TIAA-CREF Customers Say IT Issues Not Resolved

Frustrated customers of private retirement company TIAA-CREF say they are is still dealing with delayed transactions.

Despite confirmations from TIAA-CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund) that its IT systems are in good working order, some customers on Tuesday were still waiting for their cash, two weeks after initial issues surfaced.

According to a number of e-mails sent to Ziff Davis Internet by frustrated pensioners, TIAA-CREF is still unable to process fund disbursements for some account holders.

"In my most recent conversation [Monday at 5:00 p.m. EST], I learned a) that the problem has to do with IRA accounts, and b) they [TIAA-CREF] are trying to re-input necessary information manually," said one customer who requested anonymity. "Yep, manually—in 2005."

The IT issues began to surface with TIAA-CREF customers on Tuesday, Nov. 15, and had initially affected about 30 people. By the following Wednesday, Nov. 23, the matter had escalated to the point where "thousands" of customers were feeling the pinch, according to a separate e-mail sent to Ziff Davis Internet from a TIAA-CREF customer.

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TIAA-CREF spokesman Glen Weiner said that at the time there had been minor delays in a very small number of transactions—and that corrective actions "have been or are near completion."

The following Monday, Nov. 28, Weiner said in a statement that the matter had been solved.

"The issue has been resolved and the checks have gone out," said Weiner in an e-mail. "Technological and human resources were brought to bear to resolve it. We dont foresee this being a problem in the future."

TIAA-CREF customers, however, have a different opinion.

"I just wanted to let you know the problem has NOT been resolved," said another TIAA-CREF customer in an e-mail sent to Ziff Davis Internet Tuesday.

"The TIAA phone reps have been very polite, but give no useful information, such as when might the problem be solved … my transfer is now over two weeks late and still no result."

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.

TIAA-CREFs Weiner said Monday the companys CTO is not available to discuss the issues—or what is being done to solve them.

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