The day before Thanksgiving—and just days before a major holiday weekend—potentially thousands of customers of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association–College Retirement Equities Fund were unable to access funds from their accounts, according to a frustrated customer who contacted Ziff Davis Media.
According to an e-mail sent from a TIAA-CREF client, the huge retirement plan association is in the midst of a platform upgrade that has gone awry. The issues began to surface with customers on Tuesday, Nov. 15, and had initially affected about 30 people. By the following Wednesday the matter had escalated to the point where "thousands" of customers were feeling the pinch.
"Many of us have mortgages due, or other cash needs which simply are not being processed," said the TIAA-CREF client, in his e-mail to eWEEK. "TIAA-CREF has appointed escalation teams to a. try and get something done, and b. reassure participants that something is being done."
Despite an "intervention" planned for later in the day Tuesday by TIAA-CREF consultants, the issues were unsolved by midday Wednesday, according to the e-mail.
A TIAA-CREF official confirmed that the company is working to solve an IT-related problem, but said it is minor in scale.
"Our platform is fully operational and our participants are able to withdraw funds," said TIAA-CREF spokesman Glen Weiner, in a statement released Wednesday. "We have had very minor delays in a very small number of transactions. Impacted participants have been identified and corrective actions have been or are near completion."
New York City–based TIAA-CREF is one of the largest private retirement systems in the United States, with more than 3 million members from the academic community, and about 15,000 institutional investors.
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