Recent postings highlighting educational opportunities, state regulation and rate changes, and relevant information for planned giving professionals and donors. If you would like to view our archived articles, click here.
ACGA Has International Influence
Christoph Sedlmeier flew for 8 hours and traveled over 4,000 miles just to attend the 31st ACGA Conference in Baltimore.
When asked why, Christoph responded, “My organization, Stiftung Liebenau, has been a sponsor of ACGA for three years. I am a deeply interested reader of the newsletter and other resources, which all encourage me to go further and develop a gift annuity product and program that will serve not only my organization, but the whole charitable community in Germany. Your publications concerning consumer rights and calculations are very valuable for my work. There is nothing similar in the German market.”
More State Agents Deputized
At its conference held in April, ACGA was pleased to welcome a number of new state agents, individuals “deputized” to assist ACGA in keeping apprised of developments relating to issuance of gift annuities. These individuals assist in three important ways:
Suggested CGA Rates Remain Unchanged as of April 2014
At its semiannual meeting on April 8, 2014, the Board of Directors of the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) reaffirmed the existing schedule of suggested maximum rates for charitable gift annuities which was originally published on January 1, 2012. As part of its ongoing review process, the Rates Committee of the ACGA monitors particular interest rates that underlie the investment return assumptions used to create the rate schedules. Annuitant mortality and other assumptions are evaluated and updated as necessary on an annual basis. For more detailed information about our suggested maximum gift annuity rates, please visit the gift annuity rates section of our website to obtain a copy of our latest Rates Paper.
ACGA Rates Committee
Significant Change in Wisconsin’s Gift Annuity Regulation
Legislation that became effective April 18, 2014 (2013 Wisconsin Act 271) eliminates the need for registration with, and annual reporting to, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI). In order to issue gift annuities in the state, a charity needs to have been in existence for 3 years and include specific disclosure language in the agreement, but no longer needs to file anything with the OCI.
Gift Annuities After the Great Recession: The 2013 ACGA Survey of Gift Annuities
Five years after the start of the Great Recession, what has been the experience of charities issuing gift annuities?
The Report and Comments on the American Council on Gift Annuities 2013 Survey of Gift Annuities displays and analyzes the responses from 378 charitable organizations, provided in October and November of 2013. Many of the questions about gifts, annuitants, administration and investment were asked in the ACGA surveys conducted in 1994, 1999, 2004, and 2009, providing data on 20 years of continuities as well as changes.
The Report may be downloaded without charge by clicking here.
Unlike other life-income gifts such as charitable remainder trusts and pooled income funds, gift annuity data is not collected by the Internal Revenue Service. The surveys conducted by ACGA are the best source of information about gift annuity policies, practices, continuities, and new trends.
ACGA is a nonprofit charity, founded in 1927, that depends upon the support of its sponsoring organizations. For sponsorship information please click here.
A Word from the Chair - December 2013
Thank you for your sponsorship and support! Your partnership is vitally important to ACGA's mission to promote responsible philanthropy. The real strength of The American Council on Gift Annuities comes from its sponsors supporting the research and study done to produce responsible rates suggestions, quality training opportunities and reasonable consumer protection. Thank you for your support and we hope to meet you in Baltimore.
The fall Board meeting of the American Council on Gift Annuities always seems to generate a great deal of interest and our meeting the first weekend in November was no exception. You will be introduced to Elaine Eberhart, our newest Board member in a special article. We welcome Elaine and look forward to her participation in the work of ACGA. And you will find reports from many of our committees in this newsletter, sharing the work that each one has underway.
ACGA Welcomes New Board Member - Elaine Eberhart
The American Council on Gift Annuities is pleased to announce the appointment of Elaine Eberhart to the ACGA Board. Elaine is a graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, University of Tennessee College of Law and Candler School of Theology at Emory University. She has over 25 years’ experience in Planned Giving and currently serves Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN as Associate Chair for Gift Planning.
2013-14 Gift Annuity Survey Will Answer Many Questions
The Great Recession that began in 2008 will probably affect gift annuity programs for many years to come. What has been the investment experience of charities issuing gift annuities? To what extent has the Recession eaten into the remainder value (residuum)? Have donors continued to make new gifts? Does making a gift through an annuity affect a donor’s Annual Giving and likelihood of making a bequest? And what changes have charities made in their marketing, gift acceptance, or investment policies?
State Regulations - Washington & Wisconsin
Two important changes are currently in the works in Washington and Wisconsin:
Legislation is pending in Wisconsin that would eliminate the need for registration with, and annual reporting to, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI). The bill (SB 152) has passed the Senate, and awaits action in the Assembly after the legislative session resumes in January. If adopted, in order to issue gift annuities in the state a charity will need to have been in existence for 3 years and include specific disclosure language in the agreement, but will not need to file anything with the OCI. A charity that is currently registered would be required to send notification of the regulatory change to its existing Wisconsin annuitants.
Help ACGA by Becoming a State Agent!
The ACGA State Regulations Committee benefits the charitable gift planning community in two important ways. First, we keep informed on state regulatory and legislative developments affecting charitable gift annuities so we can keep the community up to date. Second, we provide input to regulators and legislative bodies on proposed changes in regulations or statutes, often at the request of the regulatory agency or legislative staff, as was recently the case with regulations proposed by the Office of Insurance Commissioner in Washington State, and sometimes on our own initiative, as with our recent legislative proposal in New York.
