Now I think I understand better another wrinkle to this whole thing, which is that the annuity is not synonymous with the Roth.
TIAA’s recent explanation to me says the remediation payment was not made out of the “contract”–i.e. the annuity contract. I wonder why not.
But in any case that seems irrelevant to the coding of the 1099-R, because the remediation payment (including the $124.59 “estimated earnings”) would still seem to be a Roth distribution.
I wonder if what happened is that if TIAA made the remediation payments from the annuity contract there was some consequence of that that was unacceptable. I believe TIAA annuities are subject to the New York State Dept. of Insurance, and I know their regulation is rigorous. The under-calculation may have affected all the TIAA annuities, in which case the $ could be a lot, since the under-calculation continued for five years. Perhaps in order to make the remediation payments they had to take all of the funds from some part of their coffers which was non-Roth, even though some portion of the annuitants have Roth annuities.