of options-related activities is not intended to be exclusive, and the Funds may engage in other types of options transactions consistent with their investment objectives and policies and applicable law.

A call option is a short-term contract (generally for nine months or less) that gives the purchaser of the option the right but not the obligation to purchase the underlying security at a fixed exercise price at any time (American style) or at a set time (European style) prior to the expiration of the option regardless of the market price of the security during the option period. As consideration for the call option, the purchaser pays the seller a premium, which the seller retains whether or not the option is exercised. The seller of a call option has the obligation, upon the exercise of the option by the purchaser, to sell the underlying security at the exercise price. Selling a call option would benefit the seller if, over the option period, the underlying security declines in value or does not appreciate above the aggregate of the exercise price and the premium. However, the seller risks an “opportunity loss” of profits if the underlying security appreciates above the aggregate value of the exercise price and the premium.

A Fund may close out a position acquired through selling a call option by buying a call option on the same security with the same exercise price and expiration date as the call option that it had previously sold on that security. Depending on the premium for the call option purchased by a Fund, the Fund will realize a profit or loss on the transaction on that security.

A put option is a similar short-term contract that gives the purchaser of the option the right to sell the underlying security at a fixed exercise price at any time prior to the expiration of the option regardless of the market price of the security during the option period. As consideration for the put option, the purchaser pays the seller a premium, which the seller retains whether or not the option is exercised. The seller of a put option has the obligation, upon the exercise of the option by the purchaser, to purchase the underlying security at the exercise price. The buying of a covered put contract limits the downside exposure for the investment in the underlying security. The risk of purchasing a put option is that the market price of the underlying stock prevailing on the expiration date may be above the option’s exercise price. In that case, the option would expire worthless and the entire premium would be lost.

A Fund may close out a position acquired through buying a put option by selling an identical put option on the same security with the same exercise price and expiration date as the put option that it had previously bought on the security. Depending on the premium for the put option purchased by a Fund, the Fund would realize a profit or loss on the transaction.

In addition to options (both calls and puts) on individual securities, there are also options on groups of securities, such as the options on the Standard & Poor’s 100 Index, which are traded on the Chicago Board Options Exchange. There are also options on the futures of groups of securities such as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the New York Stock Exchange Composite Index. The selling of such calls can be used in anticipation of, or in, a general market or market sector decline that may adversely affect the market value of a Fund’s portfolio of securities. To the extent that a Fund’s portfolio of securities changes in value in correlation with a given stock index, the sale of call options on the futures of that index would substantially reduce the risk to the portfolio of a market decline, and, by so doing, provide an alternative to the liquidation of securities positions in the portfolio with resultant transaction costs. A risk in all options, particularly the relatively new options on groups of securities and on the futures on groups of securities, is a possible lack of liquidity. This will be a major consideration of Advisors before it deals in any option on behalf of a Fund.

There is another risk in connection with selling a call option on a group of securities or on the futures of groups of securities. This arises because of the imperfect correlation between movements in the price of the call option on a particular group of securities and the price of the underlying securities held in the portfolio. Unlike a covered call on an individual security, where a large movement on the upside for the call option will be offset by a similar move on the underlying stock, a move in the price of

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a call option on a group of securities may not be offset by a similar move in the price of securities held due to the difference in the composition of the particular group and the portfolio itself.

Futures. To the extent permitted by applicable regulatory authorities, the Funds (other than the Money Market Fund) may purchase and sell futures contracts on securities or other instruments, or on groups or indices of securities or other instruments. The purpose of hedging techniques using financial futures is to protect the principal value of the Fund against adverse changes in the market value of securities or instruments in its portfolio, and to obtain better returns on investments than available in the cash market. Since these are hedging techniques, the gains or losses on the futures contract normally will be offset by losses or gains, respectively, on the hedged investment. Futures contracts also may be offset prior to the future date by executing an opposite futures contract transaction.

A futures contract on an investment is a binding contractual commitment which, if held to maturity, generally will result in an obligation to make or accept delivery, during a particular future month, of the securities or instrument underlying the contract.

By purchasing a futures contract—assuming a “long” position—Advisors will legally obligate a Fund to accept the future delivery of the underlying security or instrument and pay the agreed price. By selling a futures contract—assuming a “short” position—Advisors will legally obligate a Fund to make the future delivery of the security or instrument against payment of the agreed price.

Positions taken in the futures markets are not normally held to maturity, but are instead liquidated through offsetting transactions that may result in a profit or a loss. While futures positions taken by a Fund usually will be liquidated in this manner, a Fund may instead make or take delivery of the underlying securities or instruments whenever it appears economically advantageous to a Fund to do so. A clearing corporation associated with the exchange on which futures are traded assumes responsibility for closing out positions and guarantees that the sale and purchase obligations will be performed with regard to all positions that remain open at the termination of the contract.

A stock index futures contract, unlike a contract on a specific security, does not provide for the physical delivery of securities, but merely provides for profits and losses resulting from changes in the market value of the contract to be credited or debited at the close of each trading day to the respective accounts of the parties to the contract. On the contract’s expiration date, a final cash settlement occurs and the futures positions are closed out. Changes in the market value of a particular stock index futures contract reflect changes in the specified index of equity securities on which the future is based.

Stock index futures may be used to hedge the equity investments of the Funds with regard to market (systematic) risk (involving the market’s assessment of overall economic prospects), as distinguished from stock specific risk (involving the market’s evaluation of the merits of the issuer of a particular security). By establishing an appropriate “short” position in stock index futures, Advisors may seek to protect the value of a Fund’s securities portfolio against an overall decline in the market for equity securities. Alternatively, in anticipation of a generally rising market, Advisors can seek to avoid losing the benefit of apparently low current prices by establishing a “long” position in stock index futures and later liquidating that position as particular equity securities are in fact acquired. To the extent that these hedging strategies are successful, the Fund will be affected to a lesser degree by adverse overall market price movements, unrelated to the merits of specific portfolio equity securities, than would otherwise be the case.

Unlike the purchase or sale of a security, no price is paid or received by a Fund upon the purchase or sale of a futures contract. Initially, a Fund will be required to deposit in a segregated account with the broker (futures commission merchant) carrying the futures account on behalf of the Fund an amount of cash, U.S. Treasury securities, or other permissible assets equal to a percentage of the contract amount as determined by the clearinghouse. This amount is known as “initial margin.” The nature of initial margin in futures transactions is different from that of margin in security transactions in that futures contract margin does not involve the borrowing of funds by the customer to finance the transactions. Rather, the initial margin is in the nature of a performance bond or good faith deposit on the contract that is returned to a Fund upon termination of the futures contract assuming all contractual obligations have been satisfied. Subsequent payments to and from the broker, called “variation margin,” will be made on a daily basis as the price of the underlying stock index fluctuates, making the long and short positions in the futures contract more or less valuable, a process known as “marking to the market.”

For example, when a Fund has purchased a stock index futures contract and the price of the underlying stock index has risen, that position will have increased in value, and the Fund will receive from the broker a variation margin payment equal to that increase in value. Conversely, where a Fund has purchased a stock index futures contract and the price of the underlying stock index has declined, the position would be less valuable and the Fund would be required to make a variation margin payment to the broker. At any time prior to expiration of the futures contract, the Fund may elect to close the position by taking an opposite position that will operate to terminate the Fund’s position in the futures contract. A final determination of variation margin is then made, additional cash is required to be paid by or released to the Fund, and the Fund realizes a loss or a gain.

There are several risks in connection with the use of a futures contract as a hedging device. One risk arises because of the imperfect correlation between movements in the prices of the futures contracts and movements in the securities or instruments that are the subject of the hedge. Advisors, on behalf of a Fund, will attempt to reduce this risk by engaging in futures

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transactions, to the extent possible, where, in Advisors’ judgment, there is a significant correlation between changes in the prices of the futures contracts and the prices of the Fund’s portfolio securities or instruments sought to be hedged.

Successful use of futures contracts for hedging purposes also is subject to Advisors’ ability to correctly predict movements in the direction of the market. For example, it is possible that where a Fund has sold futures to hedge its portfolio against declines in the market, the index on which the futures are written may advance and the values of securities or instruments held in the Fund’s portfolio may decline. If this occurred, the Fund would lose money on the futures and also experience a decline in value in its portfolio investments. However, Advisors believes that over time the value of a Fund’s portfolio will tend to move in the same direction as the market indices that are intended to correlate to the price movements of the portfolio securities or instruments sought to be hedged.

It also is possible that, for example, if a Fund has hedged against the possibility of a decline in the market adversely affecting stocks held in its portfolio and stock prices increased instead, the Fund will lose part or all of the benefit of increased value of those stocks that it has hedged because it will have offsetting losses in its futures positions. In addition, in such situations, if a Fund has insufficient cash, it may have to sell securities or instruments to meet daily variation margin requirements. Such sales may be, but will not necessarily be, at increased prices that reflect the rising market. The Fund may have to sell securities or instruments at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so.

In addition to the possibility that there may be an imperfect correlation, or no correlation at all, between movements in the futures contracts and the portion of the portfolio being hedged, the prices of futures contracts may not correlate perfectly with movements in the underlying security or instrument due to certain market distortions. First, all transactions in the futures market are subject to margin deposit and maintenance requirements. Rather than meeting additional margin deposit requirements, investors may close futures contracts through offsetting transactions that could distort the normal relationship between the index and futures markets. Second, the margin requirements in the futures market are less onerous than margin requirements in the securities market, and as a result the futures market may attract more speculators than the securities market does. Increased participation by speculators in the futures market also may cause temporary price distortions. Due to the possibility of price distortion in the futures market and also because of the imperfect correlation between movements in the futures contracts and the portion of the portfolio being hedged, even a correct forecast of general market trends by Advisors still may not result in a successful hedging transaction over a very short time period.

The Funds (other than the Money Market Fund) may also use futures contracts, options on futures contracts and swaps as hedging techniques, to manage their cash flow more effectively and to seek to increase total return. These instruments will, however, only be used in accordance with certain CFTC exemptive provisions that permit Advisors to claim an exclusion from the definition of a “commodity pool operator” under the Commodity Exchange Act with regard to the Funds. Advisors has claimed an exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” under the Commodity Exchange Act and the regulations thereunder and, therefore, is not currently subject to registration or regulation as a commodity pool operator with regard to the Funds. If the exclusion becomes unavailable, a Fund may incur additional expenses.

Firm Commitment Agreements and Purchase of “When-Issued” Securities. The Funds can enter into firm commitment agreements for the purchase of securities on a specified future date. Thus, the Funds may purchase, for example, issues of fixed-income instruments on a “when-issued” basis, whereby the payment obligation, or yield to maturity, or coupon rate on the instruments may not be fixed at the time of the transaction. In addition, the Funds may invest in asset-backed securities on a delayed delivery basis. This reduces a Fund’s risk of early repayment of principal, but exposes the Fund to some additional risk that the transaction will not be consummated.

When a Fund enters into a firm commitment agreement, liability for the purchase price—and the rights and risks of ownership of the securities—accrues to the Fund at the time it becomes obligated to purchase such securities, although delivery and payment occur at a later date. Accordingly, if the market price of the security should decline, the effect of the agreement would be to obligate the Fund to purchase the security at a price above the current market price on the date of delivery and payment. In addition, certain rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) include mandatory margin requirements that will require the Funds to post collateral in connection with their to-be-announced (“TBA”) transactions. There is no similar requirement applicable to the Funds’ TBA counterparties. The required collateralization of TBA trades could increase the cost of TBA transactions to the Funds and impose added operational complexity. During the time the Fund is obligated to purchase such securities, it will be required to segregate assets under current regulatory requirements. See “Segregated Accounts” below.

Participatory Notes. Some of the Funds may invest in participatory notes issued by banks or broker-dealers that are designed to replicate the performance of certain non-U.S. companies traded on a non-U.S. exchange. Participatory notes are a type of equity-linked derivative which generally are traded over-the-counter. Even though a participatory note is intended to reflect the performance of the underlying equity securities on a one-to-one basis so that investors will not normally gain or lose more in absolute terms than they would have made or lost had they invested in the underlying securities directly, the performance results of participatory notes will not replicate exactly the performance of the issuers or markets that the participatory notes seek to replicate due to transaction costs and other expenses. Investments in participatory notes involve risks normally associated with a direct investment in the underlying securities. In addition, participatory notes are subject to counterparty risk, which is the risk

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that the broker-dealer or bank that issues the notes will not fulfill its contractual obligation to complete the transaction with a Fund. Participatory notes constitute general unsecured, unsubordinated contractual obligations of the banks or broker-dealers that issue them, and a Fund is relying on the creditworthiness of such banks or broker-dealers and has no rights under a participatory note against the issuers of the securities underlying such participatory notes. There can be no assurance that the trading price or value of participatory notes will equal the value of the underlying equity securities they seek to replicate.

Master Limited Partnerships. Some of the Funds may invest in equity securities issued by master limited partnerships (“MLPs”). An MLP is an entity, most commonly a limited partnership that is taxed as a partnership, publicly traded and listed on a national securities exchange. Holders of common units of MLPs typically have limited control and limited voting rights as compared to holders of a corporation’s common shares. Preferred units issued by MLPs are not typically listed or traded on an exchange. Holders of preferred units can be entitled to a wide range of voting and other rights. MLPs are limited by the Code to only apply to enterprises that engage in certain businesses, mostly pertaining to the use of natural resources, such as petroleum and natural gas extraction and transportation, although some other enterprises may also qualify as MLPs.

There are certain tax risks associated with investments in MLPs. The benefit derived from an investment in an MLP is largely dependent on the MLP being treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes. A change to current tax law, or a change in the underlying business mix of a given MLP, could result in an MLP being treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes. If an MLP were treated as a corporation, the MLP would be required to pay federal income tax on its taxable income. This would reduce the amount of cash available for distribution by the MLP, which could result in a reduction of the value of a Fund’s investment in the MLP and lower income to the Fund. Additionally, since MLPs generally conduct business in multiple states, a Fund may be subject to income or franchise tax in each of the states in which the partnership does business. The additional cost of preparing and filing the tax returns and paying the related taxes may adversely impact a Fund’s return on its investment in MLPs.

Investments held by MLPs may be relatively illiquid, limiting the MLPs’ ability to vary their portfolios promptly in response to changes in economic or other conditions, and MLPs may have limited financial resources. Securities of MLPs may trade infrequently and in limited volume, and they may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements than common shares of larger or more broadly-based companies. A Fund’s investment in MLPs also subjects the Fund to the risks associated with the specific industry or industries in which the MLP invests. MLPs are generally considered interest rate sensitive investments, and during periods of interest rate volatility, may not provide attractive returns.

Royalty Trust. Some of the Funds may invest in publicly-traded royalty trusts. Royalty trusts are income-oriented equity investments that indirectly, through the ownership of trust units, provide investors (called “unit holders”) with exposure to energy sector assets such as coal, oil and natural gas. A royalty trust generally acquires an interest in natural resource companies or chemical companies and distributes the income it receives to the investors of the royalty trust. A sustained decline in demand for crude oil, natural gas and refined petroleum products could adversely affect income and royalty trust revenues and cash flows. Factors that could lead to a decrease in market demand include a recession or other adverse economic conditions, an increase in the market price of the underlying commodity, higher taxes or other regulatory actions that increase costs, or a shift in consumer demand for such products. A rising interest rate environment could adversely impact the performance of royalty trusts. Rising interest rates could limit the capital appreciation of royalty trusts because of the increased availability of alternative investments at more competitive yields.

Private Investments in Public Equity. Some of the Funds may purchase equity securities in a private placement that are issued by issuers who have outstanding, publicly-traded equity securities of the same class (“private investments in public equity” or “PIPES”). Shares in PIPES generally are not registered with the SEC until after a certain time period from the date the private sale is completed. This restricted period can last many months. Until the public registration process is completed, PIPES are restricted as to resale and a Fund cannot freely trade the securities. Generally, such restrictions cause the PIPES to be illiquid during this time. PIPES may contain provisions that the issuer will pay specified financial penalties to the holder if the issuer does not publicly register the restricted equity securities within a specified period of time, but there is no assurance that the restricted equity securities will be publicly registered, or that the registration will remain in effect.

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies. Some of the Funds may invest in equity securities of special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”). Also known as a “blank check company,” a SPAC is a company with no commercial operations that is formed solely to raise capital from investors for the purpose of acquiring one or more existing private companies. SPACs often have pre-determined time frames to make an acquisition (typically two years) or the SPAC will liquidate. A Fund may purchase units or shares of SPACs that have completed an IPO on a secondary market, during a SPAC’s IPO or through a PIPES offering. See “Private Investments in Public Equity” above for information about PIPES offerings.

Unless and until an acquisition is completed, a SPAC generally invests its assets in U.S. Government securities, money market securities and cash. Because SPACs have no operating history or ongoing business other than seeking acquisitions, the value of their securities is particularly dependent on the ability of the entity’s management to identify and complete a profitable acquisition. There is no guarantee that the SPACs in which a Fund invests will complete an acquisition or that any acquisitions that are completed will be profitable. Public stockholders of SPACs such as a Fund may not be afforded a meaningful opportunity to vote on a proposed initial business combination because certain stockholders, including stockholders affiliated

12     Statement of Additional Information    TIAA-CREF Funds


with the management of the SPAC, may have sufficient voting power, and a financial incentive, to approve such a transaction without support from public stockholders. As a result, a SPAC may complete a business combination even though a majority of its public stockholders do not support such a combination. Some SPACs may pursue acquisitions only within certain industries or regions, which may increase the volatility of their prices.

The private companies that SPACs acquire are often unseasoned and lack a trading history, a track record of reporting to investors and widely available research coverage. Securities of SPAC-derived companies are thus subject to extreme price volatility and speculative trading. In addition, the ownership of many SPAC-derived companies often includes large holdings by venture capital and private equity investors who seek to sell their shares in the public market in the months following a business combination transaction when shares restricted by lock-up are released, causing even greater price volatility and possible downward pressure during the time that locked-up shares are released.

Debt instruments generally

A debt instrument held by a Fund will be affected by general changes in interest rates that will, in turn, result in increases or decreases in the market value of the instrument. The market value of non-convertible debt instruments (particularly fixed-income instruments) in a Fund’s portfolio can be expected to vary inversely to changes in prevailing interest rates. In periods of declining interest rates, the yield of a Fund holding a significant amount of debt instruments will tend to be somewhat higher than prevailing market rates, and in periods of rising interest rates, the Fund’s yield will tend to be somewhat lower. In addition, when interest rates are falling, money received by such a Fund from the continuous sale of its shares will likely be invested in portfolio instruments producing lower yields than the balance of its portfolio, thereby reducing the Fund’s current yield. In periods of rising interest rates, the opposite result can be expected to occur. During periods of declining interest rates, because the interest rates on adjustable rate securities generally reset downward, their market value is unlikely to rise to the same extent as the value of comparable fixed-rate securities. Interest rate risk is generally heightened during periods when prevailing interest rates are low or negative, and during such periods, a Fund may not be able to maintain a positive yield or yields on par with historical levels. Changes in interest rates, among other factors, may also adversely affect the liquidity of a Fund’s fixed-income investments. The risks associated with rising interest rates are heightened given the recent low interest rate environment.

The market for fixed-income instruments has consistently grown over the past three decades while the growth of capacity for traditional dealers to engage in fixed-income trading has not kept pace and in some cases has decreased. As a result, dealer inventories of certain types of fixed-income instruments, and the ability of dealers to “make markets” in such instruments, are at or near historic lows in relation to market size. Because dealers acting as market makers provide stability to a market, the significant reduction in dealer inventories could potentially lead to decreased liquidity and increased volatility in the fixed-income markets. Such issues may be exacerbated during periods of economic uncertainty or market volatility.

Ratings as Investment Criteria. Nationally Recognized Statistical Ratings Organization (“NRSRO”) ratings represent the opinions of those organizations as to the quality of securities that they rate. Although these ratings, which are relative and subjective and are not absolute standards of quality, are used by Advisors as one of many criteria for the selection of portfolio securities on behalf of the Funds, Advisors also relies upon its own analysis to evaluate potential investments.

Subsequent to its purchase by a Fund, an issue of securities may cease to be rated or its rating may be reduced below the minimum required for purchase by the Fund. These events will not require the sale of the securities by a Fund. However, Advisors will consider the event in its determination of whether the Fund should continue to hold the securities. To the extent that a NRSRO’s rating changes as a result of a change in the NRSRO or its rating system, Advisors will attempt to use comparable ratings as standards for the Funds’ investments in accordance with their investment objectives and policies.

Certain Investment-Grade Debt Obligations. Although obligations rated Baa by Moody’s or BBB by S&P are considered investment-grade, they may be viewed as being subject to greater risks than other investment-grade obligations. Obligations rated Baa by Moody’s are considered medium-grade obligations that lack outstanding investment characteristics and have speculative characteristics as well, while obligations rated BBB by S&P are regarded as having only an adequate capacity to pay principal and interest.

U.S. Government Debt Securities. Some of the Funds may invest in U.S. Government securities. These include: debt obligations of varying maturities issued by the U.S. Treasury or issued or guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, Farmers Home Administration, Export-Import Bank of the United States, Small Business Administration, Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA”), General Services Administration, any of the various institutions that previously were, or currently are, part of the Farm Credit System, including the National Bank for Cooperatives, the Farm Credit Banks and the Banks for Cooperatives, Federal Home Loan Banks, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“FHLMC”), Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, Federal Land Banks, Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA”), Maritime Administration, Tennessee Valley Authority and District of Columbia Armory Board. Direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury include a variety of securities that differ in their interest rates, maturities and issue dates. Certain of the foregoing U.S. Government securities are supported by the full faith and credit of the United States. These U.S. Government securities present limited credit risk compared to other types of debt securities but are not free of risk. Other U.S. Government securities are supported by the right of the agency or

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instrumentality to borrow an amount limited to a specific line of credit from the U.S. Treasury or by the discretionary authority of the U.S. Government or GNMA to purchase financial obligations of the agency or instrumentality, which are thus subject to a greater amount of credit risk than those supported by the full faith and credit of the United States. Still other U.S. Government securities are only supported by the credit of the issuing agency or instrumentality, which are subject to greater credit risk as compared to other U.S. Government securities. The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some U.S. Government securities may exceed then current resources, including any legal right to support from the U.S. Treasury. Because the U.S. Government is not obligated by law to support an agency or instrumentality that it sponsors, or such agency’s or instrumentality’s securities, a Fund only invests in U.S. Government securities when Advisors determines that the credit risk associated with the obligation is suitable for the Fund.

It is possible that issuers of U.S. Government securities will not have the funds to meet their payment obligations in the future. FHLMC and FNMA have been operating under conservatorship, with the Federal Housing Finance Administration (“FHFA”) acting as their conservator, since September 2008. The FHFA and U.S. Presidential administration have made public statements regarding plans to consider ending the conservatorships. In the event that FHLMC or FNMA are taken out of conservatorship, it is unclear how their respective capital structure would be constructed and what impact, if any, there would be on FHLMC’s or FNMA’s creditworthiness and guarantees of certain mortgage-backed securities. The entities are dependent upon the continued support of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and FHFA in order to continue their business operations. These factors, among others, could affect the future status and role of FHLMC and FNMA and the value of their securities and the securities which they guarantee.

Uncertainty regarding the status of negotiations in the U.S. Congress to increase the statutory debt ceiling may increase the risk that the U.S. Government may default on payments on certain U.S. Government securities, including those held by the Funds. On one occasion, the long-term credit rating of the United States was downgraded by at least one leading rating agency as a result of disagreements within the U.S. Government over raising the debt ceiling to repay outstanding obligations. Similar situations in the future could result in higher interest rates, lower prices of U.S. Treasury securities and could increase the costs of various kinds of debt, which may adversely affect the Funds.

Risks of Lower-Rated, Lower-Quality Debt Instruments. Lower-rated debt securities (i.e., those rated Ba or lower by Moody’s or BB or lower by S&P) are sometimes referred to as “high-yield” or “junk” bonds. Each of the Funds (except for the Money Market Fund) may invest in lower-rated debt securities. In particular, under normal market conditions, the High-Yield Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets in below investment-grade securities. These securities are considered, on balance, as predominantly speculative with respect to capacity to pay interest and repay principal in accordance with the terms of the obligation and will generally involve more credit risk than securities in the higher-rated categories. Reliance on credit ratings entails greater risks with regard to lower-rated securities than it does with regard to higher-rated securities, and Advisors’ success is more dependent upon its own credit analysis with regard to lower-rated securities than is the case with regard to higher-rated securities. The market values of such securities tend to reflect individual corporate developments to a greater extent than do higher-rated securities, which react primarily to fluctuations in the general level of interest rates. Such lower-rated securities also tend to be more sensitive to economic conditions than are higher-rated securities. Adverse publicity and investor perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, regarding lower-rated bonds may depress prices and liquidity for such securities. To the extent a Fund invests in these securities, factors adversely affecting the market value of lower-rated securities will adversely affect the Fund’s NAV. In addition, a Fund may incur additional expenses to the extent it is required to seek recovery upon a default in the payment of principal or interest on its portfolio holdings.

A Fund may have difficulty disposing of certain lower-rated securities for which there is a thin trading market. Because not all dealers maintain markets in lower-rated securities, there is no established retail secondary market for many of these securities, and Advisors anticipates that they could be sold only to a limited number of dealers or institutional investors. To the extent there is a secondary trading market for lower-rated securities, it is generally not as liquid as that for higher-rated securities. The lack of a liquid secondary market for certain securities may make it more difficult for the Funds to obtain accurate market quotations for purposes of valuing their assets. Market quotations are generally available on many lower-rated issues only from a limited number of dealers and may not necessarily represent firm bids of such dealers or prices for actual sales. When market quotations are not readily available, lower-rated securities must be fair valued using procedures approved by the Board of Trustees. This valuation is more difficult and judgment plays a greater role in such valuation when there are less reliable objective data available.

