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buzman, you wrote:

<< I'm not trying to argue semantics with you but surrender charges generally are unavoidable.

This fee is avoidable by taking distributions other than a single-sum.

So a participant can avoid this surrender charge.

It seems to me that if that's the line of reasoning one is to take, then ALL surrender charges are avoidable. If one waits until after the surrender period to take any kind of distribution, there are no surrender charges for any annuity. Or, as you've suggested above, if one takes the certain allowed distribution amount in any particular year . . .there is no surrender charge (many annuities are now set up that way).

I would say you're generally correct in what you stated with regard to TIAA's regular annuities. But obviously there IS a "surrender charge" for TIAA's Group Retirement Annuities. After all, that's what they're actually calling it on the statement.

. . . and so, I really don't feel it's a matter of semantics. ;-)
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