Retirement Plan Investment Options

Choosing How Your Funds Are Invested

The University offers an expansive selection of investment funds from which you can choose to invest the contributions in your Princeton University Retirement Plan or Retirement Savings Plan. 

These funds have been placed into three groups: Group A, B and C. Each group is described below. For more detailed information about each fund, contact TIAA-CREF, Vanguard or the Benefits Team.

Group A Target Retirement Funds/Life Cycle Funds

These funds are age-based, balanced portfolios designed to simplify investing and are funds which Vanguard and/or TIAA-CREF will manage for you until your targeted retirement date.
These “one decision” funds simplify investing for retirement. When choosing a Target Retirement/Life Cycle Fund, consider choosing the date-specific fund nearest your expected year of retirement. As that date approaches, each fund gradually and automatically reduces risk by shifting from stocks to bonds and short-term reserves.
The Target Retirement/Life Cycle Funds maintain a fixed allocation intended to provide retirees with income while preserving the original investment. Keep in mind that although Target Retirement/Life Cycle Funds can simplify investment selection, all mutual fund investing is subject to risk. Each Target Retirement/Life Cycle Fund invests in broadly diversified funds and is subject to the risks associated with these underlying funds. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market.

Group A Fund List/Life Cycle Funds



Vanguard Target Retirement 2060 Fund TIAA-CREF Life Cycle Index 2055
Vanguard Target Retirement 2055 Fund
TIAA-CREF Life Cycle Index 2050
Vanguard Target Retirement 2050 Fund TIAA-CREF Life Cycle Index 2045
Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 Fund 
TIAA-CREF Life Cycle Index 2040
Vanguard Target Retirement 2040 Fund
TIAA-CREF Life Cycle Index 2035
Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 Fund TIAA-CREF Life Cycle Index 2030
Vanguard Target Retirement 2030 Fund
TIAA-CREF Life Cycle Index 2025
Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 Fund TIAA-CREF Life Cycle Index 2020
Vanguard Target Retirement 2020 Fund TIAA-CREF Life Cycle Index 2015
Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 Fund TIAA-CREF Life Cycle Index by Retirement Income fund
Vanguard Target Retirement Income Fund  

Group B Funds

These funds are designed for the participant who wants to choose from a limited set of investment funds that cover all the basic asset classes. If you have some investing experience and the time to research the plans’ fund options, you may wish to create a diversified portfolio of Group B funds.
The TIAA-CREF funds listed in Group B represent the fund menu that is currently offered to plan participants.
The Vanguard funds are index funds. Index funds attempt to track the performance of a particular index. They buy and hold all, or a representative sample of, the securities in the index. When you choose a portfolio of index funds, you do not need to spend a lot of time researching different mutual funds, trying to determine which ones might be able to beat the market. Group B funds are listed by overall risk level, from most conservative to most aggressive, which takes into account the different types of risk applicable to each fund’s asset class and investment style.

TIAA-CREF Group B Fund List

TIAA Traditional Retirement Annuity
CREF Money Market Account
CREF Inflation-Linked Bond Account
CREF Bond Market Account
TIAA Real Estate Fund Account
CREF Growth Fund Account
CREF Social Choice Fund
CREF Equity Index Account Fund
CREF Stock Fund Account
CREF Global Equities Account

Vanguard Core Funds

Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund
Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund
Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund
Vanguard Total International Stock Market Index Fund

Group C Funds

These funds are geared to the experienced investor who is interested in more
specialized investment options. It is important for you to understand that you do not need to choose a group; you may wish to create a balanced portfolio utilizing funds from all three groups of funds. 
Whether you’re a new or an experienced investor, picking the right strategy can help you create a portfolio that fits your investment objective, time horizon and tolerance for risk.
If you’re an experienced investor and want specialized investments for extra diversification in your portfolio, you may wish to add Group C funds to your fund selections.
Group C funds provide a wider variety of investment options so that you can diversify your portfolio the way you see fit. The Group C fund lineup is a diverse assortment of funds.
Group C funds are listed by overall risk level, from most conservative to most aggressive, which takes into account the different types of risk applicable to each fund’s asset class and investment style.

Group C Fund List


TIAA-CREF Institutional Large-Cap Growth Index
TIAA-CREF Institutional S& P 500 Index
TIAA-CREF Growth & Income
TIAA-CREF Institutional Large-Cap Value
TIAA-CREF Institutional Mid-Cap Growth
TIAA-CREF Institutional Mid-Cap Value
TIAA-CREF Institutional Small-Cap Equity
TIAA-CREF Institutional International Equity

Vanguard Fund List

Vanguard Wellington Investment Fund
Vanguard Windsor II Investment Fund
Columbia Mid Cap Value Z Fund
Vanguard 500 Index Investment Fund
Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund
Vanguard PRIMECAP Investment Fund
Vanguard Explorer Investment Fund
Vanguard International Value Investment Fund
Vanguard International Growth Investment Fund
For information about your TIAA-CREF income options, visit the TIAA website or call (800) 842-8412 to speak with a TIAA-CREF counselor or set up an on-campus appointment.
For information about your Vanguard income options, visit the Vanguard website or call (800) 523-1188 to speak with a Vanguard Participant Services Associate, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST.
You can count on support from knowledgeable and responsive HR staff when you have a benefits question or problem. Just call us at (609) 258-3302 or send us an email to We’re here to help!
While the University intends to continue each of the benefit plans, the University reserves the right to terminate or amend any plan, at any time, and for any reason.