Any debt instrument, no matter its initial rating, may, after purchase by a Fund, have its rating lowered due to the deterioration of the issuer’s financial position. Advisors may determine that an unrated security is of comparable quality to securities with a particular rating. Such unrated securities are treated as if they carried the rating of securities with which Advisors compares them.

Lower-rated debt securities may be issued by corporations in the growth stage of their development. They may also be issued in connection with a corporate reorganization or as part of a corporate takeover. Companies that issue such lower-rated securities are often highly leveraged and may not have available to them more traditional methods of financing. Therefore, the risk associated with acquiring the securities of such issuers is greater than would be the case with higher-rated

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securities. For example, during an economic downturn or a sustained period of rising interest rates, highly leveraged issuers of lower-rated securities may experience financial stress. During such periods, such issuers may not have sufficient revenues to meet their interest payment obligations. The issuer’s ability to service its debt obligations may also be adversely affected by specific corporate developments, the issuer’s inability to meet specific projected business forecasts or the unavailability of additional financing.

The risk of loss due to default by the issuer is significantly greater for the holders of lower-rated securities because such securities are generally unsecured and are often subordinated to other creditors of the issuer.

It is possible that a major economic recession could adversely affect the market for lower-rated securities. Any such recession might severely affect the market for and the values of such securities, as well as the ability of the issuers of such securities to repay principal and pay interest thereon.

The Funds (other than the Money Market Fund) may acquire lower-rated securities that are sold without registration under the federal securities laws and therefore carry restrictions on resale. The Funds may incur special costs in disposing of such securities, but will generally incur no costs when the issuer is responsible for registering the securities.

The Funds may also acquire lower-rated securities during an initial underwriting. Such securities involve special risks because they are new issues. The Funds have no arrangement with any person concerning the acquisition of such securities, and Advisors will carefully review the credit and other characteristics pertinent to such new issues. A Fund may from time to time participate on committees formed by creditors to negotiate with the management of financially troubled issuers of securities held by the Fund. Such participation may subject the Fund to expenses such as legal fees and may make the Fund an “insider” of the issuer for purposes of the federal securities laws, and, therefore, may restrict the Fund’s ability to trade in or acquire additional positions in a particular security when it might otherwise desire to do so. Participation by a Fund on such committees also may expose the Fund to potential liabilities under the federal bankruptcy laws or other laws governing the rights of creditors and debtors. The Fund would participate on such committees only when Advisors believes that such participation is necessary or desirable to enforce the Fund’s rights as a creditor or to protect the value of securities held by the Fund.

Although most of the Funds can invest a percentage of their assets in lower-rated securities, the High-Yield Fund can invest up to 100% of its assets in debt instruments that are unrated or rated lower than the four highest rating categories assigned by Moody’s or S&P. Up to 20% of the High-Yield Fund’s assets may be invested in securities rated lower than B– or its equivalent by at least two rating agencies. Thus, the preceding information about lower-rated securities is especially applicable to the High-Yield Fund.

Corporate Debt Securities. A Fund may invest in corporate debt securities of U.S. and foreign issuers and/or hold its assets in these securities for cash management purposes. The investment return of corporate debt securities reflects interest earnings and changes in the market value of the security. The market value of a corporate debt obligation may be expected to rise and fall inversely with interest rates generally. There also exists the risk that the issuers of the securities may not be able to meet their obligations on interest or principal payments at the time called for by an instrument.

Zero Coupon Obligations. Some of the Funds may invest in zero coupon obligations. Zero coupon securities generally pay no cash interest (or dividends in the case of preferred stock) to their holders prior to maturity. Accordingly, such securities usually are issued and traded at a deep discount from their face or par value and generally are subject to greater fluctuations of market value in response to changing interest rates than securities of comparable maturities and credit quality that pay cash interest (or dividends in the case of preferred stock) on a current basis. Although a Fund will receive no payments on its zero coupon securities prior to their maturity or disposition, it will be required for federal income tax purposes generally to include in its dividends to shareholders each year an amount equal to the annual income that accrues on its zero coupon securities. Such dividends will be paid from the cash assets of the Fund, from borrowings or by liquidation of portfolio securities, if necessary, at a time that the Fund otherwise would not have done so. To the extent a Fund is required to liquidate thinly traded securities, the Fund may be able to sell such securities only at prices lower than if such securities were more widely traded. The risks associated with holding securities that are not readily marketable may be accentuated at such time. To the extent the proceeds from any such dispositions are used by a Fund to pay distributions, the Fund will not be able to purchase additional income-producing securities with such proceeds, and as a result its current income ultimately may be reduced.

Floating and Variable Rate Instruments. Variable and floating rate securities provide for a periodic adjustment in the interest rate paid on the obligations. The terms of such obligations provide that interest rates are adjusted periodically based upon an interest rate adjustment index as provided in the respective obligations. The adjustment intervals may be regular, and range from daily up to annually, or may be event based, such as based on a change in the prime rate. The interest rate on a floater is a variable rate which is tied to another interest rate, such as a money market index or U.S. Treasury bill rate. The interest rate on a floater resets periodically, typically every 1–3 months. Some of the Funds may invest in floating and variable rate instruments. Income securities may provide for floating or variable rate interest or dividend payments. The floating or variable rate may be determined by reference to a known lending rate, such as a bank’s prime rate, a certificate of deposit rate or the London InterBank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”). Alternatively, the rate may be determined through an auction or remarketing process. The rate also may be indexed to changes in the values of the interest rate of securities indexed, currency exchange rate or

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other commodities. Variable and floating rate securities tend to be less sensitive than fixed-rate securities to interest rate changes and to have higher yields when interest rates increase. However, during rising interest rates, changes in the interest rate of an adjustable rate security may lag changes in market rates. The amount by which the rates are paid on an income security may increase or decrease and may be subject to periodic or lifetime caps. Fluctuations in interest rates above these caps could cause adjustable rate securities to behave more like fixed-rate securities in response to extreme movements in interest rates.

A Fund (other than the Money Market Fund) may also invest in inverse floating rate debt instruments (“inverse floaters”). The interest rate on an inverse floater resets in the opposite direction from the market rate of interest to which the inverse floater is indexed. An inverse floating rate security may exhibit greater price volatility than a fixed-rate obligation of similar credit quality. Such securities may also pay a rate of interest determined by applying a multiple to the variable rate. The extent of increases and decreases in the value of securities whose rates vary inversely with changes in market rates of interest generally will be larger than comparable changes in the value of an equal principal amount of a fixed-rate security having similar credit quality redemption provisions and maturity.

LIBOR is an average interest rate, determined by the Intercontinental Exchange Benchmark Administration, which banks charge one another for the use of short-term money. In addition, the terms of many investments, financings or other transactions in the U.S. and globally have been historically tied to LIBOR, which functions as a reference rate or benchmark for various commercial and financial contracts. The United Kingdom’s (“UK”) Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) has announced plans to discontinue supporting LIBOR and transition away from LIBOR by the end of 2021. However, subsequent announcements by the FCA, the LIBOR administrator and other regulators indicate that it is possible that certain LIBOR tenors (maturities) may continue beyond 2021 and the most widely used LIBOR tenors may continue until mid-2023. There remains uncertainty regarding the future use of LIBOR and the nature of any replacement rate, and any potential effects of the transition away from LIBOR on a Fund or on certain instruments in which a Fund invests are not known. Various financial industry groups have begun planning for that transition and certain regulators and industry groups have taken actions to establish alternative reference rates (e.g., the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, which measures the cost of overnight borrowings through repurchase agreement transactions collateralized with U.S. Treasury securities and is intended to replace U.S. dollar LIBOR with certain adjustments). The transition process may involve, among other things, an increase in volatility or illiquidity of markets for instruments that currently rely on LIBOR, a reduction in the value of certain instruments held by a Fund or a reduction in the effectiveness of related Fund transactions such as hedges. Various pending legislative proposals, including in the U.S. Congress and the New York state legislature, may affect the transition of LIBOR-based instruments as well by permitting trustees and calculation agents to transition instruments with no LIBOR transition language to an alternative reference rate selected by such agents. Those legislative proposals include safe harbors from liability, which may limit the recourse a Fund may have if the alternative reference rate does not fully compensate the Fund for the transition of an instrument from LIBOR. It is uncertain whether such legislative proposals will be signed into law. Any such effects, as well as other unforeseen effects, could result in losses to a Fund.

Loan Participations and Assignments; Direct Loans. Certain Funds may purchase participations and/or assignments in commercial loans. Such investments may be secured or unsecured and may pay interest at fixed or floating rates. Loan participations and assignments involve special types of risk, including interest rate risk, liquidity risk and the risks of being a lender.

Loan participations typically represent direct participation, together with other parties, in a loan to a corporate borrower, and generally are offered by banks or other financial institutions or lending syndicates. Certain Funds may participate in such syndications, or can buy part of a loan, becoming a part lender. When purchasing loan participations, a Fund assumes the credit risk associated with the corporate borrower and may assume the credit risk associated with an interposed bank or other financial intermediary. The loan participations in which a Fund intends to invest may not be rated by any nationally recognized rating service.

Investments in loans through a direct assignment of the financial institution’s interests with respect to the loan may involve additional risks to the Funds. The purchaser of an assignment typically succeeds to all the rights and obligations under the loan agreement with the same rights and obligations as the assigning lender. Assignments may, however, be arranged through private negotiations between potential assignees and potential assignors, and the rights and obligations acquired by the purchaser of an assignment may differ from, and be more limited than, those held by the assigning lender. If a loan is foreclosed, a Fund could become part owner of any collateral, and would bear the costs and liabilities associated with owning and disposing of the collateral. In addition, it is conceivable that under emerging legal theories of lender liability, a Fund could be held liable as co-lender. It is unclear whether loans and other forms of indebtedness offer securities law protections against fraud and misrepresentation. In the absence of definitive regulatory guidance, the Funds rely on Advisors’ research in an attempt to avoid situations where fraud or misrepresentation could adversely affect the Funds.

Loans may not be readily marketable and may be subject to restrictions on resale. In some cases, negotiations involved in disposing of loans may require weeks to complete. Consequently, some loans may be difficult or impossible to dispose of readily at what Advisors believes to be a fair price. In addition, valuation of illiquid loans involves a greater degree of judgment

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in determining a Fund’s NAV than if that value were based on available market quotations, and could result in significant variations in the Fund’s daily share price. At the same time, some loan interests are traded among certain financial institutions and accordingly may be deemed liquid. As the market for different types of loans develops, the liquidity of these instruments is expected to improve. However, from time to time, loans may be illiquid. Investment in loan participations and assignments are considered to be debt obligations for purposes of the Trust’s investment restriction relating to the lending of funds or assets by a Fund.

A loan is often administered by an agent bank acting as agent for all holders. The agent bank administers the terms of the loan, as specified in the loan agreement. In addition, the agent bank is normally responsible for the collection of principal and interest payments from the corporate borrower and the apportionment of these payments to the credit of all institutions which are parties to the loan agreement. Unless, under the terms of the loan, a Fund has direct recourse against the corporate borrower, the Fund may have to rely on the agent bank or other financial intermediary to apply appropriate credit remedies against a corporate borrower. A financial institution’s employment as agent bank might be terminated in the event that it fails to observe a requisite standard of care or becomes insolvent. A successor agent bank would generally be appointed to replace the terminated agent bank, and assets held by the agent bank under the loan agreement should remain available to holders of such indebtedness. However, if assets held by the agent bank for the benefit of a Fund were determined to be subject to the claims of the agent bank’s general creditors, the Fund might incur certain costs and delays in realizing payment on a loan or loan participation and could suffer a loss of principal and/or interest. In situations involving other interposed financial institutions (e.g., an insurance company or governmental agency) similar risks may arise.

Purchasers of loans depend primarily upon the creditworthiness of the corporate borrower for payment of principal and interest. If a Fund does not receive scheduled interest or principal payments on such indebtedness, the Fund’s share price and yield could be adversely affected. Loans that are fully secured offer a Fund more protection than an unsecured loan in the event of non-payment of scheduled interest or principal. However, there is no assurance that the liquidation of collateral from a secured loan would satisfy the corporate borrower’s obligation, or that the collateral can be liquidated. In the event of the bankruptcy of a borrower, a Fund could experience delays or limitations in its ability to realize the benefits of any collateral securing a loan.

Certain Funds may invest in loan participations and assignments with credit quality comparable to that of issuers of its securities investments. Indebtedness of companies whose creditworthiness is poor involves substantially greater risks, and may be highly speculative. Some companies may never pay off their indebtedness, or may pay only a small fraction of the amount owed. Consequently, when investing in indebtedness of companies with poor credit, a Fund bears a substantial risk of losing the entire amount invested. The Funds may make investments in loan participations and assignments to achieve capital appreciation, rather than to seek income.

For purposes of limits on a Fund’s total assets invested in any one issuer and the amount of a Fund’s total assets that are invested in issuers within the same industry, a Fund generally will treat the corporate borrower as the “issuer” of indebtedness held by the Fund. In the case of loan participations where a bank or other lending institution serves as a financial intermediary between a Fund and the corporate borrower, if the participation does not shift to the Fund the direct debtor-creditor relationship with the corporate borrower, SEC interpretations require the Fund to treat both the lending bank or other lending institution and the corporate borrower as “issuers.” Treating a financial intermediary as an issuer of indebtedness may restrict a Fund’s ability to invest in indebtedness related to a single financial intermediary, or a group of intermediaries engaged in the same industry, even if the underlying borrowers represent many different companies and industries.

Loans are not traded on an exchange or similar market but through a secondary market comprised of dealers and other institutional participants. Loans are generally subject to extended settlement periods and may take more than seven days to settle. During this period, a Fund may seek other sources of liquidity including the use of an overdraft facility with the Funds’ custodian or by borrowing under a credit agreement to which the Funds are parties.

Certain loans may not be considered securities under the federal securities laws. In such circumstances, fewer legal protections may be available with respect to a Fund’s investment in loans. In particular, if a loan is not considered a security under the federal securities laws, certain legal protections normally available to securities investors under the federal securities laws, such as those against fraud and misrepresentation, may not be available.

To the extent permitted by applicable law, a Fund may also make one or more direct loans, which may be secured or unsecured, to a commercial borrower (each, a “Direct Loan”). To the extent it makes a Direct Loan, a Fund would negotiate the terms of such Direct Loan with the borrower pursuant to a private transaction. The Fund will base its determination of whether or not to make a Direct Loan on, among other factors, Advisors’ assessment of the borrower’s creditworthiness, as well as any collateral received by the Fund or recourse available to the Fund in the event of untimely or non-payment of interest and repayment of principal to the Fund. By making one or more Direct Loans, a Fund would be exposed to the risk that the borrower will default or become insolvent. In such instances, the Fund may lose money. Direct Loans also expose a Fund to liquidity and interest rate risk. Direct Loans are not publicly traded, may not have a secondary market, and may be illiquid. The absence of a secondary market may impact a Fund’s ability to sell and/or value its Direct Loans. A Fund’s performance with respect to a

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Direct Loan will depend, in part, on the Fund’s (or Advisors’, on the Fund’s behalf) ability to negotiate advantageous terms with a borrower.

Foreign Debt Obligations. The debt obligations of foreign governments and entities may or may not be supported by the full faith and credit of the foreign government. A Fund may buy securities issued by certain “supra-national” entities, which include entities designated or supported by governments to promote economic reconstruction or development, international banking organizations and related government agencies. Examples are the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (more commonly known as the “World Bank”), the Asian Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.

The governmental members of these supra-national entities are “stockholders” that typically make capital contributions and may be committed to make additional capital contributions if the entity is unable to repay its borrowings. A supra-national entity’s lending activities may be limited to a percentage of its total capital, reserves and net income. There can be no assurance that the constituent foreign governments will continue to be able or willing to honor their capitalization commitments for those entities.

Structured or Indexed Securities (including Exchange-Traded Notes, Equity-Linked Notes and Inflation-Indexed Bonds). Some of the Funds may invest in structured or indexed securities. The value of the principal of and/or interest on such securities is based on a reference such as a specific currency, interest rate, commodity, index or other financial indicator (the “Reference”) or the relative change in two or more References. The interest rate or the principal amount payable upon maturity or redemption may be increased or decreased depending upon changes in the applicable Reference. The terms of the structured or indexed securities may provide that in certain circumstances no principal is due at maturity and, therefore, may result in a loss of a Fund’s investment. Structured or indexed securities may be positively or negatively indexed, so that appreciation of the Reference may produce an increase or a decrease in the interest rate or value of the security at maturity. In addition, changes in interest rates or the value of the security at maturity may be some multiple of the change in the value of the Reference. Consequently, structured or indexed securities may entail a greater degree of market risk than other types of debt securities. Structured or indexed securities may also be more volatile, have lower overall liquidity and be more difficult to accurately price than less complex securities. Structured and indexed securities are generally subject to the same risks as other fixed-income securities in addition to the special risks associated with linking the payment of principal and/or interest payments (or other payable amounts) to the performance of a Reference.

A Fund may also invest in inflation-indexed bonds. Inflation-indexed bonds are fixed-income securities whose principal value is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation. Two structures are common. The U.S. Treasury and some other issuers use a structure that accrues inflation into the principal value of the bond. Most other issuers pay out the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) accruals as part of a semiannual coupon.

If the periodic adjustment rate measuring inflation falls, the principal value of inflation-indexed bonds will be adjusted downward, and consequently the interest payable on these securities (calculated with respect to a smaller principal amount) will be reduced. Repayment of the original bond principal upon maturity (as adjusted for inflation) is guaranteed in the case of a U.S. Treasury inflation-indexed bond, even during a period of deflation, although the inflation-adjusted principal received could be less than the inflation-adjusted principal that had accrued to the bond at the time of purchase. However, the current market value of the bonds is not guaranteed and will fluctuate. A Fund may also invest in other inflation-related bonds which may or may not provide a similar guarantee. If a guarantee of principal is not provided, the adjusted principal value of the bond repaid at maturity may be less than the original principal.

The value of inflation-indexed bonds is expected to change in response to changes in real interest rates. Real interest rates in turn are tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. Therefore, if the rate of inflation rises at a faster rate than nominal interest rates, real interest rates might decline, leading to an increase in value of inflation-indexed bonds. In contrast, if nominal interest rates increase at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates might rise, leading to a decrease in value of inflation-indexed bonds.

While these securities are expected to be protected from long-term inflationary trends, short-term increases in inflation may lead to a decline in value. If interest rates rise due to reasons other than inflation (for example, due to changes in currency exchange rates), investors in these securities may not be protected to the extent that the increase is not reflected in the bond’s inflation measure.

The periodic adjustment of U.S. inflation-indexed bonds is tied to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (“CPI-U”), which is not seasonally adjusted and which is calculated monthly by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The CPI-U is a measurement of changes in the cost of living, made up of components such as housing, food, transportation and energy. Inflation-indexed bonds issued by a foreign government are generally adjusted to reflect a comparable inflation index calculated by that government. There can be no assurance that the CPI-U or any foreign inflation index will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services. Moreover, there can be no assurance that the rate of inflation in a foreign country will be correlated to the rate of inflation in the United States.

Negative Interest Rates. A negative interest rate policy is an unconventional central bank monetary policy tool where nominal target interest rates are set with a negative value (i.e., below zero percent) intended to help create self-sustaining

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growth in the local economy. If a bank charges negative interest, instead of receiving interest on deposits, a depositor must pay the bank fees to keep money with the bank. In a negative interest rate environment, debt instruments may trade at negative yields, which means the purchaser of the instrument may receive at maturity less than the total amount invested. In response to recent volatility and economic uncertainty, the U.S. Government and certain foreign central banks have taken steps to stabilize markets by, among other things, reducing interest rates. As a result, as of the date of this SAI, interest rates in the United States are at historically low levels, and certain European countries and Japan have pursued negative interest rate policies. Negative interest rates may become more prevalent among foreign (non-U.S.) issuers, and potentially within the U.S., and a period of low (including negative) interest rates could persist for a sustained period. To the extent a Fund has a bank deposit or holds a debt instrument with a negative interest rate to maturity, the Fund would generate a negative return on that investment.

A number of factors may contribute to debt instruments trading at a negative yield. While negative yields can be expected to reduce demand for fixed-income investments trading at a negative interest rate, investors may be willing to continue to purchase such investments for a number of reasons including, but not limited to, price insensitivity, arbitrage opportunities across fixed-income markets, rules-based investment strategies, capital preservation, reduced volatility, or decreased investment opportunities. If negative interest rates become more prevalent in the market and/or if negative interest rates persist for a sustained period of time, it is expected that investors may seek to reallocate assets to other income-producing assets such as investment-grade and high-yield debt instruments, or equity investments that pay a dividend, absent other market risks that may make such alternative investments unattractive. This increased demand for higher yielding assets may cause the price of such instruments to rise while triggering a corresponding decrease in yield over time, thus reducing the value of such alternative investments. In addition, a move to higher yielding investments may cause investors, including a Fund, to seek fixed-income investments with longer duration and/or potentially reduced credit quality in order to seek the desired level of yield. These considerations may limit a Fund’s ability to locate fixed-income instruments containing the desired risk/return profile. Changing interest rates, including, but not limited to, rates that fall below zero, could have unpredictable effects on the markets and may expose fixed-income and related markets to heightened volatility and potential illiquidity.

Convertible Securities. Convertible securities generally have less potential for gain or loss than common stocks. Convertible securities generally provide yields higher than the underlying common stocks, but generally lower than comparable non-convertible securities. Because of this higher yield, convertible securities generally sell at prices above their “conversion value,” which is the current market value of the stock to be received upon conversion. The difference between this conversion value and the price of convertible securities will vary over time depending on changes in the value of the underlying common stocks and interest rates. When the underlying common stocks decline in value, convertible securities will tend not to decline to the same extent because of the interest or dividend payments and the repayment of principal at maturity for certain types of convertible securities. However, securities that are convertible other than at the option of the holder generally do not limit the potential for loss to the same extent as securities convertible at the option of the holder. When the underlying common stocks rise in value, the value of convertible securities may also be expected to increase. At the same time, however, the difference between the market value of convertible securities and their conversion value will narrow, which means that the value of convertible securities will generally not increase to the same extent as the value of the underlying common stocks. Because convertible securities may also be interest rate sensitive, their value may increase as interest rates fall and decrease as interest rates rise. Convertible securities are also subject to credit risk, and are often lower-quality securities.

Contingent Capital Securities. Contingent capital securities (sometimes referred to as “CoCos”) are issued primarily by non-U.S. financial institutions, which have loss absorption mechanisms benefiting the issuer built into their terms. CoCos generally provide for mandatory conversion into the common stock of the issuer or a write-down of the principal amount or value of the CoCos upon the occurrence of certain “triggers.” These triggers are generally linked to regulatory capital thresholds or regulatory actions calling into question the issuing banking institution’s continued viability as a going concern. Equity conversion or principal write-down features are tailored to the issuer and its regulatory requirements and, unlike traditional convertible securities, conversions are not voluntary.

A trigger event for CoCos would likely be the result of, or related to, the deterioration of the issuer’s financial condition (e.g., a decrease in the issuer’s capital ratio) and status as a going concern. In such a case, with respect to CoCos that provide for conversion into common stock upon the occurrence of the trigger event, the market price of the issuer’s common stock received by a Fund will have likely declined, perhaps substantially, and may continue to decline, which may adversely affect the Fund’s NAV. Further, the issuer’s common stock would be subordinate to the issuer’s other classes of securities and therefore would worsen a Fund’s standing in a bankruptcy proceeding. In addition, because the common stock of the issuer may not pay a dividend, investors in these instruments could experience a reduced income rate, potentially to zero. In view of the foregoing, CoCos are often rated below investment-grade and are subject to the risks of high-yield securities.

CoCos may be subject to an automatic write-down (i.e., the automatic write-down of the principal amount or value of the securities, potentially to zero, and the cancellation of the securities) under certain circumstances, which could result in a Fund losing a portion or all of its investment in such securities. In addition, a Fund may not have any rights with respect to repayment of the principal amount of the securities that has not become due or the payment of interest or dividends on such securities for

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any period from (and including) the interest or dividend payment date falling immediately prior to the occurrence of such automatic write-down. An automatic write-down could also result in a reduced income rate if the dividend or interest payment is based on the security’s par value. Coupon payments on CoCos may be discretionary and may be cancelled by the issuer for any reason or may be subject to approval by the issuer’s regulator and may be suspended in the event there are insufficient distributable reserves.

In certain scenarios, investors in CoCos may suffer a loss of capital ahead of equity holders or when equity holders do not. The prices of CoCos may be volatile. There is no guarantee that a Fund will receive a return of principal on CoCos. Any indication that an automatic write-down or conversion event may occur can be expected to have a material adverse effect on the market price of CoCos.

Mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities

Mortgage-Backed and Asset-Backed Securities Generally. Some of the Funds may invest in mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities, which represent direct or indirect participation in, or are collateralized by and payable from, mortgage loans secured by real property or instruments derived from such loans. Mortgage-backed securities include various types of mortgage-related securities such as government stripped mortgage-related securities, adjustable-rate mortgage-related securities and collateralized mortgage obligations. Some of the Funds may also invest in asset-backed securities, which represent participation in, or are secured by and payable from, assets such as motor vehicle installment sales contracts, installment loan contracts, leases of various types of real and personal property, receivables from revolving credit (i.e., credit card) agreements and other categories of receivables. These assets are typically pooled and securitized by governmental, government-related or private organizations through the use of trusts and special purpose entities established specifically to hold assets and to issue debt obligations backed by those assets. Asset-backed or mortgage-backed securities are normally created or “sponsored” by banks or other financial institutions or by certain government-sponsored enterprises such as FNMA or FHLMC.

