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TIAA-CREF has agreed to pay $97 million in damages to tens of thousands of customers who were fraudulently misled to transfer their retirement investments to higher-cost accounts provided by the company. New York Attorney General Letty Ya James Announce on Tuesday. In six years, thousands of clients have been pressured by TIAA consultants to transfer their investments from low-cost, employer-sponsored retirement plans to higher-cost, separately managed accounts. James said the plan is much more expensive for customers and has incurred hundreds of millions of dollars in expenses for TIAA.

“For many years, TIAA put profits above people and took money from people’s hard-earned retirement funds,” James said. “TIAA has made hundreds of millions of dollars by misleading clients and forcing them to make higher-cost investments, which benefited from the retirement accounts of tens of thousands of investors.”

A TIAA spokesperson said: “We are cooperating with regulators and are pleased to be able to resolve this matter that spans more than three years. We regret that we did not meet the expectations of our customers. We have learned some valuable experience. Lessons learned and applied to strengthen our training, supervision, control, and disclosure. We started implementing some of these improvements even before the regulatory agencies launched investigations, and we are constantly looking for ways to better serve the interests of our customers.”

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