On July 13, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) published an order instituting administrative cease-and-desist proceedings against TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC (“TIAA”). TIAA consented to this order without admitting or denying the findings except as to jurisdiction and subjection matter. The SEC’s order alleges TIAA failed to properly disclose conflicts of interest and made materially misleading statements concerning rollover recommendations they made to clients over a five-year period from 2013 to 2018.
TIAA’s policies and procedures required their investment adviser representatives, who were also dually registered as registered representatives, to present clients with four options regarding rollover recommendations when providing financial planning services. The options were:
- Leave client assets in their employer-sponsored retirement plans;
- Rolling the assets into a self-directed individual retirement account;
- Rolling over the assets to a new employer’s plan; or
- Cashing out the account value/taking a lump-sum distribution.