Payments or distributions of principal and interest may be guaranteed up to certain amounts and for certain time periods by letters of credit or pool insurance policies issued by a financial institution unaffiliated with the trust or corporation. Other credit enhancements also may exist.

With respect to the Core Impact Bond Fund, Social Choice Equity Fund, Social Choice International Equity Fund and Social Choice Low Carbon Equity Fund, Advisors does not take into consideration whether the sponsor of an asset-backed security in which a Fund invests meets the Fund’s screening criteria. That is because asset-backed securities represent interests in pools of loans, and not of the ongoing business enterprise of the sponsor. It is therefore possible that the Fund could invest in an asset-backed or mortgage-backed security sponsored by a bank or other financial institution in which the Fund could not invest directly.

Mortgage Pass-Through Securities. Some of the Funds may invest in mortgage pass-through securities. Mortgage-related securities represent pools of mortgage loans assembled for sale to investors by various governmental agencies, such as GNMA, by government-related organizations, such as FNMA and FHLMC, as well as by private issuers, such as commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, mortgage bankers and private mortgage insurance companies.

Interests in pools of mortgage-related securities differ from other forms of debt securities, which normally provide for periodic payment of interest in fixed amounts with principal payments at maturity or specified call dates. Instead, these securities provide a monthly payment which consists of both interest and principal payments. In effect, these payments are a “pass-through” of the monthly payments made by the individual borrowers on their residential or commercial mortgage loans, net of any fees paid to the issuer or guarantor of such securities. Additional payments are caused by repayments of principal resulting from the sale of the underlying property, refinancing or foreclosure, net of fees or costs which may be incurred. Some mortgage-related securities are described as “modified pass-through.” These securities entitle the holder to receive all interest and principal payments owed on the mortgage pool, net of certain fees, at the scheduled payment dates regardless of whether or not the mortgagor actually makes the payment.

Commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, private mortgage insurance companies, mortgage bankers and other secondary market issuers also create pass-through pools of conventional residential mortgage loans. Such issuers may, in addition, be the originators and/or servicers of the underlying mortgage loans as well as the guarantors of the mortgage-related securities. Pools created by such non-governmental issuers generally offer a higher rate of interest than government and government-related pools because there are no direct or indirect government or agency guarantees of payments in the former pools. However, timely payment of interest and principal of these pools may be supported by various forms of insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, title, pool and hazard insurance and letters of credit. The insurance and guarantees are issued by governmental entities, private insurers and the mortgage poolers. Such insurance and guarantees, and the creditworthiness of the issuers thereof, will be considered in determining whether a mortgage-related security meets a Fund’s investment quality standards. There can be no assurance that the private insurers or guarantors can meet their obligations under the insurance policies or guarantee arrangements. A Fund may buy mortgage-related securities without insurance or guarantees if, through an examination of the loan experience and practices of the originator/servicers and poolers, Advisors determines that the securities meet the Fund’s quality standards. Although the market for such securities is becoming

20     Statement of Additional Information    TIAA-CREF Funds


increasingly liquid, securities issued by certain private organizations may not be readily marketable, especially in the current financial environment. In addition, recent developments in the fixed-income and credit markets may have an adverse impact on the liquidity of mortgage-related securities.

Under the direction of FHFA, GNMA and FHLMC have entered into a joint initiative to develop a common securitization platform for the issuance of a uniform Mortgage-Backed Security (the “Single Security Initiative”), which would generally align the characteristics of FNMA and FHLMC certificates. The Single Security Initiative launched in June 2019, and is intended to maximize liquidity for both FNMA and FHLMC MBS in the “to-be-announced” market. While the initial effects of the issuance of a uniform Mortgage-Backed Security on the market for mortgage-related securities have been relatively minimal, the long-term effects that the Single Security Initiative may have on the market for mortgage-backed securities are uncertain.

Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (“CMOs”). CMOs are structured into multiple classes, each bearing a different stated maturity. Similar to a bond, interest and prepaid principal are paid, in most cases, on a monthly basis. Actual maturity and average life will depend upon the prepayment experience of the collateral. CMOs provide for a modified form of call protection through a de facto breakdown of the underlying pool of mortgages according to how quickly the loans are repaid. Monthly payment of principal received from the pool of underlying mortgages, including prepayments, is first returned to investors holding the shortest maturity class. Investors holding the longer maturity classes receive principal only after the first class has been retired. An investor is partially guarded against a sooner than desired return of principal because of the sequential payments.

In a typical CMO transaction, a corporation (“issuer”) issues multiple series (e.g., A, B, C, Z) of CMO bonds (“Bonds”). Proceeds of the Bond offering are used to purchase mortgages or mortgage pass-through certificates (“Collateral”). The Collateral is pledged to a third party trustee as security for the Bonds.

Principal and interest payments from the Collateral are used to pay principal on the Bonds in the order A, B, C, Z. The Series A, B, and C Bonds all bear current interest. Interest on the Series Z Bond is accrued and added to principal and a like amount is paid as principal on the Series A, B, or C Bond currently being paid off. When the Series A, B, and C Bonds are paid in full, interest and principal on the Series Z Bond begin to be paid currently. With some CMOs, the issuer serves as a conduit to allow loan originators (primarily builders or savings and loan associations) to borrow against their loan portfolios.

The average maturity of pass-through pools of mortgage-related securities in which some of the Funds may invest varies with the maturities of the underlying mortgage instruments. In addition, a pool’s stated maturity may be shortened by unscheduled payments on the underlying mortgages. Factors affecting mortgage prepayments include the level of interest rates, general economic and social conditions, location of the mortgaged property and age of the mortgage. For example, in periods of falling interest rates, the rate of prepayment tends to increase, thereby shortening the actual average life of the mortgage-related security. Conversely, when interest rates are rising, the rate of prepayment tends to decrease, thereby lengthening the actual average life of the mortgage-related security. Accordingly, it is not possible to accurately predict the average life of a particular pool. Reinvestment of prepayments may occur at higher or lower rates than originally expected. Therefore, the actual maturity and realized yield on pass-through or modified pass-through mortgage-related securities will vary based upon the prepayment experience of the underlying pool of mortgages. For purposes of calculating the average life of the assets of the relevant Fund, the maturity of each of these securities will be the average life of such securities based on the most recent estimated annual prepayment rate.

Asset-Backed Securities Unrelated to Mortgage Loans. Some of the Funds may invest in asset-backed securities that are unrelated to mortgage loans. These include, but are not limited to, credit card securitizations, auto and equipment lease and loan securitizations and rate reduction bonds. In the case of credit card securitizations, it is typical to have a revolving master trust issue “soft bullet” maturities representing a fractional interest in trusts whose assets consist of revolving credit card receivables. Auto and equipment lease and loan securitizations reference specific static asset pools whereby monthly payments of principal and interest are passed through directly to certificate holders typically in order of seniority. The ultimate performance of these securities is a function of both the creditworthiness of the borrowers as well as recovery obtained on collateral foreclosed upon by the respective trust(s). Rate reduction bonds represent a secured interest in future rate recovery on stranded utility assets that may result from, for example, storm damages or environmental costs. Typically these costs are recouped over time from a broad rate payer base. The performance of these securities would depend primarily upon a continuance of sufficient rate base to repay the notes in the specified time frame and a stable regulatory environment.

Mortgage Dollar Rolls. Some of the Funds may enter into mortgage “dollar rolls” in which the Fund sells securities for delivery in the current month and simultaneously contracts with a counterparty to repurchase either similar or substantially identical securities on a specified future date. To be considered “substantially identical,” the securities returned to a Fund generally must: (1) be collateralized by the same types of underlying mortgages; (2) be issued by the same agency and be part of the same program; (3) have the same original stated maturity; (4) have identical net coupon rates; (5) have identical form and type so as to provide the same risks and rights; and (6) satisfy “good delivery” requirements, meaning that the aggregate principal amounts of the securities delivered and received back must be within 2.5% of the initial amount delivered. The Fund loses the right to receive principal and interest paid on the securities sold. However, the Fund would benefit to the extent of any price received for the securities sold and the lower forward price for the future purchase (often referred to as the “drop”) plus the interest earned on the short-term investment awaiting the settlement date of the forward purchase. Unless such benefits

TIAA-CREF Funds    Statement of Additional Information     21


exceed the income and gain or loss due to mortgage repayments that would have been realized on the securities sold as part of the mortgage dollar roll, the use of this technique will diminish the investment performance of the Fund compared with what such performance would have been without the use of mortgage dollar rolls. The Fund will hold and maintain in a segregated account until the settlement date cash or liquid assets in an amount equal to the forward purchase price. The benefits derived from the use of mortgage dollar rolls may depend upon Advisors’ ability to correctly predict mortgage prepayments and interest rates. There is no assurance that mortgage dollar rolls can be successfully employed. In connection with mortgage dollar roll transactions, a Fund could receive securities with investment characteristics that are different than those originally sold by the Fund, which may adversely affect the sensitivity of the Fund to changes in interest rates.

Other investment policies

Securities Lending. Subject to the Funds’ fundamental investment policies relating to loans of portfolio securities set forth above, each Fund may lend its securities. The Funds may lend their securities to brokers and dealers that are not affiliated with TIAA, are registered with the SEC and are members of FINRA, and also to certain other financial institutions. All loans will be fully collateralized. Any borrower of a Fund’s portfolio securities must maintain acceptable collateral, marked to market daily, with the Fund’s custodian (or a sub-custodian or a special “tri-party” custodian). In connection with the lending of its securities, a Fund will receive as collateral cash, securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government (e.g., Treasury securities), or other collateral permitted by applicable law, which at all times while the loan is outstanding will be maintained in amounts equal to at least 102% of the current market value of the outstanding loaned securities for U.S. equities and fixed-income assets and 105% for non-U.S. equities, or such lesser percentage as may be permitted by the SEC (including a decline in the value of the collateral) (not to fall below 100% of the market value of the loaned securities not including a decline in the value of the collateral), as reviewed daily. Cash collateral received by a Fund will generally be invested in high-quality short-term instruments, or in one or more funds maintained by the securities lending agent for the purpose of investing cash collateral, including a fund that qualifies as a “government money market fund” under the SEC rules governing money market funds. Investment of cash collateral in a fund that qualifies as a “government money market fund” will not be subject to any applicable ESG criteria of a Fund. During the term of the loan, a Fund will continue to have investment risks with respect to the securities being loaned, as well as risk with respect to the investment of the cash collateral, and the Fund may lose money as a result of the investment of such collateral. In addition, a Fund could suffer a loss if the loan terminates and the Fund is forced to liquidate investments at a loss in order to return the cash collateral to the borrower.

By lending its securities, a Fund will receive amounts equal to the interest or dividends paid on the securities loaned and, in addition, will expect to receive a portion of the income generated by the short-term investment of cash received as collateral or, alternatively, where securities or letter of credit are used as collateral, a lending fee paid directly to the Fund by the borrower of the securities. Under certain circumstances, a portion of the lending fee may be paid or rebated to the borrower by the Fund. Such loans will be terminable by the Fund at any time and will not be made to affiliates of TIAA. A Fund may terminate a loan of securities in order to regain record ownership of, and to exercise beneficial rights related to, the loaned securities, including, but not necessarily limited to, voting or subscription rights or certain tax benefits, and Advisors may, in the exercise of its fiduciary duties, terminate a loan in the event that a vote of holders of those securities is required on a material matter. A Fund may pay reasonable fees to persons unaffiliated with the Fund for services, for arranging such loans, or for acting as securities lending agent (each an “Agent”). Loans of securities will be made only to firms deemed creditworthy. In lending its securities, a Fund bears the market risk with respect to the investment of collateral and the risk the borrower or Agent may default on its contractual obligations to the Fund. Each Agent bears the risk that the borrower may default on its obligation to return the loaned securities as the Agent is contractually obligated to indemnify the Fund if at the time of a default by a borrower some or all of the loaned securities have not been returned. Substitute payments for dividends received by a Fund for securities loaned out by the Fund will not be considered as qualified dividend income or as eligible for the corporate dividend received deduction. Each Agent is authorized to engage a third-party bank as a special “tri-party” custodian for securities lending activities and enter into a separate custodian undertaking with each applicable borrower under the Funds’ securities lending program.

During the fiscal year ended October 31, 2020, the Agent for each applicable Fund provided various services to the Fund, including locating borrowers, monitoring daily the value of the loaned securities and collateral, requiring additional collateral from borrowers as necessary, cash collateral management, qualified dividend management, negotiation of loan terms, selection of securities to be loaned, recordkeeping and account servicing, monitoring dividend activity and material proxy votes relating to loaned securities, and arranging for return of loaned securities to the Fund at loan termination.

For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2020 for the following Funds, the table below reflects the dollar amounts of income received and the compensation paid to an Agent, including any share of revenue generated by the securities lending program paid to an Agent (“revenue split”), related to the securities lending activities of each such Fund in existence during the period:

22     Statement of Additional Information    TIAA-CREF Funds


                                         

 

 

 

 

Fees and/or compensation for securities lending activities and related services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fund

 

Gross
income
from
securities
lending
activities

 

Fees paid to
securities
lending agent
from a
revenue split

 

Fees paid for
any cash
collateral
management
service
that are not
included in the
revenue split

*

Administrative
fees not
included in
revenue split

 

Indemnification
fees not
included in
revenue split

 

Rebates
(paid to
borrowers)

 

Other
fees not
included in
revenue split

 

Aggregate
fees/
compensation
for securities
lending
activities

 

Net
income from
securities
lending
activities

 

 

Emerging Markets Equity Fund

$

241,073

$

15,101

$

5,128

$

$

$

47,184

$

$

67,413

$

173,660

 

 

Emerging Markets Equity Index Fund

 

832,670

 

62,120

 

5,605

 

 

 

50,567

 

 

118,292

 

714,378

 

 

Equity Index Fund

 

4,941,484

 

324,076

 

74,212

 

 

 

816,321

 

 

1,214,609

 

3,726,875

 

 

Growth & Income Fund

 

838,690

 

41,611

 

14,996

 

 

 

303,562

 

 

360,169

 

478,521

 

 

International Equity Fund

 

326,254

 

23,772

 

2,153

 

 

 

26,956

 

 

52,881

 

273,373

 

 

International Equity Index Fund

 

2,739,835

 

191,573

 

38,211

 

 

 

306,958

 

 

536,742

 

2,203,093

 

 

International Opportunities Fund

 

2,313,709

 

172,704

 

13,221

 

 

 

141,686

 

 

327,611

 

1,986,098

 

 

Large-Cap Growth Fund

 

74,295

 

2,975

 

1,957

 

 

 

35,145

 

 

40,077

 

34,218

 

 

Large-Cap Growth Index Fund

 

363,913

 

20,045

 

8,786

 

 

 

104,561

 

 

133,392

 

230,521

 

 

Large-Cap Value Fund

 

788

 

55

 

92

 

 

 

4

 

 

151

 

637

 

 

Large-Cap Value Index Fund

 

609,392

 

36,256

 

12,022

 

 

 

144,174

 

 

192,452

 

416,940

 

 

Mid-Cap Growth Fund

 

281,419

 

13,393

 

7,904

 

 

 

106,105

 

 

127,402

 

154,017

 

 

Mid-Cap Value Fund

 

460,908

 

23,098

 

8,814

 

 

 

163,372

 

 

195,284

 

265,624

 

 

Quant International Small-Cap Equity Fund

 

1,056,266

 

80,812

 

7,731

 

 

 

38,381

 

 

126,924

 

929,342

 

 

Quant Small-Cap Equity Fund

 

1,843,424

 

128,403

 

23,379

 

 

 

215,002

 

 

366,784

 

1,476,640

 

 

Quant Small/Mid-Cap Equity Fund

 

368,386

 

28,228

 

1,970

 

 

 

13,568

 

 

43,766

 

324,620

 

 

Small-Cap Blend Index Fund

 

5,888,951

 

420,222

 

63,380

 

 

 

572,795

 

 

1,056,397

 

4,832,554

 

 

Social Choice Equity Fund

 

595,344

 

38,329

 

12,168

 

 

 

104,063

 

 

154,560

 

440,784

 

 

Social Choice International Equity Fund

 

74,303

 

5,293

 

767

 

 

 

7,377

 

 

13,437

 

60,866

 

 

Social Choice Low Carbon Equity Fund

 

24,607

 

1,706

 

544

 

 

 

2,739

 

 

4,989

 

19,618

 

 

S&P 500 Index Fund

 

192,164

 

12,037

 

2,952

 

 

 

38,748

 

 

53,737

 

138,427

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                         

*

Including fees deducted from a pooled cash collateral reinvestment vehicle.

             

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021 for the following Funds, the table below reflects the dollar amounts of income received and the compensation paid to an Agent, including any share of revenue generated by the securities lending program paid to an Agent (“revenue split”), related to the securities lending activities of each such Fund in existence during the period:

                                         

 

 

 

 

Fees and/or compensation for securities lending activities and related services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fund

 

Gross
income
from
securities
lending
activities

 

Fees paid to
securities
lending agent
from a
revenue split

 

Fees paid for
any cash
collateral
management
service
that are not
included in the
revenue split

*

Administrative
fees not
included in
revenue split

 

Indemnification
fees not
included in
revenue split

 

Rebates
(paid to
borrowers)

 

Other
fees not
included in
revenue split

 

Aggregate
fees/
compensation
for securities
lending
activities

 

Net
income from
securities
lending
activities

 

 

Bond Index Fund

$

5,744

$

315

$

1,742

$

$

$

60

$

$

2,117

$

3,627

 

 

Core Bond Fund

 

14,706

 

1,073

 

1,299

 

 

 

 

 

2,372

 

12,334

 

 

Core Impact Bond Fund

 

1,463

 

40

 

965

 

 

 

 

 

1,005

 

458

 

 

Core Plus Bond Fund

 

32,140

 

2,485

 

1,075

 

 

 

 

 

3,560

 

28,580

 

 

High-Yield Fund

 

16,368

 

1,210

 

1,240

 

 

 

 

 

2,450

 

13,918

 

 

Inflation-Linked Bond Fund

 

798

 

57

 

85

 

 

 

 

 

142

 

656

 

 

Short Duration Impact Bond Fund

 

1

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

Short-Term Bond Fund

 

5,028

 

358

 

558

 

 

 

 

 

916

 

4,112

 

 

Short-Term Bond Index Fund

 

240

 

 

240

 

 

 

 

 

240

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                         

*

Including fees deducted from a pooled cash collateral reinvestment vehicle.

             

Regulations adopted by federal banking regulators under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act require that certain qualified financial contracts (“QFCs”) with counterparties that are part of U.S. or foreign global systemically important banking organizations be amended to include contractual restrictions on close-out and cross-default rights. QFCs

TIAA-CREF Funds    Statement of Additional Information     23


include, but are not limited to, securities contracts, commodities contracts, forward contracts, repurchase agreements, securities lending agreements and swap agreements, as well as related master agreements, security agreements, credit enhancements, and reimbursement obligations. If a covered counterparty of a Fund or certain of the covered counterparty’s affiliates were to become subject to certain insolvency proceedings, the Fund may be temporarily unable to exercise certain default rights, and the QFC may be transferred to another entity. These requirements may impact a Fund’s credit and counterparty risks.

Repurchase Agreements. Repurchase agreements are one of several short-term vehicles the Funds can use to manage cash balances effectively. In a repurchase agreement, the Funds buy an underlying debt instrument on the condition that the seller agrees to buy it back at a fixed price and time (usually no more than a week and never more than a year). Repurchase agreements have the characteristics of loans, and will be fully collateralized (either with physical securities or evidence of book entry transfer to the account of the custodian bank) at all times. During the term of the repurchase agreement, the Fund entering into the agreement retains the security subject to the repurchase agreement as collateral securing the seller’s repurchase obligation, continually monitors the market value of the security subject to the agreement, and requires the Fund’s seller to deposit with the Fund additional collateral equal to any amount by which the market value of the security subject to the repurchase agreement falls below the resale amount provided under the repurchase agreement. Each Fund will enter into repurchase agreements only with member banks of the Federal Reserve System, or with primary dealers in U.S. Government securities or their wholly owned subsidiaries whose creditworthiness has been reviewed and found satisfactory by Advisors and who have, therefore, been determined to present minimal credit risk.

Securities underlying repurchase agreements will be limited to certificates of deposit, commercial paper, bankers’ acceptances, or obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or its agencies or instrumentalities, in which the Fund entering into the agreement may otherwise invest.

If a seller of a repurchase agreement defaults and does not repurchase the security subject to the agreement, the Fund entering into the agreement would look to the collateral underlying the seller’s repurchase agreement, including the securities subject to the repurchase agreement, for satisfaction of the seller’s obligation to the Fund. In such event, the Fund might incur disposition costs in liquidating the collateral and might suffer a loss if the value of the collateral declines. In addition, if bankruptcy proceedings are instituted against a seller of a repurchase agreement, realization upon the collateral may be delayed or limited.

Swap Transactions. Each Fund (other than the Money Market Fund) may, to the extent permitted by the applicable state and federal regulatory authorities, enter into privately negotiated “swap” transactions with other financial institutions in order to take advantage of investment opportunities generally not available in public markets (generally known as an over-the-counter, “OTC” or “uncleared” swap). In general, these transactions involve “swapping” a return based on certain securities, instruments, or financial indices with another party, such as a commercial bank, in exchange for a return based on different securities, instruments, or financial indices.

By entering into a swap transaction, a Fund may be able to protect the value of a portion of its portfolio against declines in market value. Each Fund may also enter into swap transactions to facilitate implementation of allocation strategies between different market segments or countries or to take advantage of market opportunities that may arise from time to time. A Fund may be able to enhance its overall performance if the return offered by the other party to the swap transaction exceeds the return swapped by the Fund. However, there can be no assurance that the return a Fund receives from the counterparty to the swap transaction will exceed the return it swaps to that party.

While the Funds will only enter into swap transactions with counterparties considered creditworthy (and will monitor the creditworthiness of parties with which they enter into swap transactions), a risk inherent in swap transactions is that the other party to the transaction may default on its obligations under the swap agreement. In times of general market turmoil, the creditworthiness of even large, well-established counterparties may decline rapidly. If the other party to a swap transaction defaults on its obligations, the Fund entering into the agreement would be limited to the agreement’s contractual remedies. There can be no assurance that a Fund will succeed when pursuing its contractual remedies. To minimize a Fund’s exposure in the event of default, it will usually enter into swap transactions on a net basis (i.e., the parties to the transaction will net the payments payable to each other before such payments are made). When a Fund enters into swap transactions on a net basis, the net amount of the excess, if any, of the Fund’s obligations over its entitlements with respect to each such swap agreement will be accrued on a daily basis and, under current regulatory requirements, an amount of liquid assets having an aggregate market value at least equal to the accrued excess will be segregated by the Fund’s custodian. Under current regulatory requirements, to the extent a Fund enters into swap transactions other than on a net basis, the amount segregated will be the full amount of the Fund’s obligations, if any, with respect to each such swap agreement, accrued on a daily basis. See “Segregated Accounts” below.

Additionally, certain standardized swaps that were historically traded OTC must now be transacted through a futures commission merchant and cleared through a clearinghouse that serves as a central counterparty (generally known as a “cleared” swap). Exchange trading and central clearing are intended to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity, but it does not make cleared swap transactions risk-free. Depending on the size of a Fund and other factors, the margin required

24     Statement of Additional Information    TIAA-CREF Funds


under the rules of a clearinghouse and by a clearing member may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by the Fund to support its obligations under a similar uncleared swap. However, the CFTC and other applicable regulators have adopted rules imposing certain margin requirements, including minimums, on uncleared swaps which may result in a Fund and its counterparties posting higher amounts for uncleared swaps.

In addition to other swap transactions, certain Funds may purchase and sell Contracts for Difference (“CFDs”). A CFD is a form of equity swap in which its value is based on the fluctuating value of some underlying asset (e.g., shares of a particular stock or a stock index). A CFD is a contract between two parties, buyer and seller, stipulating that the seller will pay to the buyer the difference between the nominal value of the underlying stock at the opening of the contract and the stock’s value at the close of the contract. The size of the contract and the contract’s expiration date are typically negotiated by the parties to the CFD transaction. CFDs enable a Fund to take short or long positions on an underlying stock and thus potentially capture gains on movements in the share prices of the stock without the need to own the underlying stock.

By entering into a CFD transaction, a Fund could incur losses because it would face many of the same types of risks as owning the underlying equity security directly. For example, a Fund might buy a short position in a CFD and the contract value at the close of the transaction may be greater than the contract value at the opening of the transaction. This may be due to, among other factors, an increase in the market value of the underlying equity security. In such a situation, the Fund would have to pay the difference in value of the contract to the seller of the CFD. As with other types of swap transactions, CFDs also carry counterparty risk, i.e., the risk that the counterparty to the CFD transaction may be unable or unwilling to make payments or to otherwise honor its financial obligations under the terms of the contract. If the counterparty were to do so, the value of the contract, and of the Fund’s shares, may be reduced.

Entry into a CFD transaction may, in certain circumstances, require the payment of an initial margin and adverse market movements against the underlying stock may require the buyer to make additional margin payments.

