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Naming BTI as Beneficiary

Naming BTI as a beneficiary of your IRA or other retirement plan is simple. Many people hold significant assets in tax-deferred IRAs or 401(k) plans. You can include charities as beneficiaries of these plans and your heirs will be glad you did!

If you plan to leave money and property to your surviving family members and to your favorite charities, the wisest plan is to leave income-taxable assets like IRAs and 401(k) plans to the charitable beneficiary, and non-taxable items such as cash, investment portfolios or real property to the individual beneficiaries.

When you contributed to your retirement plan, no tax was paid on those contributions. Whenever the money is withdrawn — either by you during your lifetime or by your heirs after your death – the income tax becomes due. Naturally, the charitable beneficiary is income tax-exempt, so IRA and 401(k) funds left to a charity are not subject to the income tax. In contrast, a child inheriting $100,000 from an IRA must pay income tax on that amount and is only able to spend the net amount after taxes – around $72,000 if the child is in the 28 percent tax bracket.


How to Name BTI as beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k) or 403(b) plan

1. Contact your IRA or retirement plan administrator (e.g. TIAA-CREF, Fidelity Investments, Vanguard Group, Charles Schwab, etc.).  Ask for a beneficiary designation form.  You should also be able to find the form on the administrator’s website.

2. Print the designation form, complete it, and mail it to the administrator.  That’s it!

Or, complete it online, and click on “submit!”

Or, call the administrator or your representative on their 800 toll-free line and ask them to mail you the form.

You can choose any distribution you want. For example, 80% to a child and 20% to Boyce Thompson Institute or any combination you choose.


Your IRA administrator will ask for BTI’s address and taxpayer identification number (TIN), also known as an employer identification number (EIN):

Boyce Thompson Institute

Office for Institutional Advancement

533 Tower Rd.

Ithaca, NY 14853

Phone: (607) 254-6775

Tax ID number: 13-1739923


Don’t forget to tell us about your gift! We would be honored to enroll you in the W. B. Thompson Living Legacy Society. If you’ve already taken steps to name the Institute as a beneficiary of a retirement account, please contact us to let us know!


Important IRA Charitable Rollover Update

 H.R. 2029 includes a number of important tax provisions, several of which affect charitable giving, but most notably it retroactively reinstates the IRA Charitable Rollover provision originally enacted into law in 2006 and removes any expiration date on the provision, thereby permanently extending the provision into the future.

The IRA Charitable Rollover allows individuals 70½ or older to make a tax-free rollover using funds transferred directly from your IRA. This means you can donate up to $100,000 from your IRA without having to count the distribution as taxable income and it counts towards your required minimum distribution. Since you will not be taxed on the income, no income tax deduction may be claimed. Consult your plan administrator for more details.

If you have any questions about this situation or other planned giving needs, or if you are preparing to make a direct transfer charitable gift from your IRA, please contact:

Joshua Clark

(607) 254-6775

We look forward to hearing from you!


Disclaimer: The information above is intended to assist you in your tax, estate, and charitable planning. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Learn more about the information on this website.