Retirement plan assets

Naming the University of Minnesota as a beneficiary of tax-deferred retirement accounts is a tax-efficient way to make a gift to the University. Tax-deferred retirement assets that are transferred to heirs are subject to income tax, and possibly estate tax, upon distribution.

If left to the University, retirement assets will pass free of income tax and estate tax, allowing the full value of the gift to be used to support the campus, college, program, or fund the donor chooses. This makes tax-deferred retirement accounts an excellent choice to use for a charitable estate gift.

The final disposition of assets held in IRAs and other tax-deferred (qualified) retirement plan accounts, which include 401(k), 401(a), 403(b), or 457 plan accounts, is governed by the beneficiary designation for the account.

To make a charitable gift of retirement assets, donors simply designate the University of Minnesota Foundation as a beneficiary of the accounts, using forms provided by the plan administrator. A donor can designate the University to receive a specific amount, a percentage, or all of the remaining assets in the account. The assets would then pass directly to the University at death, free of income and estate tax. The donor maintains control over these assets during life, and can change the beneficiaries at any time.

Each retirement plan administrator has its own forms and requirements to process a change of beneficiary request. Donors can contact their plan administrators to request the appropriate forms.


Information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For information on how any gift may affect your tax situation, please consult with your own professional advisor.