Certain Funds may also invest in credit default swaps (“CDS”). CDS are contracts in which the buyer makes a payment or series of payments to the seller in exchange for a payment if the reference security or asset (e.g., a bond or an index) undergoes a “credit event” (e.g., a default). CDS share many risks common to other types of swaps and derivatives, including credit risk, counterparty risk and market risk. Certain Funds may also invest in credit default swap indices (“CDX”). A CDX is a portfolio of credit default swaps with similar characteristics, such as credit default swaps on high-yield bonds. Certain CDX indices are subject to mandatory central clearing and exchange trading, which may reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity compared to other CDS or CDX transactions. In addition, there may be disputes between the buyer and seller of a CDS agreement or within the swaps market as a whole as to whether a credit event has occurred or what the payment should be. Such disputes could result in litigation or other delays, and the outcome could be adverse for the buyer or seller.

Swap agreements may be illiquid and, in such circumstances, could be subject to the limitations on illiquid investments. See “Illiquid Investments” above.

To the extent that there is an imperfect correlation between the return on a Fund’s obligation to its counterparty under the swap and the return on related assets in its portfolio, the swap transaction may increase the Fund’s financial risk. No Fund will enter into a swap transaction that is inconsistent with its investment objective, policies and strategies. The Funds (other than the Money Market Fund) may engage in swap transactions to hedge or manage the risks associated with assets held in, or to facilitate the implementation of portfolio strategies of purchasing and selling assets for, the Fund, to manage their cash flow more efficiently and to seek to increase total return.

Segregated Accounts. In connection with when-issued securities, firm commitments, swap transactions and certain other transactions in which a Fund incurs an obligation to make payments in the future, under current regulatory requirements, the Fund involved may be required to segregate assets with its custodian bank or within its portfolio in amounts sufficient to settle the transaction. To the extent required, such segregated assets will consist of liquid assets, including equity or other securities, or other instruments such as cash, U.S. Government securities or other obligations as may be permitted by law.

In October 2020, the SEC adopted Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act providing for the regulation of a registered investment company’s use of derivatives and certain related instruments. Under Rule 18f-4, a registered investment company’s derivatives exposure is limited through a value-at-risk test and the Rule requires the adoption and implementation of a derivatives risk management program for certain derivatives users. However, subject to certain conditions, limited derivatives users (as defined in Rule 18f-4) would not be subject to the full requirements of Rule 18f-4. Compliance with Rule 18f-4 will be required in August 2022. As the Funds come into compliance with Rule 18f-4, the Funds’ approach to asset segregation and coverage requirements will be impacted because, in connection with the adoption of Rule 18f-4, the SEC also eliminated the asset segregation framework arising from prior SEC guidance for covering derivatives and certain financial instruments, effective as of the compliance date for the Rule. Rule 18f-4 could limit a Fund’s ability to engage in certain derivatives transactions and/or increase the costs of such derivatives transactions, which could adversely affect the value or performance of the Fund.

Investment Companies. Subject to certain exceptions and limitations, each Fund may invest up to 5% of its assets in any single investment company and up to 10% of its assets in all other investment companies in the aggregate. However, no Fund can hold more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of any single investment company. These restrictions would not

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apply to any Fund that the Trust introduces in the future that invests substantially all of its assets in the securities of other funds of the Trust. When a Fund invests in another investment company, it bears a proportionate share of expenses charged by the investment company in which it invests.

Note that any Fund that serves as an underlying fund investment for an affiliated fund of funds (such as the Lifecycle Funds, the Lifecycle Index Funds, the Lifestyle Funds and the Managed Allocation Fund) pursuant to Section 12(d)(1)(G) of the 1940 Act has a policy not to, in turn, rely on Sections 12(d)(1)(F) or (G) to invest in other affiliated or unaffiliated funds beyond the limits of Sections 12(d)(1)(A) or (B).

In October 2020, the SEC adopted certain regulatory changes and took other actions related to the ability of an investment company to invest in another investment company. Compliance with these regulatory changes will be required by January 2022. These changes include, among other things, amendments to the existing regulatory framework, the adoption of new Rule 12d1-4 under the 1940 Act, and the rescission of certain exemptive relief issued by the SEC permitting such investments in excess of statutory limits and the withdrawal of certain related SEC staff no-action letters. These changes and actions may adversely impact each Fund’s investment strategies and operations.

Exchange-Traded Funds. Additionally, certain Funds may invest in other investment companies, which may include exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), for cash management, investment exposure or defensive purposes. ETFs generally seek to track the performance of an equity, fixed-income or balanced index by holding in its portfolio either the contents of the index or a representative sample of the securities in the index. Some ETFs, however, select securities consistent with the ETF’s investment objectives and policies without reference to the composition of an index. Typically, a Fund would purchase ETF shares to obtain exposure to all or a portion of the stock or bond market. An investment in an ETF generally presents the same primary risks as an investment in a conventional stock, bond or balanced mutual fund (i.e., one that is not exchange-traded) that has the same investment objective, strategies, and policies. The price of an ETF can fluctuate within a wide range, and a Fund could lose money investing in an ETF if the prices of the securities owned by the ETF go down. In addition, ETFs are subject to the following risks that do not apply to conventional mutual funds: (1) the market price of the ETF’s shares may trade at a discount or premium to their NAV; (2) an active trading market for an ETF’s shares may not develop or be maintained; or (3) trading of an ETF’s shares may be halted if the listing exchange’s officials deem such action appropriate, the shares are de-listed from the exchange, or the activation of market-wide “circuit breakers” (which are tied to large decreases in stock prices) halts stock trading generally. Most ETFs are investment companies. As with other investment companies, when a Fund invests in an ETF, it will bear certain investor expenses charged by the ETF. Generally, a Fund will treat an investment in an ETF as an investment in the type of security or index to which the ETF is attempting to provide investment exposure. For example, an investment in an ETF that attempts to provide the return of the equity securities represented in the Russell 3000® Index will be considered as an equity investment by the Fund. ETFs used for cash management purposes will not be subject to the Social Choice Equity Fund’s, Social Choice International Equity Fund’s and Social Choice Low Carbon Equity Fund’s ESG criteria, but may be subject to other ESG criteria.

Exchange-Traded Notes (“ETNs”) and Equity-Linked Notes (“ELNs”). A Fund may purchase shares of ETNs or ELNs. ETNs and ELNs are fixed-income securities with principal and/or interest payments (or other payments) linked to the performance of referenced currencies, interest rates, commodities, indices or other financial indicators (each, a “Reference”), or linked to the performance of a specified investment strategy (such as an options or currency trading program). ETNs are traded on an exchange, while ELNs are not. Often, ETNs and ELNs are structured as uncollateralized medium-term notes. Typically, a Fund would purchase ETNs or ELNs to obtain exposure to all or a portion of the financial markets or specific investment strategies. Because ETNs and ELNs are structured as fixed-income securities, they are generally subject to the risks of fixed-income securities, including (among other risks) the risk of default by the issuer of the ETN or ELN. The price of an ETN or ELN can fluctuate within a wide range, and a Fund could lose money investing in an ETN or ELN if the value of the Reference or the performance of the specified investment strategy goes down. In addition, ETNs and ELNs are subject to the following risks that do not apply to most fixed-income securities: (1) the market price of the ETNs or ELNs may trade at a discount to the market price of the Reference or the performance of the specified investment strategy; (2) an active trading market for ETNs or ELNs may not develop or be maintained; or (3) trading of ETNs may be halted if the listing exchange’s officials deem such action appropriate, the ETNs are de-listed from the exchange or the activation of market-wide “circuit breakers” (which are tied to large decreases in stock prices) halts stock trading generally.

When a Fund invests in an ETN or ELN, it will bear certain investor expenses charged by these products. While ETNs and ELNs are structured as fixed-income obligations, rather than as investment companies, they generally provide exposure to a specified market sector or index like ETFs, but are also subject to the general risks of fixed-income securities, including risk of default by their issuers.

Generally, a Fund will treat an investment in an ETN or ELN as an investment in the type of security or index to which the ETN or ELN is attempting to provide investment exposure. For example, an investment in an ELN that attempts to provide the return of the equity securities represented in the Russell 3000 Index will be considered as an equity investment by a Fund, and not a fixed-income investment.

26     Statement of Additional Information    TIAA-CREF Funds


Borrowing. Each Fund may generate cash by borrowing money from banks (no more than 331/3% of the market value of its assets at the time of borrowing), rather than through the sale of portfolio securities, when such borrowing appears more attractive for the Fund. Each Fund may also borrow money from other sources temporarily (no more than 5% of the total market value of its assets at the time of borrowing), when, for example, the Fund needs to meet liquidity requirements caused by greater than anticipated redemptions. See “Fundamental policies” above.

Currency transactions

The value of a Fund’s assets (other than the Money Market Fund) as measured in U.S. dollars may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in foreign currency exchange rates and exchange control regulations, and the Fund may incur costs in connection with conversions between various currencies. To manage the impact of such factors on NAVs, the Funds (other than the Money Market Fund) may engage in foreign currency transactions in connection with their investments in foreign securities.

The Funds will conduct their currency exchange transactions either on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the rate prevailing in the currency exchange market, or through forward contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies. A forward currency contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, at a price set at the time of the contract. These contracts are entered into with large commercial banks or other currency traders that are participants in the interbank market.

By entering into a forward contract for the purchase or sale of foreign currency involved in an underlying security transaction, a Fund is able to protect itself against possible loss between trade and settlement dates for that purchase or sale resulting from an adverse change in the relationship between the U.S. dollar and such foreign currency. This practice is sometimes referred to as “transaction hedging.” In addition, when it appears that a particular foreign currency may suffer a substantial decline against the U.S. dollar, a Fund may enter into a forward contract to sell an amount of foreign currency approximating the value of some or all of its portfolio securities denominated in such foreign currency. This practice is sometimes referred to as “portfolio hedging.” Similarly, when it appears that the U.S. dollar may suffer a substantial decline against a foreign currency, a Fund may enter into a forward contract to buy that foreign currency for a fixed dollar amount. Although such transactions tend to minimize the risk of loss due to a decline in the value of the hedged currency, they also may limit any potential gain that might result should the value of such currency increase.

The Funds (other than the Money Market Fund) may also hedge their foreign currency exchange rate risk by engaging in currency financial futures, options and “cross-hedge” transactions. In “cross-hedge” transactions, a Fund holding securities denominated in one foreign currency will enter into a forward currency contract to buy or sell a different foreign currency (one that generally tracks the currency being hedged with regard to price movements). Such cross-hedges are expected to help protect a Fund against an increase or decrease in the value of the U.S. dollar against certain foreign currencies.

The Funds (other than the Money Market Fund) may hold a portion of their respective assets in bank deposits denominated in foreign currencies, so as to facilitate investment in foreign securities as well as protect against currency fluctuations and the need to convert such assets into U.S. dollars (thereby also reducing transaction costs). Currency rates in foreign countries may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time for a number of reasons, including changes in interest rates, intervention (or the failure to intervene) by U.S. or foreign governments, central banks or supra-national entities such as the International Monetary Fund, or by the imposition of currency controls or other political developments in the United States or abroad. To the extent these monies are converted back into U.S. dollars, the value of the assets so maintained will be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in foreign currency exchange rates and exchange control regulations.

The forecasting of short-term currency market movement is extremely difficult and whether a short-term hedging strategy will be successful is highly uncertain. Moreover, it is impossible to correctly forecast with absolute precision the market value of portfolio securities at the expiration of a foreign currency forward contract. Accordingly, a Fund may be required to buy or sell additional currency on the spot market (and bear the expense of such transaction) if Advisors’ predictions regarding the movement of foreign currency or securities markets prove inaccurate. In addition, the use of cross-hedging transactions may involve special risks, and may leave a Fund in a less advantageous position than if such a hedge had not been established. Because foreign currency forward contracts are privately negotiated transactions, there can be no assurance that a Fund will have flexibility to rollover the foreign currency forward contract upon its expiration if it desires to do so. Additionally, there can be no assurance that the other party to the contract will perform its obligations thereunder.

Foreign currency transactions may also be used for non-hedging purposes and involve complex transactions with risks in addition to direct investments in securities or currencies, including leverage risk and the risks associated with derivatives in general, currencies and investments in foreign and emerging markets. Certain Funds may use foreign currency derivatives to gain or adjust exposure to currencies and securities markets or attempt to increase income or gain to a Fund. There is no guarantee that these strategies will succeed and their use may subject a Fund to greater volatility and loss. Foreign currency derivatives may sometimes increase or leverage a Fund’s exposure to a particular market risk. Successful use of foreign currency transactions by a Fund depends upon the ability of Advisors to predict correctly movements in the direction of interest and currency rates and other factors affecting markets for securities or currencies. If the expectations of Advisors are not met, a Fund may be in a worse position than if a foreign currency transaction had not been pursued.

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Real estate securities

As described more fully in its Prospectus, the Real Estate Securities Fund will invest primarily in the equity and fixed-income securities of companies that are principally engaged in or related to the real estate industry, including those that own significant real estate assets, such as real estate investment trusts (“REITs”). Certain other Funds may also invest in REITs and other real estate-related securities. An issuer is principally “engaged in” or principally “related to” the real estate industry if at least 50% of its total assets, gross income, or net profits are attributable to ownership, construction, management or sale of residential, commercial or industrial real estate, or to products or services related to the real estate industry. Issuers engaged in the real estate industry include equity REITs (which directly own real estate), mortgage REITs (which make short-term construction or real estate development loans or invest in long-term mortgages or mortgage pools), real estate brokers and developers, homebuilders, companies that manage real estate and companies that own substantial amounts of real estate. Businesses related to the real estate industry include manufacturers and distributors of building supplies and financial institutions that make or service mortgage loans.

The Real Estate Securities Fund generally invests in common stocks, but may also, without limitation, invest in preferred stock, convertible securities, rights and warrants, and debt securities of issuers that are principally engaged in or related to the real estate industry, as well as publicly traded limited partnerships that are principally engaged in or related to the real estate industry. In addition to these securities, the Real Estate Securities Fund may invest up to 20% of its total assets in equity and debt securities of issuers that are not principally engaged in or related to the real estate industry, including debt securities and convertible preferred stock and convertible debt securities rated less than Baa by Moody’s or BBB by S&P. If held by the Real Estate Securities Fund in significant amounts, such lower-rated debt securities would increase financial risk and income volatility. The Real Estate Securities Fund may make investments or engage in investment practices that involve special risks, which include convertible securities, “when-issued” securities, securities issued on a delayed-delivery basis, options on securities and securities indices, financial futures contracts and options thereon, restricted securities, illiquid investments, repurchase agreements, structured or indexed securities and lending portfolio securities.

Investments in the securities of companies that own, construct, manage or sell residential, commercial or industrial real estate will be subject to all of the risks associated with the ownership of real estate. These risks include, among others: declines in the value of real estate, negative changes in the climate for real estate, risks related to local, regional, national and global economic conditions, the availability of and economic cost associated with financing properties, overbuilding and increased competition, decreases in property revenues, increases in prevailing interest rates, property taxes and operating expenses, overconcentration of properties by geography, sector or tenant mix, changes in zoning laws, casualty or condemnation losses, limitations on rents, tenant defaults, changes in neighborhood values or the appeal of properties to tenants, fluctuation in property values due to geographically specific health issues, leveraging of interests in real estate, uninsured losses at properties due to terrorism, natural disasters or acts of violence, and costs resulting from the cleanup of environmental problems.

REIT-Related Risks. REITs will generally not be liable for federal corporate income taxes as long as they continue to distribute no less than 100% of their taxable income, and meet certain Code requirements. To maintain REIT status, a REIT must distribute at least 90% of its taxable income each year and satisfy certain asset diversification and income tests.

In addition to the risks discussed above, equity REITs may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying property of the trusts, while mortgage REITs may be affected by changes in the quality of any credit extended. Moreover, changes in consumer behavior that affect the use of commercial spaces could negatively impact the value of properties underlying certain REITs. Both equity and mortgage REITs are dependent upon management skill and may not be diversified themselves. REITs are also subject to heavy cash flow dependency, defaults by borrowers, self-liquidation, and the possibility of failing to qualify for the special tax treatment discussed above, or failing to meet other applicable regulatory requirements. The value of a REIT may be affected by changes in interest rates. In general, during periods of high interest rates, REITs may lose some of their appeal for investors who may be able to obtain higher yields from other income-producing investments, such as long-term bonds. Rising interest rates generally increase the cost of financing for real estate projects, which could cause the value of an equity REIT to decline. During periods of declining interest rates, mortgagors may elect to prepay mortgages held by mortgage REITs, which could lower or diminish the yield on the REIT. Finally, certain REITs may be self-liquidating in that a specific term of existence is provided for in their trust document. In acquiring the securities of REITs, a Fund runs the risk that it will sell them at an inopportune time.

Foreign investments

As described more fully in the Prospectuses, certain of the Funds (but especially the Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Emerging Markets Equity Fund, Emerging Markets Equity Index Fund, International Bond Fund, International Equity Fund, International Equity Index Fund, International Opportunities Fund, Quant International Small-Cap Equity Fund and Social Choice International Equity Fund) may invest in foreign securities, including those in emerging markets. In addition to the general risk factors discussed in the Prospectuses and below, there are a number of country- or region-specific risks and other considerations that

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may adversely affect these investments. Many of the risks are more pronounced for investments in emerging market countries, as described below.

General. Since foreign companies may not be subject to accounting, auditing or financial reporting practices, disclosure and other requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies, there may be less publicly available information about a foreign company than about a U.S. company, and it may be difficult to interpret the information that is available. There may be difficulties in obtaining or enforcing judgments against foreign issuers and it also is often more difficult to keep currently informed of corporate actions which affect the prices of portfolio securities. In certain countries, there is less government supervision and regulation of stock exchanges, brokers and listed companies than in the United States. Volume and liquidity in most foreign markets are less than in the United States, and securities of many foreign companies have lower overall liquidity and are more volatile than securities of comparable U.S. companies. Notwithstanding the fact that each Fund generally intends to acquire the securities of foreign issuers only where there are public trading markets, investments by a Fund in the securities of foreign issuers may tend to increase the risks with respect to the liquidity of the Fund’s portfolio and the Fund’s ability to meet a large number of shareholder redemption requests should there be economic or political turmoil in a country in which the Fund has a substantial portion of its assets invested or should relations between the United States and foreign countries deteriorate markedly. Securities may trade at price/earnings multiples higher than comparable U.S. securities and such levels may not be sustainable. Fixed commissions on some foreign securities exchanges are higher than negotiated commissions on U.S. exchanges, although the Funds endeavor to achieve the most favorable net results on their portfolio transactions.

Foreign markets have different clearance and settlement procedures, and in certain markets there have been times when settlements have been unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions, making it difficult to conduct these transactions. Settlement practices for transactions in foreign markets may differ from those in the U.S. markets. Such differences include delays beyond periods customary in the United States and practices, such as delivery of securities prior to receipt of payment, which increase the likelihood of “failed settlement.” The inability of a Fund to make intended security purchases due to settlement problems could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities. Losses to the Fund due to subsequent declines in the value of portfolio securities, or liabilities arising out of the Fund’s inability to fulfill a contract to sell these securities, could result from failed settlements. In addition, evidence of securities ownership may be uncertain in many foreign countries. As a result, there is a risk that a Fund’s trade details could be incorrectly or fraudulently entered at the time of the transaction, resulting in a loss to the Fund.

With respect to certain foreign countries, there is the possibility of expropriation or confiscatory taxation, political or social instability, or diplomatic developments that could affect the Fund’s investments in those countries. The economies of some countries differ unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of national product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency, and balance of payments position. In addition, the internal politics of some foreign countries are not as stable as in the United States. Governments in certain foreign countries continue to participate to a significant degree, through ownership interest or regulation, in their respective economies. Action by these governments could have a significant effect on market prices of securities and payment of dividends. The economies of many foreign countries are heavily dependent upon international trade and are accordingly affected by protective trade barriers and economic conditions of their trading partners. The enactment by these trading partners of protectionist trade legislation could have a significant adverse effect upon the securities markets of such countries.

Terrorism and related geopolitical risks have led, and may in the future lead, to increased short-term market volatility and may have adverse long-term effects on world economies and markets generally.

Investment and Repatriation Restrictions. Foreign investment in the securities markets of certain foreign countries is restricted or controlled to varying degrees. These restrictions limit and, at times, preclude investment in certain of such countries (especially emerging market countries) and increase the cost and expenses of Funds investing in them. These restrictions may take the form of prior governmental approval, limits on the amount or type of securities held by foreigners, and limits on the types of companies in which foreigners may invest. Additional or different restrictions may be imposed at any time by these or other countries in which the Funds invest. In addition, the repatriation (i.e., remitting back to the United States) of both investment income and capital from several foreign countries is restricted and controlled under certain regulations, including in some cases the need for certain government consents. The Funds could be adversely affected by delays in or a refusal to grant any required governmental registration or approval for repatriation.

Taxes. The dividends and interest payable on certain of the Funds’ foreign portfolio securities may be subject to foreign withholding and, in some cases, other taxes, thus reducing the net amount of income available for distribution to the Funds’ shareholders.

Emerging Market Securities. An “emerging market security” is a security that is principally traded on a securities exchange of an emerging market or that is issued by an issuer that is located or has primary operations in an emerging market. Note that the Emerging Markets Equity Fund, Emerging Markets Equity Index Fund and Emerging Markets Debt Fund primarily invest in emerging market securities, but other Funds may invest in emerging market securities as well.

Emerging Markets. Investments in companies domiciled in emerging market countries may be subject to potentially higher risks than investments in companies in developed countries. The term “emerging market” describes any country or market that

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is generally considered to be emerging or developing by major organizations in the international financial community, such as the International Finance Corporation, or by financial industry analysts like MSCI, Inc., which compiles the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which compiles several fixed-income emerging markets benchmarks; or other countries or markets with similar emerging characteristics. Emerging markets can include every nation in the world except the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and most nations located in Western Europe. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the fixed-income portfolio management team generally views Israel as an emerging market.

Risks of investing in emerging markets and emerging market securities include: (i) less social, political and economic stability; (ii) the smaller size of the markets for these securities and the currently low or nonexistent volume of trading that results in a lack of liquidity and in greater price volatility; (iii) the lack of publicly available information, including reports of payments of dividends or interest on outstanding securities, and less stringent regulation of accounting, auditing, financial reporting and recordkeeping requirements, which could affect a Fund’s ability to evaluate potential portfolio companies; (iv) certain national policies that may restrict a Fund’s investment opportunities, including restrictions on investment in issuers or industries deemed sensitive to national interests; (v) local taxation; (vi) the absence of developed structures governing private or foreign investment or allowing for judicial redress for injury to private property; (vii) the absence until recently, in certain countries, of a capital structure or market-oriented economy; (viii) the possibility that recent favorable economic developments in certain countries may be slowed or reversed by unanticipated political or social events in these countries; (ix) restrictions that may make it difficult or impossible for the Fund to vote proxies, exercise shareholder rights, pursue legal remedies, and obtain judgments in foreign courts; (x) the risk of uninsured loss due to lost, stolen, or counterfeit stock certificates; (xi) possible losses through the holding of securities in domestic and foreign custodial banks and depositories; (xii) heightened opportunities for governmental corruption; (xiii) large amounts of foreign debt to finance basic governmental duties that could lead to restructuring or default; (xiv) limited legal remedies for investors in emerging markets (including derivative litigation) and a limited ability of U.S. authorities (e.g., SEC and U.S. Department of Justice) to bring actions against bad actors; and (xv) heavy reliance on exports that may be severely affected by global economic downturns.

In addition, some countries in which the Funds may invest have experienced substantial, and in some periods, extremely high rates of inflation for many years. Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates have had and may continue to have negative effects on the economies and securities markets of certain countries. Further, the economies of emerging market countries generally are heavily dependent upon international trade and, accordingly, have been and may continue to be adversely affected by trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which they trade.

The risks outlined above are often more pronounced in “frontier markets” in which a Fund may invest. Frontier markets are those emerging markets that are considered to be among the smallest, least mature and least liquid, and as a result, the risks of investing in emerging markets are magnified in frontier markets. This magnification of risks is the result of a number of factors, including: government ownership or control of parts of the private sector and of certain companies; trade barriers; exchange controls; managed adjustments in relative currency values and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which frontier market countries trade; less uniformity in accounting and reporting requirements; unreliable securities valuation; greater risk associated with custody of securities; and the relatively new and unsettled securities laws in many frontier market countries. In addition, the markets of frontier countries typically have low trading volumes, leading to a greater potential for extreme price volatility and illiquidity. This volatility may be further increased by the actions of a few large investors. For example, a substantial increase or decrease in cash flows of mutual funds investing in these markets could significantly affect local securities prices and, therefore, the NAV of a Fund. All of these factors may make investing in frontier market countries significantly riskier than investing in other countries, including more developed and traditional emerging market countries, and any one of them could cause the NAV of a Fund’s shares to decline.

Investment in Canada. The United States is Canada’s largest trading partner and foreign investor, and developments in economic policy do have a significant impact on the Canadian economy. The expanding economic and financial integration of the United States, Canada, and Mexico through the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”) (which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”) effective July 1, 2020) has made, and will likely continue to make, the Canadian economy and securities market more sensitive to North American trade patterns. Growth in developing nations overseas will likely change the composition of Canada’s trade and foreign investment composition in the near future. The Canadian economy suffered from a recession due to the 20082009 worldwide economic downturn. The Canadian economy has shown signs of recovery from this recession, but there can be no assurance that such recovery will be sustained. The relative strength of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar from time to time may negatively affect Canada’s exporting industries. Decreasing imports from Asian and European Union (“EU”) producers, new or changing trade regulations, changes in exchange rates or a recession of the Chinese or EU economies may have an adverse impact on the economy of Canada.

