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Planned Giving: Gifts of Retirement Plans

Planned Giving Home
Bequests
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Tax-deferred retirement plan benefits are great sources of retirement income, but not always a good choice for making gifts to children and grandchildren. 

Retirement-plan benefits include assets held in Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and assets held in accounts under 401(k) plans, profit-sharing plans, Keogh plans, and 403(b) plans. Income taxes on retirement-plan benefits are deferred but not avoided. That means, as these assets are withdrawn during retirement by the account owner or the account owner.s spouse, they are subject to income tax. In addition, retirement-plan benefits left to children, grandchildren, and other beneficiaries at the death of the account owner are subject to both income tax and estate tax. This combination of income taxes and estate taxes can result in a tax-hit equal to 75% or more of the retirement-plan benefits.

Since retirement accounts are less valuable to heirs than they are to non-profit organizations like Mount Washington Observatory, it makes sense to gift them to the Observatory and leave other assets to family.

Tax-Free Gifts from IRA Accounts
Congress has authorized the "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008" which extends the law that allows donors to make charitable gifts from their IRA accounts during tax years 2008 and 2009, without incurring income tax on the withdrawal. If you are age 70 1/2 or older and are required to take minimum withdrawals and you do not need them for personal use, this may be a great way to make a gift to Mount Washington Observatory. While you cannot claim a charitable deduction for IRA gifts, you will not pay income tax on the amount.

To qualify:

The benefits of this method of giving are numerous:

For questions and comments, please contact the Mount Washington Observatory Development Office at (603) 356-2137, ext. 218.



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