Name The Nature Conservancy as a Beneficiary of Your Retirement Plan
Take care of nature and your heirs by making TNC a full or partial beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k) or other qualified retirement plan. The taxes applied to your retirement plan assets may be different than you imagined—in fact, using retirement assets to make a donation and leaving other assets to your heirs often enables you to give more to your heirs.
How It Works
Your financial advisor and TNC’s gift planning professionals can help you determine whether income from a gift plan or withdrawals from your retirement account would most benefit your heirs. For more information, contact one of our gift planning experts.
Here's the process:
- You name TNC as the beneficiary of a qualifying retirement plan through a beneficiary designation form, ensuring assets will not be included in your taxable estate. An extra step may be required to designate a 401(k).
- After your lifetime, the residue of your plan passes to TNC tax-free and to any other named heirs.
- You may be able to escape both income AND estate taxes levied on the residue left in your retirement account. Since TNC is a non-profit organization, we won't pay income tax on the distribution, nor will the gift be subject to estate tax. The entire amount comes to us, and your heirs will benefit from a reduced estate tax burden.
- Continue to take withdrawals during your lifetime.
- Change the beneficiary if your circumstances change.
- Support future conservation work.
Follow These Steps to Make Sure Your Gift Is Received
- Request a beneficiary form from your bank or plan administrator. This form—not your will—determines how these assets are distributed after your lifetime.
- Write in The Nature Conservancy as beneficiary or partial beneficiary using our business address: 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, Virginia 22203-1606.
- If the form requests a social security number, use our tax identification number: 53-0242652. If the form asks for a date of birth, use our date of incorporation: 10/11/1951.
- Return the beneficiary form to your plan administrator. Send us a copy as well, sharing as much account information as you're comfortable with so we can correctly identify and claim your gift. (e.g., account type, account number, approximate value). Your gift will be used to support global conservation priorities unless you specify otherwise.
- When creating your will or trust, include a list of your non-probate assets and the beneficiaries' contact information. Also be sure to speak to your executor/trustee about providing copies of death certificates, which most custodians require for beneficiary claims.
Example: Assume you have $300,000 in an IRA and appreciated stock worth $250,000. You can see from this chart that your heirs actually benefit more from the lower valued gift of stock.
|IRA to Charity||Stock to Heirs||IRA to Heirs|
|Value of IRA||$300,000||$250,000||$300,000|
|Less Income Tax (37%)*||$0||$110,000|
|Remainder to Charity/Heirs||$300,000||$250,000||$189,000|
The income your heirs receive from your IRA is called “Income in Respect of Decedent,“ which is taxable upon transfer at your heirs’ highest tax rate. However, the gift of stock is taxable only when the heirs sell the shares, and only on the gain that occurred from the date of transfer—currently, the highest capital gains tax rate is 23.8%*. You may be able to give more to your heirs with less.
*These figures assume beneficiary is in the top income tax and capital gains bracket.
Meet Drs. Beth Salerno and Tod Ramseyer
Drs. Beth Salerno and Tod Ramseyer listed The Nature Conservancy as a beneficiary of their retirement plans and life insurance policies.