Canada’s parliamentary system of government is, in general, stable. However, one of the provinces, Quebec, does have a separatist party whose objective is to achieve sovereignty and increased self-governing legal and financial powers. In addition, the Canadian market is relatively concentrated in issuers involved in the production and distribution of natural resources such as forest products, metals, agricultural products, and energy related products like oil, gas, and hydroelectricity. Accordingly,

30     Statement of Additional Information    TIAA-CREF Funds


changes in the supply and demand of such commodity resources, both domestically and internationally, can have a significant effect on Canadian market performance.

Investment in Europe. The EU is an intergovernmental and supra-national union of certain European countries, known as member states. A key activity of the EU is the establishment and administration of a common single market, consisting of, among other things, a single currency and a common trade policy. The most widely used currency in the EU (and the unit of currency of the European Economic and Monetary Union (“EMU”)) is the euro, which is in use in many of the member states. In addition to adopting a single currency, EMU member states generally no longer control their own monetary policies. Instead, the authority to direct monetary policy is exercised by the European Central Bank and, as a result, EMU member states are significantly affected by fiscal and monetary policies implemented by the EMU and European Central Bank.

While economic and monetary convergence in the EU may offer new opportunities for those investing in the region, investors should be aware that the success of the EU is not wholly assured. Europe must grapple with a number of challenges, any one of which could threaten the survival of this monumental undertaking. Many disparate economies continue to adjust to a unified monetary system, the absence of exchange rate flexibility, and the loss of economic sovereignty. Europe’s economies are diverse, its governments are decentralized, and its cultures differ widely. As member states unify their economic and monetary policies, movements in European markets will lose the benefit of diversification within the region. High unemployment could pose political risk. One or more member states might exit the union, placing the currency and banking system in jeopardy. Major issues currently facing the EU relate to its membership, structure, procedures and policies; they include the adoption, abandonment or adjustment of the constitutional treaty, the EU’s enlargement to the south and east, and resolving the EU’s problematic fiscal and democratic accountability. Any or all of these challenges may affect the value of a Fund’s investments economically tied to the EU.

The EU has been extending its influence to the south and east. For former Iron Curtain member states, membership serves as a strong political impetus to employ tight fiscal and monetary policies. Nevertheless, several entrants in recent years are former Soviet satellites that remain burdened to various extents by the inherited inefficiencies of centrally planned economies similar to that which existed under the old Soviet Union.

In addition, certain member states in the EU have had to accept assistance from supra-governmental agencies such as the International Monetary Fund and the European Financial Stability Facility. The European Central Bank has also intervened to purchase eurozone debt in order to seek to stabilize markets and reduce borrowing costs. Responses to these financial problems by European governments, central banks and others, including austerity measures and reforms, may not work, may result in social unrest, and may limit future growth and economic recovery or have other unintended consequences. Further defaults or restructurings by governments and others of their debt could have additional adverse effects on economies, financial markets and asset valuations around the world.

The EU has the largest economy in the world according to data compiled by the International Monetary Fund, and is expected to grow further over the next decade as more countries join. However, the EU’s economic growth has been below that of the United States most years since 1990, and the economic performance of certain of its key members is a matter of serious concern to policy makers. Although economic conditions vary among EU member states, there is continued concern about national level support for the euro and the accompanying coordination of fiscal and wage policy of EU member states.

In addition, many EU members suffered severe economic declines during and after the 2008–2009 worldwide economic downturn. These declines led to fiscal crises for the governments of certain members including Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. Some EU member states required external assistance to meet their obligations, and all of these member states run the risk of default on their debt, possible bailout by the rest of the EU or debt restructuring, which may require creditors to bear losses. These events adversely affected the exchange rate of the euro and may continue to significantly affect every country in Europe, including countries that do not use the euro. Certain of the larger European economies have shown limited signs of recovery from the 2008–2009 worldwide economic downturn; however, significant risks still threaten the potential recovery, such as high official debts and deficits, aging populations, over-regulation of non-financial businesses and doubts about the sustainability of the EMU. These countries will need to make certain economic and political decisions in order to restore sustainable economic growth and fiscal policy. While many initiatives have been instituted to strengthen regulation and supervision of financial markets in the EU, greater regulation is expected in the future.

Further, it is possible that the euro could be abandoned in the future by EU member states that have already adopted its use, and the effects of such an abandonment or a member state’s forced expulsion from the euro on that member state, on the EMU, and on global markets are impossible to predict and could be negative. The exit of any member state out of the euro would likely have a significant destabilizing effect on all eurozone countries and their economies and a negative effect on the global economy as a whole. In addition, under these circumstances, it may be difficult to value investments denominated in euros or in a replacement currency.

In a June 2016 referendum, citizens of the UK voted to leave the EU. On January 31, 2020, the UK withdrew from the EU. Negotiators representing the UK and EU came to a trade agreement on December 24, 2020. The agreement leaves many aspects of the UK-EU trade relationship subject to further negotiation. Notwithstanding this agreement, there is likely to be considerable uncertainty as to the UK’s post-transition framework, and the framework will likely continue to develop as the UK

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continues to negotiate different aspects of the trading arrangement. It is not possible to anticipate the longer term impact to the economic, legal, political, regulatory and social framework that will result from any agreements between the UK and the EU. In addition, such agreements may lead to ongoing political, regulatory and economic uncertainty and periods of exacerbated volatility in both the UK and in wider European markets for some time.

The impact of the UK’s withdrawal on the UK and European economies and the broader global economy could be significant, resulting in negative impacts, such as increased volatility and illiquidity, potentially lower economic growth and decreased asset valuations. The UK’s withdrawal from the EU may have a destabilizing impact on the EU to the extent other member states similarly seek to withdraw from the union and may cause additional market disruption globally and introduce new legal and regulatory uncertainties. It may also have a negative impact on the economy and currency of the UK as a result of anticipated, perceived or actual changes to the UK’s economic and political relations with the EU. The UK’s withdrawal could result in lower growth for companies in the UK, EU and globally, which could have an adverse effect on the value of a Fund’s investments. A Fund may make investments in the UK (during the transition period and afterwards), other EU members and in non-EU countries that are directly or indirectly affected by the exit of the UK from the EU. Any or all of these challenges may affect the value of a Fund’s investments economically tied to the UK or EU and may have an adverse effect on the Fund’s performance. Additionally, the willingness or ability of financial and other counterparties to enter into transactions may be affected by the UK’s withdrawal.

Investment in Eastern Europe. Investing in the securities of Eastern European issuers involves risks not usually associated with investing in the more developed markets of Western Europe. Changes occurring in Eastern Europe today could have long-term potential consequences. These changes could result in rising standards of living, lower manufacturing costs, growing consumer spending and substantial economic growth.

Recent political and economic reforms do not eliminate the possibility of a return to centrally planned economies and state-owned industries. Investments in Eastern European countries may involve risks of nationalization, expropriation and confiscatory taxation. In many of the countries of Eastern Europe, there is no stock exchange or formal market for securities. Such countries may also have government exchange controls, currencies with no recognizable market value relative to the established currencies of Western market economies, little or no experience in trading in securities, no accounting or financial reporting standards, a lack of a banking and securities infrastructure to handle such trading and a legal tradition which does not recognize rights in private property.

Eastern European markets are particularly sensitive to social, political, economic, and currency events in Russia and may suffer heavy losses as a result of their trading and investment links to the Russian economy and currency. Russia also may attempt to assert its influence in the region through economic or even military measures, as it did with Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine beginning in 2014. As a result of recent events involving Ukraine and Russia, the United States and other countries have imposed economic sanctions on certain Russian individuals and financial institutions. Eastern European markets will be significantly affected by the fiscal and monetary controls of the EMU. Changes in regulations on trade, decreasing imports or exports, changes in the exchange rate of the euro and recessions among European countries may have a significant adverse effect on the economies of other European countries including those of Eastern Europe.

Investment in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabian government exerts substantial influence over many aspects of the private sector. While the political situation in Saudi Arabia is generally stable, future political instability or instability in the larger Middle East region could adversely impact the economy of Saudi Arabia, particularly with respect to foreign investments. Certain issuers located in Saudi Arabia may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions and/or embargoes imposed by the U.S. Government and the United Nations and/or countries identified by the U.S. Government as state sponsors of terrorism. Investments in Saudi Arabia are also subject to the risk of expropriation or nationalization of assets or the risk of restrictions on foreign investments and repatriation of capital.

Saudi Arabian issuers may be impacted by the significant ties in the Saudi Arabian economy to petroleum exports. As a result, changes within the petroleum industry could have a significant impact on the overall health of the Saudi Arabian economy. Additionally, the Saudi Arabian economy relies heavily on foreign labor and changes in the availability of this labor supply could have an adverse effect on the economy.

The ability of foreign investors to invest in Saudi Arabian issuers is relatively new and untested, and such ability may be revoked or restricted by the government of Saudi Arabia in the future, which may materially affect a Fund. A Fund may be unable to obtain or maintain the required licenses, which would affect the Fund’s ability to buy and sell securities at full value. Additionally, a Fund’s ownership of any single issuer listed on the Saudi Arabian Stock Exchange may be limited by the Saudi Arabia Capital Market Authority (“CMA”). The securities markets in Saudi Arabia may not be as developed as those in other countries. As a result, securities markets in Saudi Arabia are subject to greater risks associated with market volatility, lower market capitalization, lower trading volume, illiquidity, inflation, greater price fluctuations, uncertainty regarding the existence of trading markets, governmental control and heavy regulation of labor and industry. Major disruptions or regulatory changes may occur in the Saudi Arabian market, which could negatively impact a Fund.

A Fund’s ability to invest in Saudi Arabian securities depends on the ability of Advisors and/or the Fund to maintain its respective status as a Foreign Portfolio Manager and/or a Qualified Foreign Investor (“QFI”), as applicable, with the CMA and, if

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applicable, a Fund as a client of a QFI who has been approved by the CMA (“QFI Client”). QFI regulations and local market infrastructure are relatively new and have not been tested and the CMA may discontinue the QFI regime at any time. Any change in the QFI system generally, including the possibility of Advisors or a Fund losing its Foreign Portfolio Manager, QFI and/or QFI Client status, as applicable, may adversely affect the Fund.

Investment in Russia. Russia has experienced political, social and economic turbulence as a result of decades of Communist rule. In addition, there is a heightened risk of political corruption and weak and variable government oversight. To date, many of the country’s economic reform initiatives have not yet been implemented or successful. In this environment, there is always the risk that the nation’s government will abandon the current program of economic reform and replace it with drastically different political and economic policies that would be detrimental to the interests of foreign investors.

Along with the general risks of investing in emerging markets, investing in the Russian market is subject to significant risks due to the less developed state of Russia’s banking system and its settlement, clearing and securities registration processes as compared to more developed markets. With the implementation of the National Settlement Depository in Russia (“NSD”) as a recognized central securities depository, title to Russian equities is now based on the records of the NSD and not the local registrars. The implementation of the NSD is generally expected to decrease the risk of loss in connection with recording and transferring title to securities; however, loss may still occur. To the extent that a Fund suffers a loss relating to title or corporate actions relating to its portfolio securities, it may be difficult for the Fund to enforce its rights or otherwise remedy the loss.

There is little long-term historical data on the Russian securities market because it is relatively new, and a substantial proportion of securities transactions in Russia are privately negotiated outside of stock exchanges. The inexperience of the Russian securities market and the limited volume of trading in securities in the market may make obtaining accurate prices on portfolio securities from independent sources more difficult than in more developed markets. Additionally, because of less stringent auditing and financial reporting standards that apply to companies operating in Russia, there is little solid corporate information available to investors. As a result, it may be difficult to assess the value or prospects of an investment in Russian companies.

The United States and the regulatory bodies of certain other countries, as well as the EU, imposed economic sanctions, which can consist of prohibiting certain securities trades, certain private transactions in the energy sector, asset freezes and prohibition of all business, against certain Russian individuals and Russian corporate entities. The United States enacted a law that codified and expanded existing sanctions against Russia and also authorized new sanctions. The EU could also broaden, strengthen and/or otherwise change existing sanctions. These sanctions, or even the threat of further sanctions, could impair a Fund’s ability to invest in securities it views as attractive investment opportunities or to sell securities or other financial instruments as needed to meet shareholder redemptions. Such sanctions may result in the decline of the value and liquidity profile of Russian securities, a weakening of the ruble or other adverse consequences to the Russian economy. These sanctions could also result in the immediate freeze of Russian securities, or impair the market for depositary receipts tied to such securities. Sanctions could also result in Russia taking countermeasures or retaliatory actions which may further impair the value and liquidity of Russian securities or depositary receipts tied to Russian securities.

Investment in Latin America. The history of certain Latin American countries has been characterized by political, economic and social instability, intervention by the military in civilian and economic spheres, and political corruption. For investors, this has meant additional risk caused by periods of regional conflict, political corruption, totalitarianism, protectionist measures, nationalizations, hyperinflation, debt crises, sudden and large currency devaluation, and military intervention. However, there have been changes in this regard, particularly in the past decade. Democracy is becoming well established in some countries. A move to a more mature and accountable political environment is well under way. Domestic economies have been deregulated, privatization of state-owned companies has progressed, and foreign trade restrictions have been relaxed. Nonetheless, to the extent that events such as those listed above that increase the risk of investment in this region continue in the future, they could reverse favorable trends toward market and economic reform, privatization, and removal of trade barriers, and result in significant disruption in securities markets.

Economies of most Latin American countries are highly dependent on commodity exports and, for certain countries, oil exports. Fluctuations in commodity and oil prices and currency rates can therefore have a pronounced effect on Latin American countries’ economies. The 20082009 worldwide economic downturn and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic weakened demand for commodities and oil, which has led to recession or economic difficulties in these countries. Certain Latin American countries recently have shown signs of recovery and have entered into regional trade agreements.

For example, NAFTA has facilitated economic and financial integration among the United States, Canada and Mexico. However, uncertainty regarding the recently ratified USMCA (which replaced NAFTA effective July 1, 2020) may have a significant and adverse impact on Mexico’s outlook and the value of a Fund’s investments in securities economically tied to Mexico. More broadly, the prices of oil and other commodities are in the midst of a period of high volatility driven, in part, by a continued slowdown in growth in China. If growth in China remains slow, or if global economic conditions worsen, Latin American countries may face significant economic difficulties. Thus, there can be no assurance that any recent growth will be sustained and that Latin American countries will not face further recessionary pressures.

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Most Latin American countries have experienced, at one time or another, and including for some, recently, severe and persistent levels of inflation, including in some cases, hyperinflation. This has, in turn, led to high interest rates, extreme measures by governments to keep inflation in check, and a generally debilitating effect on economic growth. For example, recent political instability in Venezuela has resulted in social unrest and a massive disruption in the Venezuelan economy, including a deep recession and near hyperinflation. Although inflation in many countries has lessened, there is no guarantee it will remain at lower levels.

Certain Latin American countries may experience sudden and large adjustments in their currency which, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors. Certain Latin American countries may impose restrictions on the free conversion of their currency into foreign currencies, including the U.S. dollar. There is no significant foreign exchange market for many currencies and it would, as a result, be difficult for the Funds to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of the Funds’ interests in securities denominated in such currencies.

Almost all of the region’s economies have become highly dependent upon foreign credit and loans from external sources to fuel their state-sponsored economic plans. Government plans for modernization have exhausted these resources with little benefit accruing to the economy and most countries have been forced to restructure their loans or risk default on their debt obligations. In addition, interest on the debt is subject to market conditions and may reach levels that would impair economic activity and create a difficult and costly environment for borrowers. Accordingly, these governments may be forced to reschedule or freeze their debt repayment, which could negatively affect the market for Latin American securities. Latin American economies that depend on foreign credit and loans may also face significant economic difficulties if the U.S. Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates, which could potentially jeopardize various countries’ ability to service debt obligations or to service such obligations in a timely manner. The ongoing effects of the European debt crisis, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and persistent low growth in the global economy may reduce demand for exports from Latin America and limit the availability of foreign credit for some countries in the region.

Investment in Japan. Government-industry cooperation, a strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, emphasis on education, and a comparatively small defense allocation helped Japan advance with extraordinary speed to become one of the largest economic powers along with the United States and the EU. Despite its impressive history, investors face special risks when investing in Japan.

The growth of Japan’s economy has recently lagged that of its Asian neighbors and other major developed countries. Since the early 2000s, Japan’s economic growth rate has remained low relative to other advanced economies and may remain low in the future. The Japanese economy is heavily reliant on international trade and has been adversely affected in the past by trade tariffs, other protectionist measures, competition from emerging economies, and the economic conditions of its trading partners. In addition, China has become an important trading partner with Japan. Japan’s political relationship with China, however, is strained and delicate. Should political tension increase, it could adversely affect the Japanese economy and destabilize the region as a whole. Japan is also heavily dependent on oil and other commodity imports, and higher commodity prices could therefore have a negative impact on the Japanese economy. Although Japan has recently worked to reduce its dependence on oil by encouraging energy conservation and the use of alternative fuels, there is no guarantee that this trend will continue. The yen has had a history of unpredictable and volatile movements against the U.S. dollar; a weakening yen hurts U.S. investors holding yen-denominated securities. The Japanese stock market has also experienced wild swings in value over time and has often been considered significantly overvalued.

Beginning in the late 1990s, the nation’s financial institutions were successfully overhauled under the strong leadership of the government. The successful financial sector reform coincided with a Japanese economic recovery, which had set the stage for a comparatively brighter outlook for Japanese companies. However, Japan has an aging workforce and has experienced a significant population decline in recent years. Japan’s labor market appears to be undergoing fundamental structural changes, as a labor market traditionally accustomed to lifetime employment adjusts to meet the need for increased labor mobility, which may affect Japan’s economic competitiveness.

Japan is susceptible to natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, and a Fund’s investment in Japan may be more likely to be affected by such events than its investments in other geographic regions.

Investment in Asia Other Than Japan. The political history of some Asian countries has been characterized by political uncertainty, intervention by the military in civilian and economic spheres, regional conflicts and government corruption. Such developments, if they continue to occur, could reverse favorable trends toward market and economic reform, privatization, and removal of trade barriers and result in significant disruption in securities markets. The economies of many countries in the region are heavily dependent on international trade and are accordingly affected by protective trade barriers and the economic conditions of their trading partners, principally, the United States, Japan, China and the EU. The 20082009 worldwide economic downturn spread to the region, significantly lowering its exports and inflows of foreign investment, which are driving forces of its economic growth. In addition, the 20082009 worldwide economic downturn also significantly affected consumer confidence and local stock markets. The economies of many countries in the region have recently shown signs of recovery from the crisis, but there can be no assurance that such recovery will be sustained.

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Unlike in the United States, the currencies of certain Asian countries are not determined by the market but are instead managed at artificial levels to the U.S. dollar. This type of system can lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency which, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors. Certain Asian countries also may restrict the free conversion of their currency into foreign currencies, including the U.S. dollar. There is no significant foreign exchange market for certain currencies and it would, as a result, be difficult for the Funds to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of the Funds’ interests in securities denominated in such currencies.

Asian countries have historically been prone to natural disasters, such as droughts, floods and tsunamis, and the region’s economies may be affected by such environmental events in the future. Given the particular vulnerability of the region to the effects of climate change, disruptions in international efforts to address climate-related issues may have a disproportionate impact on a Fund’s investments in the region. A Fund’s investment in or exposure to Asian countries is, therefore, subject to the risk of such events.

By investing in securities or instruments that are economically tied to the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan for the purpose of this disclosure or other developing market Asian countries, a Fund is subject to certain risks in addition to those generally applicable to investment in foreign and emerging markets. In many Asian securities markets, including but not limited to the PRC qualified foreign institutional investors program (“FII” program, including the qualified foreign institutional investor (“QFII”) program based on recent PRC regulatory developments), there is a high concentration of market capitalization and trading volume in a small number of issuers representing a limited number of industries, as well as a high concentration of investors and financial intermediaries. Many of these markets also may be affected by developments with respect to more established markets in the region. Brokers in developing market Asian countries typically are fewer in number and less well capitalized than brokers in the United States. A number of Asian companies are also highly dependent on foreign loans for their operation, which could impose strict repayment term schedules and require significant economic and financial restructuring. In addition, there is a lack of clarity in the laws and regulations in certain Asian countries compared to more developed international markets, and there could potentially be a lack of consistency in interpreting and applying the relevant regulations. These factors may severely restrict a Fund’s ability to pursue its investment objective or strategies, may result in fewer investment opportunities for a Fund and may have an adverse impact on the investment performance of a Fund.

Although the PRC has experienced a relatively stable political environment in recent years, there is no guarantee that such stability will be maintained in the future. Including those risks associated with investing in emerging markets, a Fund’s investment in or exposure to the PRC is also subject to risks associated with, among other things, (a) inefficiencies resulting from erratic growth; (b) the relatively small size and absence of operating history of many Chinese companies; (c) the potential for extensive government intervention in the economy as a whole or with respect to specific issuers; (d) uncertainty and potential changes with respect to the rules and regulations of market access programs through which investments in the PRC are made; and (e) uncertainty with respect to the government’s commitment to continue with its economic reforms. In addition, the relationship between the PRC and Taiwan is particularly sensitive, and hostilities between the PRC and Taiwan may present a risk to a Fund’s investment in either the PRC or Taiwan. Moreover, as demonstrated by recent protests in Hong Kong over political, economic, and legal freedoms, and the PRC government’s response to them, political uncertainty exists within Hong Kong and there is no guarantee that additional protests will not arise in the future. Hostilities between the PRC and Hong Kong may present a risk to a Fund’s investment in the PRC or Hong Kong.

There also exists control on foreign investment in the PRC and limitations on repatriation of invested capital. Under the FII program, which is a market access program through which PRC investments are made available, there are certain regulatory restrictions imposed, particularly on (without limitation) investment scope, repatriation of funds, foreign shareholding limit and account structure. Although the relevant regulations have recently been revised to relax regulatory restrictions on the onshore capital management by FIIs (including removing the investment quota limit and simplifying routine repatriation of investment proceeds), it is a new development and is therefore subject to uncertainties as to whether and how it will be implemented in practice, especially at this early stage. As a result of PRC regulatory requirements, a Fund may be limited in its ability to invest in securities or instruments tied to the PRC and/or may be required to liquidate its holdings in securities or instruments tied to the PRC, including at an inopportune time. Under certain instances, such involuntary liquidations may result in losses for a Fund. In addition, securities exchanges in the PRC typically have the right to suspend or limit trading in any security traded on the relevant exchange. The PRC government or relevant PRC regulators may also implement policies that may adversely affect the PRC financial markets. Such suspensions, limitations or policies may have a negative impact on the performance of a Fund’s investments.

The PRC has historically been prone to natural or human disasters such as droughts, floods, pandemics, epidemics, earthquakes and tsunamis, and the region’s economy may be affected by such environmental events in the future. A Fund’s investment in the PRC is, therefore, subject to the risk of such events.

In addition, because the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board is generally restricted from inspecting the audit work and practices of registered accountants in the PRC, there is the risk that material accounting and financial information about PRC issuers may be unavailable or unreliable.

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China A-Shares and China Stock Connect Risk. The following risks are in addition to the risks described under “Investment in Asia Other Than Japan” and “Emerging Markets.” Certain Funds may invest in eligible renminbi-denominated shares of mainland China-based companies that trade on Chinese stock markets such as the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (referred to as “China A-Shares”) through the Shanghai and Shenzhen–Hong Kong Stock Connect programs (“Stock Connect”). Stock Connect allows non-Chinese investors (such as the Funds) to purchase certain PRC-listed equities via brokers in Hong Kong. There are significant risks and limitations inherent in investing in China A-Shares through Stock Connect. For example, a Fund’s investment in China A-Shares may only be traded through Stock Connect and is not otherwise transferable. Further, the list of eligible China A-Shares may change from time to time. When a China A-Shares issue is recalled from the scope of securities eligible for trading through Stock Connect, a Fund invested in such China A-Shares issue traded through Stock Connect may only sell, not buy, the China A-Shares issue, which may adversely affect the Fund’s investment strategy.

Stock Connect is not subject to individual investment quotas but market-wide daily and aggregate investment quotas apply to all Stock Connect participants. Once a daily quota limit is reached, orders to purchase additional China A-Shares of such issuance through Stock Connect will be rejected. Such quotas, which are subject to change from time to time, may restrict or preclude a Fund from investing in China A-Shares on a timely basis, which could affect the Fund’s ability to effectively pursue its investment strategy. Further, an investor cannot purchase and sell the same security on the same trading day, which may restrict a Fund’s ability to invest in China A-Shares through Stock Connect and to enter into or exit trades where it is advantageous to do so on the same trading day. In addition, because Stock Connect trades are routed through Hong Kong brokers and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Stock Connect is affected by trading holidays in either the PRC or Hong Kong, and there are trading days in the PRC when Stock Connect investors will not be able to trade. As a result, prices of Stock Connect may fluctuate at times when a Fund is unable to add to or exit its position, which could adversely affect the Fund’s investment performance. Both the PRC and Hong Kong regulators are permitted, independently of each other, to suspend Stock Connect (or to permit such issues to suspend trading) in response to certain market conditions. Stock Connect trades are settled in renminbi (“RMB”) and investors must have timely access to a reliable supply of RMB in Hong Kong, which cannot be guaranteed.

