Gifts of Retirement Plan Assets

“I plan to endow a scholarship at Teachers College through a bequest gift from my IRA. It’s easy to do and makes a lot of sense.”  —James J. Shields (Ed.D., Philosophy and the Social Sciences)

You can make a gift to TC through your estate by naming Teachers College as a beneficiary of a qualified retirement plan account, such as an IRA, 401(k), 403(b), Keogh or similar account. Upon your death, all or a portion of the unused balance in your account is transferred to Teachers College as a charitable gift.

Retirement plan assets are among the best assets to use for charitable gifts because if these assets are left to your heirs, they could eventually be taxed at 50% or 60%.

Other benefits include:

  • Your estate benefits from a charitable deduction on the full amount given to charity
  • Charitable designations are free from all Federal income and estate tax
  • These gifts are considered non-probate assets
  • The process of naming TC as beneficiary is simple with no legal counsel needed

You can name the College as a beneficiary of your plan by contacting your plan administrator who will provide you with a form to designate Teachers College as a primary or contingent beneficiary of your account, and the amount or percentage of assets that you wish to give. If you are married, they may also ask you for the consent of your spouse.

The plan administrator will ask you for the following information:

Teachers College, Columbia University
525 West 120th Street, Box 306
New York. NY 10027
Federal Tax ID number: 13-1624202.

The beneficiary form that you would receive from your retirement plan administrator does not typically include information about the use of the gift. If you have a special purpose in mind, you should execute a separate letter of agreement between you and the College confirming your account information and the use of the funds.

Easy link to TIAA-Cref beneficiary form web page.