Stock Connect regulations provide that investors enjoy the rights and benefits of Shanghai Stock Exchange equities purchased through Stock Connect, but the nominee structure under Stock Connect requires that China A-Shares be held through the Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company (“HKSCC”), as nominee for investors. A Fund’s ownership of China A-Shares will be reflected on the custodian’s records but the Fund itself will have only beneficial rights in such China A-Shares, and the mechanisms that beneficial owners may use to enforce their rights are untested. For instance, courts in China have limited experience in applying the concept of beneficial ownership and the law surrounding beneficial ownership will continue to evolve. A Fund may not be able to participate in corporate actions affecting Stock Connect securities due to time constraints or for other operational reasons. Similarly, a Fund will not be able to vote in shareholders’ meetings except through HKSCC and will not be able to attend shareholders’ meetings. Taken together with Stock Connect’s omnibus clearing structure, this structure may limit Advisors’ ability to effectively manage a Fund and may expose the Fund to the credit risk of its custodian or to greater risk of expropriation. While certain aspects of the Stock Connect trading process are subject to Hong Kong law, PRC rules applicable to share ownership will apply.

Additionally, China generally has less established legal, accounting and financial reporting systems than those in more developed markets, which may reduce the scope or quality of financial information relating to Chinese issuers. China A-Shares traded via Stock Connect are subject to risks associated with the legal and technical framework of Stock Connect. The trading, settlement and information technology (“IT”) systems required to operate Stock Connect are relatively new and are continuing to evolve. If relevant Stock Connect systems fail to function properly, trading in China A-Shares on Stock Connect could be disrupted. Further, in the event of high trading volume or unexpected market conditions, Stock Connect may be available on a limited basis.

China Bond Connect Risk. There are risks associated with a Fund’s investment in Chinese government bonds and other PRC-based debt instruments traded on the China Interbank Bond Market (“CIBM”) through the Bond Connect program. Bond Connect refers to the arrangement between Hong Kong and the PRC that enables Hong Kong and overseas investors to trade various types of debt securities in each other’s bond markets through connection between the relevant respective financial infrastructure institutions. Such trading is subject to a number of restrictions that may affect a Fund’s investments and returns. For example, investments made through Bond Connect are subject to order, clearance and settlement procedures that are relatively untested in the PRC, which could pose risks to a Fund. Furthermore, securities purchased through Bond Connect will be held on behalf of ultimate investors (such as a Fund) via a book entry omnibus account in the name of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Central Money Markets Unit maintained with either the China Central Depository & Clearing Co. (“CCDC”) or the Shanghai Clearing House (“SCH”), each a PRC-based custodian. A Fund’s ownership interest in Bond Connect securities will not be reflected directly in book entry with CCDC or SCH and will instead only be reflected on the books of its Hong Kong sub-custodian. This recordkeeping system also subjects a Fund to various risks, such as the risks of settlement delays and counterparty default of the Hong Kong sub-custodian, or the risk that the Fund may have a limited ability to enforce rights as a

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bondholder. While the ultimate investors hold a beneficial interest in Bond Connect securities, the mechanisms that beneficial owners may use to enforce their rights are untested and courts in the PRC have limited experience in applying the concept of beneficial ownership. As such, a Fund may not be able to participate in corporate actions affecting its rights as a bondholder, such as timely payment of distributions, due to time constraints or for other operational reasons. Bond Connect trades are settled in RMB and investors must have timely access to a reliable supply of RMB in Hong Kong, which cannot be guaranteed. Furthermore, securities purchased through Bond Connect generally may not be sold, purchased or otherwise transferred other than through Bond Connect in accordance with applicable rules.

A primary feature of Bond Connect is the application of the home market’s laws and rules applicable to investors in Chinese fixed-income instruments. Therefore, a Fund’s investments in securities through Bond Connect are generally subject to Chinese securities regulations and listing rules, among other restrictions. Such securities may lose their eligibility at any time, in which case they could be sold but could no longer be purchased through Bond Connect. A Fund will not benefit from access to Hong Kong investor compensation funds, which are designed to protect against defaults of trades, when investing through Bond Connect. Bond Connect is only available on days when markets in both the PRC and Hong Kong are open. As a result, prices of securities purchased through Bond Connect may fluctuate at times when a Fund is unable to add to or exit its position and, therefore, may limit the Fund’s ability to trade when it would be otherwise attractive to do so.

The Bond Connect program is relatively new and may be subject to further interpretation, guidance and regulatory change. The trading, settlement and IT systems required for non-Chinese investors in Bond Connect are also relatively new and are continuing to evolve. In the event that the relevant systems do not function properly, trading through Bond Connect could be disrupted. A Fund’s ability to trade through Bond Connect (and hence to pursue its investment strategy) may therefore be adversely affected. There can be no assurance that further regulations will not affect the availability of securities in the program, the frequency of redemptions or other limitations. In addition, the application and interpretation of the laws and regulations of Hong Kong and the PRC, and the rules, policies or guidelines published or applied by relevant regulators and exchanges in respect of the Bond Connect program are uncertain, and they may have an adverse effect on a Fund’s performance.

Potential lack of liquidity due to low trading volume of certain Fund investments in securities through Bond Connect may result in prices of certain fixed-income securities traded on such market fluctuating significantly, which may expose a Fund to liquidity risks. The bid and offer spreads of the prices of securities through Bond Connect may be large, and the Funds may therefore incur significant trading and realization costs and may even suffer losses when disposing of such investments.

Depositary Receipts. The Equity Funds and the Real Estate Securities Fund can invest in American, European and Global Depositary Receipts (“ADRs,” “EDRs” and “GDRs,” respectively). They are alternatives to the purchase of the underlying securities in their national markets and currencies. Although their prices are quoted in U.S. dollars, they do not eliminate all the risks of foreign investing.

ADRs represent the right to receive securities of foreign issuers deposited in a domestic bank or a foreign correspondent bank. To the extent that a Fund acquires ADRs through banks which do not have a contractual relationship with the foreign issuer of the security underlying the ADR to issue and service such ADRs, there may be an increased possibility that the Fund would not become aware of, and be able to respond to, corporate actions such as stock splits or rights offerings involving the foreign issuer in a timely manner. In addition, the lack of information may result in inefficiencies in the valuation of such instruments. However, by investing in ADRs rather than directly in the stock of foreign issuers, a Fund will avoid currency risks during the settlement period for either purchases or sales. In general, there is a large, liquid market in the United States for ADRs quoted on a national securities exchange or the national market system, including the NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc. (“NASDAQ”). The information available for ADRs is subject to the accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards of the domestic market or exchange on which they are traded, which standards are more uniform and more exacting than those to which many foreign issuers may be subject.

EDRs and GDRs are receipts evidencing an arrangement with a non-U.S. bank similar to that for ADRs and are designed for use in non-U.S. securities markets. EDRs and GDRs are not necessarily quoted in the same currency as the underlying security.

Municipal securities

The 515 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund invests in “municipal securities.” The term “municipal securities” as used in the Fund’s Prospectus and this SAI means debt obligations issued by, or on behalf of, state, territories and possessions of the United States and the District of Columbia and their political subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities or multi-state agencies or authorities, the interest from which debt obligations is, in the opinion of the issuer’s counsel, excluded from gross income for federal income tax purposes (but not necessarily exempt from federal alternative minimum tax (“AMT”) or from state or local taxes). The 5–15 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund will generally invest in tax-exempt bonds that have a final maturity of between five and fifteen years. In pursuing its investment objective, the Fund seeks to weight investments in securities with a final maturity in each year within the five-to-fifteen year maturity range. The 5–15 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund’s portfolio is “laddered” by investing in municipal obligations with different final maturities so that some obligations age out of the five-to-fifteen year maturity range during each year.

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Municipal securities generally are understood to include debt obligations issued to obtain funds for various public purposes, including the construction of a wide range of public facilities, refunding of outstanding obligations, payment of general operating expenses and extensions of loans to public institutions and facilities. Private activity bonds that are issued by or on behalf of public authorities to finance privately operated facilities are considered to be municipal securities if, in the opinion of the issuer’s counsel, the interest paid on them qualifies as excluded from gross income (but not necessarily from alternative minimum taxable income) for federal income tax purposes. Interest on certain “private activity” bonds is subject to federal alternative minimum tax. Interest from private activity bonds is a tax preference item for the purposes of determining whether a taxpayer is subject to the AMT and the amount of AMT to be paid, if any.

Opinions relating to the validity of municipal securities and to the exemption of interest on them from federal income taxes are rendered by bond counsel for each issuer at the time of issue. These opinions are generally based on covenants by the issuers or others regarding continuing compliance with the federal tax laws. In the event that the issuer fails to comply, the interest distributions to shareholders may retroactively become federally taxable. Neither the Trust nor Advisors will review the proceedings relating to the issuance of municipal securities or the basis for opinions of issuer’s counsel.

Even though municipal securities are interest-bearing investments that promise a stable flow of income, their prices are inversely affected by changes in interest rates and, therefore, are subject to the risk of market price fluctuations. The values of municipal securities with longer remaining maturities typically fluctuate more than those of similarly rated municipal securities with shorter remaining maturities. The values of fixed-income securities also may be affected by changes in the credit rating or financial condition of the issuing entities and the level of federal funding received by issuing entities (e.g., U.S. municipalities).

Tax legislation in recent years has included several provisions that may affect the supply of, and the demand for, municipal securities, as well as the tax-exempt nature of interest paid on those securities. The value of municipal securities may also be affected by uncertainties with respect to the taxation of municipal securities as a result of legislative or other changes. Neither the Trust nor Advisors can predict the effect of recent tax law changes upon the municipal obligation market, including the availability of instruments by a Fund. In addition, neither the Trust nor Advisors can predict whether additional legislation adversely affecting the municipal obligation market will be enacted in the future. Advisors monitors legislative developments and considers whether changes in the objective or policies of a Fund need to be made in response to those developments. If any laws are enacted that would reduce the availability of municipal securities for investment by the 515 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund so as to affect the Fund’s shareholders adversely, the Trust will reevaluate the Fund’s investment objective and policies and might submit possible changes in the Fund’s structure to the Fund’s shareholders for their consideration. If legislation were enacted that would treat a type of municipal obligation as taxable for federal income tax purposes, the Trust would treat the security as a permissible taxable money market instrument for the 515 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund within the applicable limits set forth in the Fund’s Prospectus.

Municipal Insurance. The 515 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund may invest its assets in municipal bonds whose principal and interest payments are guaranteed by a private insurance company. Although these bonds have private insurance guarantees, Advisors performs an independent analysis and review of the underlying municipal obligor to determine the appropriateness of the investment for the Fund. The credit crisis in 2008 adversely affected private financial insurance companies that offer insurance guarantees on municipal bonds. This insurance may be: (1) purchased by the bond issuer at the time of issuance; (2) purchased by the Fund to guarantee specific bonds only while held by the Fund; or (3) purchased by an investor after the bond has been issued to guarantee the bond until its maturity date.

Municipal Floating and Variable Rate Demand Instruments. Floating and variable rate demand bonds and notes are municipal securities ordinarily having stated maturities in excess of one year but which permit their holder to demand payment of principal at any time or at specified intervals. Variable rate demand notes include master demand notes, which are securities that permit the 515 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund to invest fluctuating amounts, which may change daily without penalty, pursuant to direct arrangements between the Fund, as lender, and the borrower. These securities have interest rates that fluctuate from time to time and frequently are secured by letters of credit or credit support arrangements provided by banks. Because of the interest rate adjustment feature, floating and variable rate securities provide a Fund with a certain degree of protection against interest rate increases, although floating and variable rate securities are subject to any declines in interest rates as well. Generally, changes in interest rates will have a smaller effect on the market value of floating and variable rate securities than on the market value of comparable fixed-rate obligations. Thus, investing in floating and variable rate securities generally allows less opportunity for capital appreciation and depreciation than investing in comparable fixed-rate securities.

Use of letters of credit or credit support arrangements generally will not adversely affect the tax-exempt status of variable rate demand notes. Because they are direct lending arrangements between the lender and borrower, variable rate demand notes generally will not be traded and no established secondary market generally exists for them, although they are redeemable at face value. If variable rate demand notes are not secured by letters of credit or other credit support arrangements, the right to demand payment on them will be dependent on the ability of the borrower to pay principal and interest on demand. Each obligation purchased by the 515 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund will meet the quality criteria established by Advisors for

38     Statement of Additional Information    TIAA-CREF Funds


the purchase of municipal securities. Advisors considers on an ongoing basis the creditworthiness of the issuers of the floating and variable rate demand securities in the Fund’s portfolio.

Participation Interests. A participation interest in a municipal security gives the purchaser an undivided interest in the municipal obligation in the proportion that the purchaser’s participation interest bears to the total principal amount of the municipal obligation. These instruments may have fixed, floating or variable rates of interest. If the participation interest is unrated, or has been given a rating below one that is otherwise permissible for purchase by the 515 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund, the participation interest will be backed by an irrevocable letter of credit or guarantee of a bank that Advisors has determined meets certain quality standards established by the Board of Trustees, or the payment obligation otherwise will be collateralized by U.S. Government securities. The 515 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund will have the right, with respect to certain participation interests, to demand payment, on a specified number of days’ notice, for all or any part of the Fund’s participation interest in the municipal obligation, plus accrued interest. The 515 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund intends to exercise its right to demand payment only upon a default under the terms of the municipal obligation, or to maintain or improve the quality of its investment portfolio. The 515 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund will invest no more than 5% of the value of its assets in participation interests.

Municipal Obligation Components. The interest payments on municipal securities can be divided into two different and variable components, which together result in a fixed interest rate. Typically, the first of the components (the “Auction Component”) pays an interest rate that is reset periodically through an auction process, whereas the second of the components (the “Residual Component”) pays a residual interest rate based on the difference between the total interest paid by the issuer on the municipal obligation and the auction rate paid on the Auction Component. The components can be purchased separately. Because the interest rate paid to holders of Residual Components is generally determined by subtracting the interest rate paid to the holders of Auction Components from a fixed amount, the interest rate paid to Residual Component holders will decrease as the Auction Component’s rate increases and increase as the Auction Component’s rate decreases. Moreover, the extent of the increases and decreases in market value of Residual Components may be larger than comparable changes in the market value of an equal principal amount of a fixed-rate municipal obligation having similar credit quality, redemption provisions and maturity.

Municipal Custody Receipts. The 515 Year Laddered Tax-Exempt Bond Fund also may acquire custodial receipts of certificates underwritten by securities dealers or banks that evidence ownership of future interest payments, principal payments, or both, on certain municipal securities. The underwriter of these certificates or receipts typically purchases municipal securities and deposits the securities in an irrevocable trust or custody account with a custodian bank, which then issues receipts or certificates that evidence ownership of the periodic unmatured coupon payments and the final principal payment on the securities. Custody receipts evidencing specific coupon or principal payments have the same general attributes as zero coupon municipal securities described above. Although under the terms of a custody receipt the Fund would be typically authorized to assert its rights directly against the issuer of the underlying obligation, the Fund could be required to assert through the custodian bank those rights as may exist against the underlying issuers. Thus, in the event the underlying issuer fails to pay principal and/or interest when due, the Fund may be subject to delays, expenses and risks that are greater than those that would have been involved if the Fund had purchased a direct obligation of the issuer. In addition, in the event that the trust or custody account in which the underlying security has been deposited is determined to be an association taxable as a corporation, instead of a non-taxable entity, the yield on the underlying security would be reduced in recognition of any taxes paid.

Tax Risk. Income from tax-exempt municipal obligations could be declared taxable because of unfavorable changes in tax laws, adverse interpretations by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) or the non-compliant conduct of a bond issuer.

Other policies

Other Investment Techniques and Opportunities. The Funds may take certain actions with respect to merger proposals, tender offers, conversion of equity-related securities and other investment opportunities with the objective of enhancing the portfolio’s overall return, regardless of how these actions may affect the weight of the particular securities in the Funds’ portfolios.

Industry Concentration. With the exception of the Real Estate Securities Fund, none of the Funds will concentrate more than 25% of its total assets in any one industry.

Special Risks Related to Cyber Security. With the increased use of technologies such as the internet to conduct business, the Funds and their service providers (including, but not limited to, the Funds’ custodian, transfer agent and financial intermediaries) are susceptible to cyber security risks. In general, cyber security attacks can result from infection by computer viruses or other malicious software or from deliberate actions or unintentional events, including gaining unauthorized access through hacking or other means to digital systems, networks, or devices that are used to service the Funds’ operations in order to misappropriate assets or sensitive information, corrupt data, or cause operational disruption. Cyber security attacks can also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, including by carrying out a “denial-of-service”

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attack on a Fund or its service providers’ websites. In addition, authorized persons could inadvertently or intentionally release confidential or proprietary information stored on the Trust’s or a Fund’s systems.

Cyber security failures by Advisors or its affiliated investment advisers, other service providers, or the issuers of the portfolio securities in which a Fund invests have the ability to result in disruptions to and impacts on business operations. Such disruptions or impacts may result in financial losses, interference with the Funds’ ability to calculate their NAVs, barriers to trading, Fund shareholders’ inability to transact business with a Fund, violations of applicable federal and state privacy or other laws, regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs, or additional compliance costs. The Funds and their service providers may also maintain sensitive information (including relating to personally identifiable information of investors) and a cyber security breach may cause such information to be lost, improperly accessed, used or disclosed. The Funds may incur additional, incremental costs to prevent and mitigate the risks of cyber security attacks or incidents in the future. The Funds and their shareholders could be negatively impacted by such attacks or incidents. Although Advisors and its affiliated investment advisers have established business continuity plans and risk-based processes and controls to address such cyber security risks, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems in part due to the evolving nature of technology and cyber security attack tactics. As a result, it is possible that the Funds, Advisors or its affiliated investment advisers or a Fund’s service providers will not be able to adequately identify or prepare for all cyber security attacks. In addition, the Funds cannot directly control the cyber security plans or systems implemented by their service providers or issuers in which they invest.

Regulation S Securities Risk. As described more fully in its Prospectus, the International Bond Fund may seek exposure to Regulation S securities through its investment in the Subsidiary. Regulation S securities may be less liquid than publicly traded securities as a result of legal or contractual restrictions on resale. If a Regulation S security is determined to be illiquid, the investment will be included with a Fund’s 15% of net assets limitation on investment in illiquid investments. Regulation S securities may be resold in privately negotiated transactions but the price realized in such resales could be less than the amount originally paid. Further, because Regulation S securities are not publicly traded, they may not be subject to the same disclosure and other investor protection requirements that would be applicable to publicly traded securities. As a result, Regulation S securities may involve a high degree of business and financial risk and may result in losses.

Investment in a Wholly Owned Subsidiary. The Subsidiary is a Cayman Islands exempted company that is wholly owned and controlled by the International Bond Fund and is overseen by its own board of directors. The International Bond Fund is the sole shareholder of the Subsidiary and it is not currently expected that shares of the Subsidiary will be sold or offered to other investors. It is expected that the Subsidiary will invest primarily in Regulation S securities. As a result, the International Bond Fund, through its investment in the Subsidiary, is indirectly exposed to the risks associated with Regulation S securities. There can be no assurance that the investment objective of the International Bond Fund or the Subsidiary will be achieved.

The Subsidiary is not registered under the 1940 Act and, therefore, is not subject to the investor protection provisions of the 1940 Act (unless otherwise noted in the International Bond Fund’s Prospectus or this SAI). As an investor in the Subsidiary, the International Bond Fund does not have all of the protections offered to investors by the 1940 Act. However, the Subsidiary is wholly owned and controlled by the International Bond Fund and managed by Advisors. Therefore, the International Bond Fund’s ownership and control of the Subsidiary make it unlikely that the Subsidiary would take actions contrary to the interests of the International Bond Fund or its shareholders. Changes in the laws of the United States and/or the Cayman Islands could result in the inability of the International Bond Fund to invest in the Subsidiary as described in the International Bond Fund’s Prospectus and in this SAI and could adversely affect the International Bond Fund. For example, the Cayman Islands currently does not impose certain taxes on exempted companies like the Subsidiary, including income and capital gains tax, among others. If Cayman Islands laws were changed to require such entities to pay Cayman Islands taxes, the investment returns of the Fund would likely decrease.

Liquidation of Funds. The Board of Trustees may determine to close and/or liquidate a Fund at any time, which may have adverse tax consequences to the shareholders of such Fund. In the event of the liquidation of a Fund, shareholders will receive a liquidating distribution in cash or in-kind equal to their proportionate interest in the Fund. A liquidating distribution may be a taxable event to shareholders, resulting in a gain or loss for tax purposes, depending upon a shareholder’s basis in their shares of the Fund. A shareholder of a liquidating Fund will not be entitled to any refund or reimbursement of expenses borne, directly or indirectly, by the shareholder (such as shareholder account fees (if any) or fund operating expenses), and a shareholder may receive an amount in liquidation less than the shareholder’s original investment.

Portfolio Turnover. Generally, the transactions in which a Fund engages are reflected in the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate (although the Money Market Fund does not have a portfolio turnover rate). The rate of portfolio turnover is calculated by dividing the lesser of the amount of purchases or sales of portfolio securities during the fiscal year by the monthly average of the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities (excluding from the computation all securities, including options, with maturities at the time of acquisition of one year or less). A high rate of portfolio turnover generally involves correspondingly greater brokerage commission expenses, which must be borne directly by the Fund and ultimately by the Fund’s shareholders. However, because portfolio turnover is not a limiting factor in determining whether or not to sell portfolio securities, a particular investment may be sold at any time, if investment judgment or account operations make a sale advisable.

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For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2020, the portfolio turnover rates of four Funds significantly changed from portfolio turnover rates in 2019 as a result of a variety of factors.

The Large-Cap Value Fund’s portfolio turnover rate decreased to 26% for the twelve-month period ended October 31, 2020 as compared with 79% for the twelve-month period ended October 31, 2019. The decrease in portfolio turnover was primarily attributable to decreased transaction activity as compared to the prior period, which saw higher trading activity that occurred as a result of a change in the Fund’s portfolio management team.

The Equity Index Fund’s portfolio turnover rate increased to 12% for the twelve-month period ended October 31, 2020 as compared with 4% for the twelve-month period ended October 31, 2019. The increase in portfolio turnover was primarily attributable to increased transaction activity related to shareholder activity, including both purchases and redemptions, in the Fund.

The International Equity Index Fund’s portfolio turnover rate decreased to 4% for the twelve-month period ended October 31, 2020 as compared to 10% for the twelve-month period ended October 31, 2019. The decrease in portfolio turnover was primarily attributable to decreased transaction activity related to shareholder activity, including both purchases and redemptions, in the Fund.

The Social Choice International Equity Fund’s portfolio turnover rate increased to 15% for the twelve-month period ended October 31, 2020 as compared to 9% for the twelve-month period ended October 31, 2019. The increase in portfolio turnover was primarily attributable to increased transaction activity related to shareholder activity, including both purchases and redemptions, in the Fund.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, the portfolio turnover rates of five Funds significantly changed from portfolio turnover rates in 2020 as a result of a variety of factors.

The Core Bond Fund’s portfolio turnover rate increased to 229% for the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2021 as compared to 125% for the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2020. The increase in portfolio turnover was primarily attributable to mortgage dollar roll activity.

The Core Plus Bond Fund’s portfolio turnover rate increased to 169% for the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2021 as compared to 85% for the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2020. The increase in portfolio turnover was primarily attributable to mortgage dollar roll activity.

The Core Impact Bond Fund’s portfolio turnover rate increased to 297% for the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2021 as compared to 115% for the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2020. The increase in portfolio turnover was largely attributable to mortgage dollar roll activity, as well as increased flows and portfolio re-positioning amid heightened market volatility, resulting in more frequent trading opportunities.

The Short Duration Impact Fund’s portfolio turnover rate increased to 136% for the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2021 as compared to 103% for the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2020. The increase in portfolio turnover was primarily attributable to portfolio re-positioning amid heightened market volatility, resulting in more frequent trading opportunities.

The High Yield Fund’s portfolio turnover rate increased to 79% for the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2021 as compared to 42% for the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2020. The increase in portfolio turnover was largely attributable to an increase in new issue and secondary market opportunities as well as increased flows and portfolio re-positioning, amid heightened market volatility, resulting in more frequent trading opportunities.

The Funds do not have fixed policies on portfolio turnover, although, because a higher portfolio turnover rate will increase brokerage costs, Advisors will carefully weigh the added costs of short-term investment against the gains anticipated from such transactions. To the extent that the Funds have investors that are funds or pools managed by Advisors, transaction activity by these funds or pools may contribute to the Funds’ portfolio turnover rate and may increase the Funds’ brokerage costs.

Disclosure of portfolio holdings

The Board has adopted policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent selective disclosure of each Fund’s portfolio holdings to third parties, other than disclosures of Fund portfolio holdings that are consistent with the best interests of Fund shareholders. Fund portfolio holdings disclosure refers to sharing of positional information at the security or investment level either in dollars, shares, or as a percentage of the Fund’s market value. As a general rule, except as described below, the Trust and Advisors will not disclose a Fund’s portfolio holdings to third parties, except as of the end of a calendar month, and no earlier than the 20th day following month-end. The Trust and Advisors may disclose a Fund’s portfolio holdings to all third parties who request it after that period.

With respect to the Money Market Fund, the Fund posts on its website (www.tiaa.org) the Fund’s portfolio holdings as of the last business day of each calendar month within five business days after the end of such month. Such postings will remain accessible on the Fund’s website for at least six calendar months.

The Trust and Advisors may disclose a Fund’s portfolio holdings to third parties outside the time restrictions described above as follows:

TIAA-CREF Funds    Statement of Additional Information     41


· The ten largest portfolio holdings of any Fund and all holdings of any fund of funds may be disclosed to third parties ten days after the end of the calendar month. Individual securities outside of the top ten that were materially positive or negative contributors to Fund performance may also be distributed in broadly disseminated portfolio commentaries beginning ten days after the end of the calendar month.

· Fund portfolio holdings in any particular security can be made available to stock exchanges, regulators or issuers, in each case subject to approval of the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer (“CCO”), a Director in Funds Compliance, or an individual employed by Advisors holding the title of Vice President and Associate General Counsel or above.

· Fund portfolio holdings can be made available to rating and ranking organizations (e.g., Morningstar) subject to a written confidentiality agreement between the recipient and Advisors that includes provisions restricting trading on the information provided.

· Fund portfolio holdings can be made available to any other third party, as long as the recipient has a legitimate business need for the information and the disclosure of Fund portfolio holdings information to that third party is:

· approved by an individual holding the title of Funds Treasurer, Chief Investment Officer, TIAA Investments, a Managing Director who is a direct report to the Chief Investment Officer; or above; and

· approved by an individual holding the title of Managing Director and Associate General Counsel or above; and

· reported to the Trust’s and Advisors’ CCO; and

· subject to a written confidentiality agreement between the recipient and Advisors under which the third party agrees not to trade on the information provided.

· As may be required by law or by the rules or regulations of the SEC or by the laws or regulations of a foreign jurisdiction in which the Fund invests.

On an annual basis, compliance with these portfolio holdings disclosure procedures will be reviewed as part of the CCOs’ annual compliance reviews with the respective Boards of Trustees of the Trust and of Advisors, and the Boards will receive a current copy of the procedures for their review and approval.

Currently, the Funds have ongoing arrangements to disclose, in accordance with the time restrictions and other provisions of the Funds’ portfolio holdings disclosure policy, their portfolio holdings to the following recipients: Lipper, Inc., a Reuters Company; Morningstar, Inc.; Mellon Analytical Solutions; S&P; The Thomson Corporation; Command Financial Press; the Investment Company Institute; Donnelley Financial Solutions; Bloomberg Finance, L.P.; Data Explorers Limited; eA Data Automation Services LLC; Markit on Demand; Objectiva Software (d/b/a Nu:Pitch); CoreOne Technologies; Cabot Research, LLC; Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC; Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.; Fidelity Information Services, LLC; EquiLend Holdings LLC; FactSet Research Systems Inc.; Sherpa Funds Technology Pte Ltd; and the lenders under the Funds’ credit facility (Deutsche Bank AG, New York Branch; JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.; Citibank, N.A.; State Street Bank and Trust Company; Bank of America, N.A.; Barclays Bank PLC; Credit Suisse AG, New York Branch; Goldman Sachs Bank USA; Morgan Stanley Bank, N.A.; HSBC Bank USA, N.A.; The Bank of New York Mellon; U.S. Bank National Association; Bank of Montreal, Chicago Branch; and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.). The Funds’ portfolio holdings are also disclosed on TIAA’s corporate website at www.tiaa.org and on Nuveen’s website at www.nuveen.com. Certain of these entities receive portfolio holdings information prior to 20 days after the end of the most recent calendar month. No compensation was received by the Funds, Advisors or their affiliates as part of these arrangements to disclose portfolio holdings of the Funds.

In addition, occasionally the Trust and Advisors disclose to certain broker-dealers a Fund’s portfolio holdings, in whole or in part, in order to assist the portfolio managers when they are determining the Fund’s portfolio management and trading strategies. These disclosures are done in accordance with the Funds’ portfolio holdings disclosure policy and are covered by confidentiality agreements. Disclosures of portfolio holdings information will be made to the Funds’ independent registered public accounting firm in connection with the preparation of public filings. Disclosure of portfolio holdings information, including current portfolio holdings information, may be made to counsel to the Funds or counsel to the Funds’ independent trustees in connection with periodic meetings of the Board of Trustees and otherwise from time to time in connection with the Funds’ operations. Also, State Street Bank and Trust Company, as the Funds’ custodian, fund accounting agent and securities lending agent, receives a variety of confidential information (including portfolio holdings) in order to process, account for and safekeep the Funds’ assets. Disclosure may also be made to other affiliates and service providers of the Funds or Advisors, including distributors, pricing vendors, financial printers and proxy voting agents, to the extent such disclosure is necessary for them to fulfill their obligations to the Funds.

The entities to which the Funds voluntarily disclose portfolio holdings information are required, either by explicit agreement or by virtue of their respective duties to the Funds, to maintain the confidentiality of the information disclosed. There can be no assurance that the Funds’ policies and procedures regarding selective disclosure of the Funds’ holdings will protect the Funds from potential misuse of that information by individuals or entities to which it is disclosed.

The Funds send summaries of their portfolio holdings to shareholders semiannually as part of the Funds’ annual and semiannual reports. Complete portfolio holdings are also filed with the SEC through Form N-CSR and Form N-PORT. Portfolio

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holdings information filed on Form N-CSR and on Form N-PORT (for the last month of each fiscal quarter) is available on and can be accessed from the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov approximately 60 days after the end of each quarter. With respect to the Money Market Fund, complete portfolio holdings are filed with the SEC on a monthly basis through Form N-MFP and are made publicly available on the SEC’s website approximately five business days after the end of each month. You can request more frequent portfolio holdings information, subject to the Funds’ policy as stated above, by writing to the Funds at TIAA-CREF Funds, P.O. Box 4674, New York, NY 10164.

In addition, Advisors has adopted a policy regarding distribution of portfolio attribution analyses and related data and commentary (“Portfolio Data”). This policy permits Advisors to provide oral or written information about the Funds, including, but not limited to, how each Fund’s investments are divided among: various sectors; industries; countries; value and growth stocks; small-, mid- and large-cap stocks; and various asset classes such as stocks, bonds, currencies and cash; as well as types of bonds, bond maturities, bond coupons and bond credit quality ratings. Portfolio Data may also include information on how these various weightings and factors contributed to Fund performance including the attribution of a Fund’s return by asset class, sector, industry and country. Portfolio Data may also include various financial characteristics of a Fund or its underlying portfolio securities, including, but not limited to, alpha, beta, R-squared, duration, maturity, information ratio, Sharpe ratio, earnings growth, payout ratio, price/book value, projected earnings growth, return on equity, standard deviation, tracking error, weighted average quality, market capitalization, percent debt to equity, price to cash flow, dividend yield or growth, default rate, portfolio turnover and risk and style characteristics.

Portfolio Data may be based on a Fund’s most recent quarter-end portfolio, month-end portfolio or some other interim period. Portfolio Data may be provided to members of the press, participants in the Fund, persons considering investing in the Fund, or representatives of such participants or potential participants, such as consultants, financial intermediaries, fiduciaries of a 401(k) plan or a trust and their advisers and rating and ranking organizations. While Advisors will provide Portfolio Data to persons upon appropriate request, the content and nature of the information provided to any person or category of persons may differ. Please contact TIAA for information about obtaining Portfolio Data. Advisors may restrict access to any or all Portfolio Data in its sole discretion, including, but not limited to, if Advisors believes the release of such Portfolio Data may be harmful to the Fund.

Advisors serves as investment adviser to various other funds and accounts that may have investment objectives, strategies and portfolio holdings that are substantially similar to or overlap with those of the Funds, and in some cases, these funds may publicly disclose portfolio holdings on a more frequent basis than is required for the Funds. As a result, it is possible that other market participants may use such information for their own benefit, which could negatively impact the Funds’ execution of purchase and sale transactions.

Management of the Trust

The Board of Trustees

The Trust is governed by its Board, which oversees the Trust’s business and affairs. The Board delegates the day-to-day management of the Funds to Advisors and the officers of the Trust (see below).

Board leadership structure and related matters

The Board is composed of ten trustees (the “Trustees”), all of whom are independent or disinterested, which means that they are not “interested persons” of the Funds as defined in Section 2(a)(19) of the 1940 Act (independent Trustees). One of the independent Trustees serves as the Chairman of the Board. The Chairman’s responsibilities include: coordinating with management in the preparation of the agenda for each meeting of the Board; presiding at all meetings of the Board; and serving as a liaison with other Trustees, the Trust’s officers and other management personnel, and counsel to the independent Trustees. The Chairman performs such other duties as the Board may from time to time determine. The Principal Executive Officer of the Trust does not serve on the Board.

The Board meets periodically to review, among other matters, the Funds’ activities, contractual arrangements with companies that provide services to the Funds and the performance of the Funds’ investment portfolios. The Board holds regularly scheduled meetings each year and may hold special meetings, as needed, to address matters arising between regular meetings. During a portion of each regularly scheduled meeting and, as the Board may determine, at its other meetings, the Board meets without management present.

The Board has established a committee structure that includes (i) standing committees, each composed solely of independent Trustees and chaired by an independent Trustee, and (ii) non-standing committees (which, when constituted, shall be composed solely of independent Trustees and chaired by an independent Trustee). The Board, with the assistance of its Nominating and Governance Committee, periodically evaluates its structure and composition as well as various aspects of its operations. The Board believes that its leadership and operating structure, which includes its committees and having an independent Trustee in the position of Chairman of the Board and of each committee, provides for independent oversight of

TIAA-CREF Funds    Statement of Additional Information     43


management and is appropriate for the Trust in light of, among other factors, the asset size and nature of the Trust and the Funds, the number of portfolios overseen by the Board, the number of other funds overseen by the Trustees as the trustees of other investment companies in the TIAA-CREF Fund Complex, the arrangements for the conduct of the Funds’ operations, the number of Trustees, and the Board’s responsibilities.

The Trust is part of the TIAA-CREF Fund Complex, which is composed of the 68 funds within the Trust (including the TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Funds, TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index Funds, TIAA-CREF Lifestyle Funds and the Managed Allocation Fund), the 11 funds within TCLF, the 8 Accounts within CREF and the single portfolio within VA-1. All of the persons that serve on the Board also serve on, and the same person serves as the Chairman of, the respective Boards of Trustees of CREF and TCLF and the Management Committee of VA-1.

Qualifications of Trustees

The Board believes that each of the Trustees is qualified to serve as a Trustee of the Trust based on a review of the experience, qualifications, attributes or skills of each Trustee. The Board bases this view on its consideration of a variety of criteria, no single one of which is controlling. Generally, the Board looks for: character and integrity; ability to review critically, evaluate, question and discuss information provided and exercise effective business judgment in protecting shareholder interests; and willingness and ability to commit the time necessary to perform the duties of trustee. Each Trustee’s ability to perform his or her duties effectively is evidenced by his or her experience in one or more of the following fields: management, consulting, and/or board experience in the investment management industry; academic positions in relevant fields; management, consulting, and/or board experience with public companies in other fields, non-profit entities or other organizations; educational background and professional training; and experience as a Trustee of the Trust and other funds in the TIAA-CREF Fund Complex. The Board seeks representative diversity within its membership and generally considers the manner in which an individual’s professional experience, education, expertise in relevant matters, general leadership experience and life experiences are complementary and, as a whole, contribute to the ability of the Board to perform its duties.

Information indicating certain of the specific experience and relevant qualifications, attributes and skills of each Trustee relevant to the Board’s belief that the Trustee should serve in this capacity is provided in the “Disinterested Trustees” table included herein. The table includes, for each Trustee, positions held with the Trust, length of office and time served, and principal occupations in the last five years. The table also includes the number of portfolios in the TIAA-CREF Fund Complex overseen by each Trustee and certain directorships and certain other positions held by each of them in the last five years.

Risk oversight

Day-to-day management of the various risks relating to the administration and operation of the Trust and the Funds is the responsibility of management, which includes professional risk management staff. The Board oversees this risk management function consistent with and as part of its oversight responsibility. The Board performs this risk management oversight directly and, as to certain matters, through its standing committees (which are described below) and, at times, through its use of non-standing committees. The following provides an overview of the principal, but not all, aspects of the Board’s oversight of risk management for the Trust and the Funds. The Board recognizes that it is not possible to identify all of the risks that may affect the Trust and the Funds or to develop procedures or controls that eliminate the Trust’s and the Funds’ exposure to all of these risks.

In general, a Fund’s risks include, among others, market risk, credit risk, liquidity risk, valuation risk, operational risk, reputational risk, regulatory compliance risk and cyber security risk. The Board has adopted, and periodically reviews, policies and procedures designed to address certain (but not all) of these and other risks to the Trust and the Funds. In addition, under the general oversight of the Board, Advisors, the investment adviser and administrator for each Fund as well as the administrator of the Funds’ Liquidity Risk Program, and other service providers to the Funds have themselves adopted a variety of policies, procedures and controls designed to address particular risks to the Funds. Different processes, procedures and controls are employed with respect to different types of risks.

The Board also oversees risk management for the Trust and the Funds through receipt and review by the Board or its committee(s) of regular and special reports, presentations and other information from officers of the Trust and other persons, including from the Chief Risk Officer or other senior risk management personnel for Advisors and its affiliates. Senior officers of the Trust, senior officers of Advisors and its affiliates, and the Funds’ CCO regularly report to the Board and/or one or more of the Board’s committees on a range of matters, including those relating to risk management. The Board also regularly receives reports, presentations and other information from Advisors with respect to the investments and securities trading of the Funds. At least annually, the Board receives a report from the Funds’ CCO regarding the effectiveness of the Funds’ compliance program. Also, on an annual basis, the Board receives reports, presentations and other information from TIAA in connection with the Board’s consideration of the renewal of each of the Trust’s investment management agreements with Advisors and the Trust’s distribution plans under Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act. In addition, on an annual basis, Advisors, in its capacity as Liquidity Risk Program administrator pursuant to applicable SEC regulations, provides the Board with a written report that addresses the operation, adequacy and effectiveness of the Funds’ Liquidity Risk Program.

44     Statement of Additional Information    TIAA-CREF Funds


Officers of the Trust and officers and personnel of TIAA and its affiliates also report regularly to the Audit and Compliance Committee on the Trust’s internal controls over financial reporting and accounting and financial reporting policies and practices. The Funds’ CCO reports regularly to the Audit and Compliance Committee on compliance matters, and the TIAA Chief Auditor reports regularly to the Audit and Compliance Committee regarding internal audit matters. In addition, the Audit and Compliance Committee receives regular reports from the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm on internal control and financial reporting matters.

The Operations Committee receives regular reports, presentations and other information from Trust officers and from Fund management personnel regarding valuation and other operational matters. In addition to regular reports, presentations and other information from Advisors and other TIAA personnel, the Operations Committee receives reports, presentations and other information regarding other service providers to the Trust, either directly or through the Trust’s officers, Advisors personnel or other TIAA personnel, on a periodic or regular basis.

The Investment Committee regularly receives reports, presentations and other information from Advisors with respect to the investments, securities trading, portfolio liquidity, voting of proxies of the Funds’ portfolio companies, ESG criteria used by certain Funds and other portfolio management aspects of the Funds.

The Nominating and Governance Committee routinely monitors various aspects of the Board’s structure and oversight activities, including reviewing matters such as the workload of the Board, the balance of responsibilities delegated among the Board’s committees and the relevant skill sets of Board members. On an annual basis, the Nominating and Governance Committee reviews the independent status of each Trustee under the 1940 Act and the independent status of counsel to the independent Trustees.

TIAA-CREF Funds    Statement of Additional Information     45


Disinterested Trustees

                     

Name, address and
year of birth (“YOB”)

 

Position(s) held
with registrant

 

Term of office
and length of
time served

 

Principal occupation(s) during past 5 years and
other relevant experience and qualifications

 

Number of
portfolios
in fund
complex
overseen

 

Other directorships
and positions held

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forrest Berkley
c/o Corporate Secretary
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
YOB: 1954

 

Trustee

 

Indefinite term. Trustee since 2006.

 

Retired Partner (since 2006), Partner (1990–2005) and Head of Global Product Management (2003–2005), GMO (formerly, Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co.) (investment management), and member of asset allocation portfolio management team, GMO (2003–2005).

Mr. Berkley has particular experience in investment management, global operations and finance, as well as experience with non-profit organizations and foundations.

 

88

 

Director, Save the Children Federation, Inc.; Investment Committee Member, Maine Community Foundation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joseph A. Boateng
c/o Corporate Secretary
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
YOB: 1963

 

Trustee

 

Indefinite term. Trustee since 2019.

 

Chief Investment Officer, Casey Family Programs (since 2007). Director of U.S. Pension Plans at Johnson & Johnson (2002–2006). Manager, Financial Services Consultant, KPMG Consulting (2000–2002).

Mr. Boateng has particular experience in investments, pensions, and public finance.

 

88

 

Board Member, Lumina Foundation and Waterside School; Investment Advisory Committee Chair, Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System; Investment Committee Member, The Seattle Foundation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janice C. Eberly
c/o Corporate Secretary
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
YOB: 1962

 

Trustee

 

Indefinite term. Trustee since 2018.

 

James R. and Helen D. Russell Professor of Finance at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University (2002–2011 and since 2013), Senior Associate Dean for Strategy and Academics (since 2020) and Chair of the Finance Department (2005–2007). Vice President, American Economic Association (2020). Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy, United States Department of the Treasury (2011–2013).

Prof. Eberly has particular experience in education, finance and public economic policy.

 

88

 

Member of the Board of the Office of Finance, Federal Home Loan Banks; Director, Avant, LLC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nancy A. Eckl
c/o Corporate Secretary
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
YOB: 1962

 

Trustee

 

Indefinite term. Trustee since 2007.

 

Vice President (1990–2006), American Beacon Advisors, Inc. and of certain funds advised by American Beacon Advisors, Inc.

Ms. Eckl has particular experience in investment management, mutual funds, pension plan management, finance, accounting and operations. Ms. Eckl is licensed as a certified public accountant in the State of Texas.

 

88

 

Independent Director, The Lazard Funds, Inc., Lazard Retirement Series, Inc. and Lazard Global Total Return and Income Fund, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael A. Forrester
c/o Corporate Secretary
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
YOB: 1967

 

Trustee

 

Indefinite term. Trustee since 2007.

 

Chief Executive Officer (2014–2021) and Chief Operating Officer (2007–2014), Copper Rock Capital Partners, LLC; Chief Operating Officer, DDJ Capital Management (2003–2006).

Mr. Forrester has particular experience in investment management, institutional marketing and product development, operations management, alternative investments and experience with non-profit organizations.

 

88

 

Trustee, Dexter Southfield School; Member, Governing Council of the Independent Directors Council.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Howell E. Jackson
c/o Corporate Secretary
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
YOB: 1954

 

Trustee

 

Indefinite term. Trustee since 2005.

 

James S. Reid, Jr. Professor of Law (since 2004), Senior Advisor to President and Provost (2010–2012), Acting Dean (2009), Vice Dean for Budget (2003–2006) and on the faculty (since 1989) of Harvard Law School.

Prof. Jackson has particular experience in law, including the federal securities laws, consumer protection, finance, pensions and Social Security, and organizational management and education.

 

88

 

Director, Commonwealth (non-profit organization).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

46     Statement of Additional Information    TIAA-CREF Funds


                     

Name, address and
year of birth (“YOB”)

 

Position(s) held
with registrant

 

Term of office
and length of
time served

 

Principal occupation(s) during past 5 years and
other relevant experience and qualifications

 

Number of
portfolios
in fund
complex
overseen

 

Other directorships
and positions held

Thomas J. Kenny
c/o Corporate Secretary
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
YOB: 1963

 

Chairman of
the Board and Trustee

 

Indefinite term. Trustee since 2011. Chairman for term ending June 30, 2023. Chairman since September 13, 2017.

 

Advisory Director (2010–2011), Partner (2004–2010), Managing Director (1999–2004) and Co-Head of Global Cash and Fixed Income Portfolio Management Team (2002–2010), Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

Mr. Kenny has particular experience in investment management of mutual funds and alternative investments, finance, and operations management, as well as experience on non-profit boards.

 

88

 

Director and Chair of the Finance and Investment Committee, Aflac Incorporated; Director and Investment Committee Member, Sansum Clinic; Director, ParentSquare; Member, University of California at Santa Barbara Arts and Lectures Advisory Council.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James M. Poterba
c/o Corporate Secretary
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
YOB: 1958

 

Trustee

 

Indefinite term. Trustee since 2006.

 

President and Chief Executive Officer (since 2008) and Program Director (1990–2008), National Bureau of Economic Research. Mitsui Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”) (since 1996); Affiliated Faculty Member of the Finance Group, Alfred P. Sloan School of Management (since 2014); Head (2006–2008) and Associate Head (1994–2000 and 2001–2006), Economics Department of MIT.

Prof. Poterba has particular experience in education, economics, finance, tax, and organizational development.

 

88

 

Director, National Bureau of Economic Research; Trustee, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; Member, Congressional Budget Office Panel of Economic Advisers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maceo K. Sloan
c/o Corporate Secretary
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
YOB: 1949

 

Trustee

 

Indefinite term. Trustee since 1999.

 

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sloan Financial Group, Inc. (1991–2018); Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (1991–2016), Chief Investment Officer (1991–2013) and Chief Compliance Officer (2015–2016), NCM Capital Management Group, Inc.; Chairman, Chief Executive Officer (2003–2016), Chief Investment Officer (2003–2013) and Chief Compliance Officer (2015–2016), NCM Capital Advisers, Inc.; and Chairman, President and Principal Executive Officer, NCM Capital Investment Trust (2007–2012).

Mr. Sloan has particular experience in investment management, finance and organizational development. He is designated as an audit committee financial expert.

 

88

 

Director, TheraTrue Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laura T. Starks
c/o Corporate Secretary
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
YOB: 1950

 

Trustee

 

Indefinite term. Trustee since 2006.

 

Charles E. and Sarah M. Seay Regents Chair in Finance (since 2002), Co-Executive Director, Social Innovation Initiative (since 2015), Director, AIM Investment Center (2000–2016), Associate Dean for Research (2011–2016), Chairman, Department of Finance (2002–2011) and Professor (since 1987), McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin. President, (2019–2020), Vice President (2013–2018), Society of Financial Studies. President (since 2020), Vice President (2019–2020), American Finance Association.

Prof. Starks has particular experience in education, finance, mutual funds and retirement systems.

 

88

 

Texa$aver Product Committee Member, Employees Retirement System of Texas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIAA-CREF Funds    Statement of Additional Information     47


Officers

The table below includes certain information about the officers of the Trust, including positions held with the Trust, length of office and time served, and principal occupations in the last five years.

             

Name, address and
year of birth (“YOB”)

 

Position(s) held
with registrant

 

Term of office
and length of
time served

 

Principal occupation(s) during past 5 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard S. Biegen
TIAA
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
YOB: 1962

 

Chief Compliance Officer

 

One-year term. Chief Compliance Officer since 2008.

 

Senior Managing Director, TIAA. Chief Compliance Officer of the TIAA-CREF Fund Complex.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Derek B. Dorn
TIAA
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
YOB: 1976

 

Senior Managing Director and Corporate Secretary

 

One-year term. Senior Managing Director and Corporate Secretary since 2020.

 

Senior Managing Director and Corporate Secretary of TIAA and the TIAA-CREF Fund Complex. Formerly, Managing Director, Special Assistant to the CEO and Managing Director, Regulatory Affairs, TIAA. Prior to joining TIAA, Mr. Dorn served as a partner at Davis & Harman LLP and an adjunct professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bradley Finkle
TIAA
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
YOB: 1973

 

Principal Executive Officer and President

 

One-year term.
Principal Executive Officer and President since 2017.

 

Chief Operating Officer, Nuveen. Principal Executive Officer and President of the TIAA-CREF Funds and TIAA-CREF Life Funds. Chief Executive Officer and President of CREF and TIAA Separate Account VA-1. Formerly, Senior Managing Director, Co-Head Nuveen Equities & Fixed Income and President of TIAA Investments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jose Minaya
TIAA
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
YOB: 1971

 

Executive Vice President

 

One-year term. Executive Vice President since 2018.

 

Chief Executive Officer, Nuveen. Executive Vice President of the TIAA-CREF Fund Complex. Formerly, Executive Vice President, President and Chief Investment Officer, Nuveen; Executive Vice President, Chief Investment Officer and President, Nuveen Global Investments; and Senior Managing Director, President, Global Investments, TIAA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Nason
TIAA
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
YOB: 1970

 

Executive Vice President

 

One-year term. Executive Vice President since 2020.

 

Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Legal, Risk and Compliance Officer of TIAA. Executive Vice President of the TIAA-CREF Fund Complex. Formerly, Executive Vice President, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, TIAA. Prior to joining TIAA, Mr. Nason served as President and CEO of GE Energy Financial Services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phillip T. Rollock
TIAA
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
YOB: 1962

 

Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer

 

One-year term.
Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer since 2018.

 

Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of TIAA and the TIAA-CREF Fund Complex. Formerly, Executive Vice President, Deputy Chief Legal Officer, TIAA and Senior Managing Director, Senior General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of TIAA and the TIAA-CREF Fund Complex.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E. Scott Wickerham
TIAA
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
YOB: 1973

 

Principal Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Treasurer

 

One-year term.
Principal Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Treasurer since 2017.

 

Senior Managing Director, Head, Publics Investment Finance, Nuveen. Principal Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Treasurer of the TIAA-CREF Fund Complex; and Vice President and Controller of the Nuveen Funds. Formerly, Managing Director, Head, TC Fund Administration, Nuveen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sean N. Woodroffe
TIAA
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
YOB: 1963

 

Executive Vice President

 

One-year term. Executive Vice President since 2018.

 

Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer of TIAA and Executive Vice President of the TIAA-CREF Fund Complex. Prior to joining TIAA, Mr. Woodroffe served as Chief People Officer at National Life Group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

48     Statement of Additional Information    TIAA-CREF Funds


Equity ownership of the Trustees

The following chart includes information relating to equity securities that are beneficially owned by the Trustees of the Trust in the Funds and in the same “family of investment companies” as the Funds, as of December 31, 2020. At that time, the Funds’ family of investment companies included the Funds and all of the other then-existing series of the Trust, CREF, TCLF and VA-1, each a registered investment company.

       
 

Name

Dollar range of equity securities in the Funds

Aggregate dollar range of equity securities in
all registered investment companies overseen
in family of investment companies

       
 

Forrest Berkley

International Equity Fund: Over $100,000

Over $100,000

   

International Equity Index Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Large-Cap Growth Index Fund: Over $100,000

 
       
       
 

Joseph A. Boateng

Real Estate Securities Fund: $10,001–50,000

Over $100,000

 

1

   
       
 

Janice C. Eberly

None

Over $100,000

       
       
 

Nancy A. Eckl

Emerging Markets Equity Index Fund: Over $100,000

Over $100,000

   

Equity Index Fund: $10,001–50,000

 
   

Growth & Income Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

International Equity Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

International Equity Index Fund: $10,001–50,000

 
   

Large-Cap Value Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Large-Cap Value Index Fund: $10,001–50,000

 
   

Money Market Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Quant Small-Cap Equity Fund: $10,001–50,000

 
   

Small-Cap Blend Index Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Social Choice Equity Fund: $50,001–100,000

 
       
       
 

Michael A. Forrester

None

Over $100,000

       
       
 

Howell E. Jackson

Bond Index Fund: $1–10,000

Over $100,000

   

Emerging Markets Equity Index Fund: $1–10,000

 
   

International Equity Index Fund: $10,001–50,000

 
   

Real Estate Securities Fund: $1–10,000

 
   

S&P 500 Index Fund: $10,001–50,000

 
   

Small-Cap Blend Index Fund: $1–10,000

 
       
       
 

Thomas J. Kenny

None

Over $100,000

       
       
 

James M. Poterba

S&P 500 Index Fund: Over $100,000

Over $100,000

       
       
 

Maceo K. Sloan

Emerging Markets Equity Fund: Over $100,000

Over $100,000

   

Emerging Markets Equity Index Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Growth & Income Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

International Equity Index Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Large-Cap Growth Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Large-Cap Value Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Mid-Cap Growth Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Mid-Cap Value Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Quant Small-Cap Equity Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Real Estate Securities Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

S&P 500 Index Fund: Over $100,000

 
       
       
 

Laura T. Starks

Emerging Markets Equity Fund: $10,001–50,000

Over $100,000

   

Growth & Income Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

High-Yield Fund: $10,001–50,000

 
   

International Equity Index Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Large-Cap Growth Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Large-Cap Growth Index Fund: $10,001–50,000

 
   

Large-Cap Value Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Large-Cap Value Index Fund: $10,001–50,000

 
   

Mid-Cap Growth Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Mid-Cap Value Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Quant Small-Cap Equity Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

S&P 500 Index Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Short-Term Bond Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Small-Cap Blend Index Fund: Over $100,000

 
   

Social Choice Equity Fund: Over $100,000

 
       

TIAA-CREF Funds    Statement of Additional Information     49


Trustee and officer compensation

The following tables show the compensation from the Trust and the TIAA-CREF Fund Complex received by each Trustee for the Equity, Emerging Markets Debt and International Bond Funds for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2020 and for the Fixed-Income and Real Estate Securities Funds (other than the Emerging Markets Debt and International Bond Funds, which have a different fiscal year end) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021 (except as otherwise noted). The Trust’s officers received no compensation from the Trust for either of those fiscal years. For purposes of this chart, the TIAA-CREF Fund Complex consists of the Funds and all of the other then-existing series of the Trust, CREF, TCLF and VA-1, each a registered investment company.

FISCAL YEAR ENDED 10/31/20

                             

 

Name

 

Aggregate compensation from the Funds1,2

 

Long-term compensation
accrued as part of Funds expenses2,3

 

Total compensation paid
from TIAA-CREF Fund Complex1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forrest Berkley4

 

$

85,316.10

 

 

$

24,376.03

 

 

$

370,000.00

 

 

 

Joseph A. Boateng

 

 

87,771.68

 

 

 

24,376.03

 

 

 

360,000.00

 

 

 

Janice C. Eberly4

 

 

90,191.31

 

 

 

24,376.03

 

 

 

380,000.00

 

 

 

Nancy A. Eckl

 

 

97,504.12

 

 

 

24,376.03

 

 

 

430,000.00

 

 

 

Michael A. Forrester4

 

 

95,066.51

 

 

 

24,376.03

 

 

 

390,000.00

 

 

 

Howell E. Jackson4

 

 

90,191.31

 

 

 

24,376.03

 

 

 

421,250.00

 

 

 

Thomas J. Kenny4

 

 

114,936.79

 

 

 

24,376.03

 

 

 

476,500.00

 

 

 

James M. Poterba4

 

 

97,504.12

 

 

 

24,376.03

 

 

 

420,000.00

 

 

 

Maceo K. Sloan

 

 

95,435.97

 

 

 

24,376.03

 

 

 

391,500.00

 

 

 

Laura T. Starks

 

 

95,435.97

 

 

 

24,376.03

 

 

 

391,500.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Compensation figures include cash and amounts deferred under both the long-term compensation plan and optional deferred compensation plan described below.

2

Includes compensation from only those Funds having the fiscal year end listed above.

3

Amounts deferred under the long-term compensation plan described below.

4

A portion of this compensation was not actually paid based on the prior election of the Trustee to defer receipt of payment in accordance with the provisions of a deferred compensation plan for non-officer Trustees described below. For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2020, Mr. Berkley elected to defer $270,000, Prof. Eberly elected to defer $280,000, Mr. Forrester elected to defer $290,000, Prof. Jackson elected to defer $32,125, Mr. Kenny elected to defer $94,125 and Prof. Poterba elected to defer $320,000 of total compensation from the TIAA-CREF Fund Complex.

FISCAL YEAR ENDED 3/31/21

                             

 

Name

 

Aggregate compensation from the Funds1,2

 

Long-term compensation
accrued as part of Funds expenses2,3

 

Total compensation paid
from TIAA-CREF Fund Complex1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forrest Berkley4

 

$

39,438.52

 

 

$

11,117.33

 

 

$

375,000.00

 

 

 

Joseph A. Boateng

 

 

40,527.60

 

 

 

11,117.33

 

 

 

365,000.00

 

 

 

Janice C. Eberly4

 

 

41,134.13

 

 

 

11,117.33

 

 

 

385,000.00

 

 

 

Nancy A. Eckl

 

 

44,997.18

 

 

 

11,117.33

 

 

 

440,000.00

 

 

 

Michael A. Forrester4

 

 

43,885.45

 

 

 

11,117.33

 

 

 

395,000.00

 

 

 

Howell E. Jackson4

 

 

41,661.98

 

 

 

11,117.33

 

 

 

432,500.00

 

 

 

Thomas J. Kenny4

 

 

52,779.32

 

 

 

11,117.33

 

 

 

485,000.00

 

 

 

James M. Poterba4

 

 

44,997.18

 

 

 

11,117.33

 

 

 

425,000.00

 

 

 

Maceo K. Sloan

 

 

43,621.53

 

 

 

11,117.33

 

 

 

392,500.00

 

 

 

Laura T. Starks

 

 

42,829.75

 

 

 

11,117.33

 

 

 

385,000.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Compensation figures include cash and amounts deferred under both the long-term compensation plan and optional deferred compensation plan described below.

2

Includes compensation from only those Funds having the fiscal year end listed above.

3

Amounts deferred under the long-term compensation plan described below.

4

A portion of this compensation was not actually paid based on the prior election of the Trustee to defer receipt of payment in accordance with the provisions of a deferred compensation plan for non-officer Trustees described below. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, Mr. Berkley elected to defer $275,000, Prof. Eberly elected to defer $285,000, Mr. Forrester elected to defer $295,000, Prof. Jackson elected to defer $33,250, Mr. Kenny elected to defer $101,375 and Prof. Poterba elected to defer $325,000 of total compensation from the TIAA-CREF Fund Complex.

Compensation is paid to the Trustees based on each Trustee’s service as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Trust, CREF and TCLF and as a member of the Management Committee of VA-1, and Trustee compensation expenses are allocated among each of the Funds of the Trust and TCLF, the Accounts of CREF and the single portfolio of VA-1, as applicable. Effective January 1, 2021, Trustee compensation is based on the following rates: an annual retainer of $210,000; an annual long-term compensation contribution of $100,000; an annual committee chair fee of $20,000 for the Nominating and Governance Committee and $30,000 for the chairs of the Investment Committee, Operations Committee and Audit and Compliance Committee; an annual Board chair fee of $100,000; and an annual committee retainer of $20,000 for the Nominating and

50     Statement of Additional Information    TIAA-CREF Funds


Governance Committee and $30,000 for the Investment Committee, Operations Committee and Audit and Compliance Committee.

Effective January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, Trustee compensation was based on the following rates: an annual retainer of $200,000; an annual long-term compensation contribution of $100,000; an annual committee chair fee of $20,000 ($30,000 for the chairs of the Operations Committee and Audit and Compliance Committee); an annual Board chair fee of $100,000; and an annual committee retainer of $20,000 ($30,000 for the Operations Committee and Audit and Compliance Committee).

Effective January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, Trustee compensation was based on the following rates: an annual retainer of $190,000; an annual long-term compensation contribution of $100,000; an annual committee chair fee of $20,000 ($30,000 for the chairs of the Operations Committee and Audit and Compliance Committee); an annual Board chair fee of $100,000; and an annual committee retainer of $20,000 ($25,000 for the Operations Committee and Audit and Compliance Committee).

The chair and members of the Executive Committee and the members of the Special Emergency Valuation Committee continue to not receive fees for service on those committees. The Trustees may also continue to receive special, working group or ad hoc committee fees, or related chair fees, as determined by the Board. The level of compensation is evaluated regularly and is based on a study of compensation at comparable companies, the time and responsibilities required of the Trustees, and the need to attract and retain well-qualified Board members.

The TIAA-CREF Fund Complex has a long-term compensation plan for Trustees. Currently, under this unfunded deferred compensation plan, annual contributions equal to $100,000 are allocated to notional investments in TIAA-CREF Fund Complex products (such as certain CREF annuities and/or certain Funds) selected by each Trustee. After the Trustee leaves the Board, benefits will be paid in a lump sum or in annual installments over a period of 2 to 20 years, as requested by the Trustee. The Board may waive the mandatory retirement policy for the Trustees, which would delay the commencement of benefit payments until after the Trustee eventually retires from the Board. Pursuant to a separate deferred compensation plan, Trustees also have the option to defer payments of their basic retainer, additional retainers and/or meeting fees and allocate those amounts to notional investments in TIAA-CREF Fund Complex products (such as certain CREF annuities and/or certain Funds) selected by each Trustee. Benefits under that plan are also paid in a lump sum or in annual installments over a period of 2 to 20 years, as requested by the Trustee. The compensation table above does not reflect any payments under the long-term compensation plan.

The Trust has adopted a mandatory retirement policy for its Board of Trustees. Under this policy, Trustees shall cease to be members of the Board and resign their positions effective as of no later than the completion of the last scheduled in-person meeting of the Board while such persons are 72 years of age. Such requirement may be waived with respect to one or more Trustees for reasonable time periods upon the unanimous approval and at the sole discretion of the Board of Trustees, and the Trustees eligible for the waiver are not permitted to vote on such proposal regarding their waiver.

Board committees

The Board of Trustees has appointed the following standing and non-standing committees and, in addition, may from time to time form certain committees on an “ad hoc” basis, each with specific responsibilities for aspects of the Trust’s operations:

(1) An Audit and Compliance Committee, consisting solely of independent Trustees, which assists the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities relating to financial reporting, internal controls over financial reporting and certain compliance matters. The Audit and Compliance Committee is charged with, among other matters, approving and/or recommending for Board approval the appointment, compensation and retention (or termination) of the Funds’ independent registered public accounting firm. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, the Audit and Compliance Committee held five meetings. During the fiscal year ended October 31, 2020, the Audit and Compliance Committee held five meetings. The current members of the Audit and Compliance Committee are Prof. Poterba (chair), Prof. Eberly, Mr. Kenny, Mr. Sloan and Prof. Starks. Mr. Sloan has been designated as an “audit committee financial expert” as defined by the rules of the SEC.

(2) An Investment Committee, consisting solely of independent Trustees, which assists the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities for the Funds’ investments, the voting of proxies of the portfolio companies of the Funds and reviewing ESG criteria used by certain Funds. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, the Investment Committee held six meetings. During the fiscal year ended October 31, 2020, the Investment Committee held seven meetings. The current members of the Investment Committee are Mr. Sloan (chair), Mr. Berkley, Mr. Boateng, Prof. Eberly, Ms. Eckl, Mr. Forrester, Prof. Jackson, Mr. Kenny, Prof. Poterba and Prof. Starks.

(3) An Executive Committee, consisting solely of independent Trustees, which generally is vested with full Board powers for matters that arise between Board meetings. During the fiscal years ended March 31, 2021 and October 31, 2020, the Executive Committee held no meetings. The current members of the Executive Committee are Mr. Kenny (chair), Ms. Eckl, Mr. Forrester, Prof. Jackson and Prof. Poterba.

(4) A Nominating and Governance Committee, consisting solely of independent Trustees, which assists the Board in addressing internal governance matters of the Trust, including nominating certain Trust officers and the members of the

TIAA-CREF Funds    Statement of Additional Information     51


standing committees of the Board, recommending candidates for election as Trustees, reviewing the qualification and independence of Trustees, conducting evaluations of the Trustees and of the Board and its committees and reviewing proposed changes to the Trust’s governing documents. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, the Nominating and Governance Committee held seven meetings. During the fiscal year ended October 31, 2020, the Nominating and Governance Committee held six meetings. The current members of the Nominating and Governance Committee are Mr. Forrester (chair), Ms. Eckl, Mr. Kenny and Prof. Poterba.

(5) An Operations Committee, consisting solely of independent Trustees, which assists the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities for operational matters of the Trust, including oversight of contracts with third-party service providers and certain legal, compliance, finance, sales and marketing matters. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, the Operations Committee held four meetings. During the fiscal year ended October 31, 2020, the Operations Committee held four meetings. The current members of the Operations Committee are Ms. Eckl (chair), Mr. Berkley, Mr. Boateng, Mr. Forrester and Prof. Jackson.

(6) A Special Emergency Valuation Committee (the “Special Valuation Committee”), which considers one or more fair value determinations or methodologies to be used for fair valuation of portfolio securities in the event that a meeting is requested by TIAA-CREF Investment Management, LLC (“Investment Management”) or Advisors due to extraordinary circumstances. During the fiscal years ended March 31, 2021 and October 31, 2020, the Special Valuation Committee held no meetings. At least three members of the Board shall be needed to constitute the Special Valuation Committee, and the chair shall be the member of the Special Valuation Committee who is the longest serving Trustee on the Board.

The Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility Committee was dissolved as of December 31, 2020 and its responsibilities were assumed by the Investment Committee. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, the Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility Committee held three meetings. During the fiscal year ended October 31, 2020, the Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility Committee held four meetings. Prior to its dissolution, the members of the Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility Committee were Prof. Starks (chair), Mr. Boateng, Prof. Eberly, Prof. Poterba and Mr. Sloan.

Investors can recommend, and the Nominating and Governance Committee will consider, nominees for election as Trustees by providing potential nominee names and background information to the Secretary of the TIAA-CREF Funds. The Secretary’s address is: Office of the Corporate Secretary, 730 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017-3206 or trustees@tiaa.org.

Proxy voting policies

The Trust has adopted policies and procedures to govern the Funds’ voting of proxies of portfolio companies. The Trust seeks to use proxy voting as a tool to promote positive returns for long-term shareholders. The Trust believes that sound corporate governance practices and responsible corporate behavior create the framework from which public companies can be managed in the long-term interests of shareholders.

As a general matter, the Trust’s Board has delegated to Advisors responsibility for voting proxies of the Funds’ portfolio companies in accordance with the Trust’s Board approved guidelines. Guidelines for voting proxy proposals are articulated in the TIAA Policy Statement on Responsible Investing, attached as an Appendix to this SAI.

Advisors has a dedicated team of professionals responsible for reviewing and voting proxies. In analyzing a proposal, in addition to exercising their professional judgment, these professionals utilize various sources of information to enhance their ability to evaluate the proposal. These sources may include research from third party proxy advisory firms and other consultants, various corporate governance-focused organizations, related publications and TIAA investment professionals. Based on their analysis of proposals and guided by the TIAA Policy Statement on Responsible Investing, these professionals then vote in a manner intended solely to advance the best interests of the Funds’ shareholders. Occasionally, when a proposal relates to issues not addressed in the TIAA Policy Statement on Responsible Investing, Advisors may seek guidance from the Trust’s Board or a designated committee thereof.

The Trust and Advisors believe that they have implemented policies, procedures and processes designed to prevent conflicts of interest from influencing proxy voting decisions. These include (i) oversight by the Board or a designated committee thereof; (ii) a clear separation of proxy voting functions from external client relationship and sales functions; and (iii) the active monitoring of required annual disclosures of potential conflicts of interest by individuals who have direct roles in executing or influencing the Funds’ proxy voting (e.g., Advisors’ proxy voting professionals, a Trustee, or a senior executive of the Trust, Advisors or Advisors’ affiliates) by Advisors’ legal and compliance professionals.

There could be rare instances in which an individual who has a direct role in executing or influencing the Funds’ proxy voting (e.g., Advisors’ proxy voting professionals, a Trustee, or a senior executive of the Trust, Advisors or Advisors’ affiliates) is either a director or executive of a portfolio company or may have some other association with a portfolio company. In such cases, this individual is required to recuse himself or herself from all decisions related to proxy voting for that portfolio company.

A record of all proxy votes cast for the Funds for the 12-month period ended June 30 can be obtained, free of charge, at www.tiaa.org, and on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

52     Statement of Additional Information    TIAA-CREF Funds


Principal holders of securities

As of June 28, 2021, the following investors were known to hold beneficially or of record 5% or more of the outstanding shares of any class of a Fund:

             

Fund—Class

 

Percentage of holdings

 

Shares

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging Markets Equity Fund—Institutional Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIAA, FSB CUST/TTEE FBO: RETIREMENT PLANS FOR WHICH TIAA ACTS AS RECORDKEEPER ATTN: TRUST OPERATIONS 211 N BROADWAY STE 1000 SAINT LOUIS MO 63102-2748

 

55.56%

 

13,233,223.438

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAPINCO C/O US BANK NA 1555 N RIVERCENTER DR STE 302 MILWAUKEE WI 53212-3958

 

9.90%

 

2,358,828.678

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIAA-CREF INDIVIDUAL & INSTITUTIONAL SERV INC FOR EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMERS ATTN PATRICK NELSON 730 3RD AVE NEW YORK NY 10017-3206

 

8.09%

 

1,927,557.893

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIAA-CREF MANAGED ALLOCATION II AC ATTN JANICE CARNICELLI MSC 730/07/01 730 3RD AVE NEW YORK NY 10017-3206

 

7.18%

 

1,709,302.378

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAC & CO A/C 425763 ATTN: MUTUAL FUND OPERATIONS 500 GRANT STREET ROOM 151-1010 PITTSBURGH PA 15219-2502

 

5.38%

 

1,280,417.923

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging Markets Equity Fund—Advisor Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEACHERS INSURANCE & ANNUITY ASSOC ATTN JANICE CARNICELLI MAIL STOP 730/07/01 730 THIRD AVE NEW YORK NY 10017-3207

 

81.95%

 

11,892.946

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PERSHING LLC PO BOX 2052 JERSEY CITY NJ 07303-2052

 

12.27%

 

1,780.246

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging Markets Equity Fund—Premier Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIAA, FSB CUST/TTEE FBO: RETIREMENT PLANS FOR WHICH TIAA ACTS AS RECORDKEEPER ATTN: TRUST OPERATIONS 211 N BROADWAY STE 1000 SAINT LOUIS MO 63102-2748

 

99.80%

 

901,519.620

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging Markets Equity Fund—Retirement Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JPMORGAN CHASE BANK NA FBO TIAA-CREF TRUST CO AS CUST FOR IRA CLIENTS ATTN: DC PLAN SERVICE TEAM 4 NEW YORK PLZ FL 17 NEW YORK NY 10004-2413

 

89.27%

 

8,440,583.808

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIAA, FSB CUST/TTEE FBO: RETIREMENT PLANS FOR WHICH TIAA ACTS AS RECORDKEEPER ATTN: TRUST OPERATIONS 211 N BROADWAY STE 1000 SAINT LOUIS MO 63102-2748

 

5.26%

 

497,206.894

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JPMORGAN CUSTODIAN TIAA-CREF TRUST CO NON ERISA TDA C/O JPMORGAN CHASE BANK ATTN: DC PLAN SERVICE TEAM TIAA 4 NEW YORK PLZ FL 12 NEW YORK NY 10004-2413

 

5.13%

 

485,244.016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging Markets Equity Fund—Retail Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PERSHING LLC PO BOX 2052 JERSEY CITY NJ 07303-2052

 

21.88%

 

184,524.954

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC ATTN: MUTUAL FUNDS 211 MAIN ST SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905

 

6.94%

 

58,540.734

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPARTMENT 499 WASHINGTON BLVD FL 4 JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995

 

5.17%

 

43,589.286

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging Markets Equity Fund—Class W

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIAA-CREF IMF LIFECYCLE FUND #2040 ATTN JANICE CARNICELLI MSC 730/07/01 730 3RD AVE NEW YORK NY 10017-3206

 

19.73%

 

15,578,466.138

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIAA-CREF IMF LIFECYCLE FUND #2035 ATTN JANICE CARNICELLI MSC 730/07/01 730 3RD AVE NEW YORK NY 10017-3206

 

14.85%

 

11,722,149.448

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIAA-CREF IMF LIFECYCLE FUND #2045 ATTN JANICE CARNICELLI MSC 730/07/01 730 3RD AVE NEW YORK NY 10017-3206

 

14.27%

 

11,261,387.668

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIAA-CREF IMF LIFECYCLE FUND #2030 ATTN JANICE CARNICELLI MSC 730/07/01 730 3RD AVE NEW YORK NY 10017-3206

 

12.64%

 

9,982,185.976

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIAA-CREF IMF LIFECYCLE FUND #2050 ATTN JANICE CARNICELLI MSC 730/07/01 730 3RD AVE NEW YORK NY 10017-3206

 

10.71%

 

8,454,159.104

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIAA-CREF IMF LIFECYCLE FUND #2025 ATTN JANICE CARNICELLI MSC 730/07/01 730 3RD AVE NEW YORK NY 10017-3206

 

10.17%

 

8,027,248.073

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIAA-CREF IMF LIFECYCLE FUND #2020 ATTN JANICE CARNICELLI MSC 730/07/01 730 3RD AVE NEW YORK NY 10017-3206

 

6.23%

 

4,922,042.931

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIAA-CREF Funds    Statement of Additional Information     53


             

Fund—Class

 

Percentage of holdings

 

Shares

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging Markets Equity Index Fund—Institutional Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIAA, FSB CUST/TTEE FBO: RETIREMENT PLANS FOR WHICH TIAA ACTS AS RECORDKEEPER ATTN: TRUST OPERATIONS 211 N BROADWAY STE 1000 SAINT LOUIS MO 63102-2748

 

29.90%

 

22,450,040.359

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAC & CO 179403 ATTN MUTUAL FUND OPERATION 500 GRANT STREET ROOM 151-1010 PITTSBURGH PA 15219-2502

 

18.74%

 

14,075,289.011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAC & CO A/C 448150 ATTN: MUTUAL FUND OPERATIONS 500 GRANT STREET ROOM 151-1010 PITTSBURGH PA 15219-2502

 

15.55%

 

11,675,582.561

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAC & CO A/C 262480 ATTN MUTUAL FUND OPERATION 500 GRANT STREET ROOM 151-1010 PITTSBURGH PA 15219-2502

 

8.96%

 

6,730,939.981

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CUSTOMERS ATTN: MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT FL 4 499 WASHINGTON BLVD JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995

 

8.93%

 

6,702,590.905

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIAA-CREF INDIVIDUAL & INSTITUTIONAL SERV INC FOR EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMERS ATTN PATRICK NELSON 730 3RD AVE NEW YORK NY 10017-3206

 

6.51%

 

4,886,539.421

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging Markets Equity Index Fund—Advisor Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PERSHING LLC PO BOX 2052 JERSEY CITY NJ 07303-2052

 

88.65%

 

181,854.692

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEACHERS INSURANCE & ANNUITY ASSOC ATTN JANICE CARNICELLI MAIL STOP 730/07/01 730 THIRD AVE NEW YORK NY 10017-3207

 

6.06%

 

12,421.487

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging Markets Equity Index Fund—Premier Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIAA, FSB CUST/TTEE FBO: RETIREMENT PLANS FOR WHICH TIAA ACTS AS RECORDKEEPER ATTN: TRUST OPERATIONS 211 N BROADWAY STE 1000 SAINT LOUIS MO 63102-2748

 

99.92%

 

2,142,411.401

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging Markets Equity Index Fund—Retirement Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JPMORGAN CHASE BANK NA FBO TIAA-CREF TRUST CO AS CUST FOR IRA CLIENTS ATTN: DC PLAN SERVICE TEAM 4 NEW YORK PLZ FL 17 NEW YORK NY 10004-2413

 

88.71%

 

36,592,432.472

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIAA, FSB CUST/TTEE FBO: RETIREMENT PLANS FOR WHICH TIAA ACTS AS RECORDKEEPER ATTN: TRUST OPERATIONS 211 N BROADWAY STE 1000 SAINT LOUIS MO 63102-2748

 

5.34%

 

2,204,686.130

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging Markets Equity Index Fund—Retail Class