Suggested CGA Rates Remain Unchanged as of November 4, 2013
At its semiannual meeting on November 4, 2013, the Board of Directors of the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) voted to reaffirm the existing schedule of suggested maximum rates for charitable gift annuities which was originally published on January 1, 2012. As part of its ongoing review process, the Rates Committee of the ACGA monitors on a weekly basis certain interest rates that underlie the investment return assumptions used to create the rate schedules. Annuitant mortality and other assumptions are evaluated and updated as necessary on an annual basis. For more detailed information about our suggested gift annuity rates, please visit the gift annuity rates section of our website to obtain a copy of our latest Rates Paper.
ACGA Rates Committee
ACGA Conference Proceedings Now Online
ACGA is unique in that we have held professional conferences on charitable gift planning since 1927. Thanks to a gift from a friend of ACGA, all 28 of the ACGA Conference proceedings through 2010 have been digitized and are now available at no charge in PDF format. Sponsors and Friends of ACGA may login, then click below to access the reports. If you do not already have an account as a sponsor or registered user of this site, you must click here to create an account and login prior to accessing these items.
Click here to download the historic Conference Proceedings.
A Word from the Chair - June 2013
Major planning is wrapping up for the 31st Conference of the American Council on Gift Annuities. Twenty-four workshops and two symposiums will dominate the work days along with the publishing of the “2013 CGA Survey” and the presentation of the Rates Committee. We thank our friends at Crescendo Interactive who will serve as the 2013 ACGA Principal Sponsor.
Our location in Baltimore is right on the Inner Harbor and provides a magnificent view of the activities that take place there. As a stop on the Water Taxi route, the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront offers you the opportunity to explore Baltimore from “Little Italy” to the Aquarium by just stepping outside the hotel lobby.
Gift Annuity Survey Update - May 2013
Lingering effects of the Great Recession are still being felt by charities issuing gift annuities, such as record-low interest rates and continuing stress on annuity reserve funds. Questions remain:
- Are charities issuing gift annuities as often as before the recession?
- Are gift annuity amounts higher or lower in today’s economic environment?
- Most importantly: what share of the initial gifts is left for charities to use towards their mission?
State Regulations Update - May 2013
Legislation that would be helpful to charities issuing gift annuities has been proposed in two states that regulate charitable gift annuities.
The ACGA State Regulations Committee has played an active role in New York over the past several years, working with state insurance regulators and the legislature to liberalize requirements for organizations licensed to issue gift annuities in the state while making sure that consumers are protected. Our current effort is legislation we have proposed with the cooperation of the New York Department of Financial Services that would allow an issuer to purchase a commercial annuity contract to back its obligation under a CGA in lieu of setting aside reserves for that CGA. Under current law, the only alternative is formal reinsurance, which is costly and not widely available. The bill has passed the state Senate and is awaiting introduction in the Assembly. This effort is spearheaded by tireless ACGA volunteer Tom Hunt, who has assisted with previous ACGA legislative successes in the state.
Legislation is pending that would streamline the regulation of gift annuities in Wisconsin. As currently worded, the bills (Assembly Bill 162, Senate Bill 152) change the filing requirement from an application to a notification, and remove the need for submission of an annual report. ACGA State Regulations Committee member Edie Matulka has provided input to the legislative staff and will continue to monitor the situation.
Suggested CGA Rates Remain Unchanged as of July 1, 2013
At its meeting in Baltimore in April, the ACGA Board of Directors voted to leave its schedule of suggested maximum charitable gift annuity (CGA) rates unchanged as of July 1, 2013. The rate schedule was originally published as of January 1, 2012 and will continue in effect until further notice. As a reminder, the primary assumptions underlying the current rate schedule include the following:
Simmons Scholarship Recipient Shares Conference Experience
In 2008, the American Council on Gift Annuities Board of Directors created the Terry L. Simmons Philanthropic Endowment Fund to provide scholarships that enable young professionals to attend the ACGA conference. Bonalynn Wallach, Director for Investments at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, was one of seven in the first class to receive scholarships from the fund to attend the 2010 ACGA Conference in New Orleans. In the Q & A below, Bonalynn shares what the scholarship and attending the conference has meant to her.
Rates Effective January 1, 2012 To Remain the Same as of 4/15/13
Approved by the American Council on Gift Annuities on April 15, 2013
IMMEDIATE AND DEFERRED GIFT ANNUITY RATES WILL REMAIN THE SAME
The American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) board of directors held its semi-annual meeting on April 15. The board conducted its regular review of the assumptions underlying the rates schedule for charitable gift annuities and voted to make no changes to the suggested maximum rates that originally became effective January 1, 2012. The current rate schedule will remain in effect until further notice. Click here for the rates effective January 1, 2012.
American Council on Gift Annuities and the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning Respond to Recent Securities and Exchange Commission Fraud Case Involving CGAs
For Immediate Release
March 8, 2013
(Smyrna, GA) Commenting on a recent high profile case where the SEC charged a Florida couple with fraud arising from the issuance of charitable gift annuities (CGAs), Lindsay L. Lapole, III, planned giving director for the Southern Territory of the Salvation Army and chairman of the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) Board of Directors, applauded the actions of the SEC.
"This is a case in which the system actually worked." Lapole said. "ACGA relies on the vigilance of state and federal regulators as part of our mission to promote responsible philanthropy and consumer protection. ACGA is always prepared to cooperate with these regulators, and actually initiates dialogue in order to serve as a resource to these agencies."
Rates Effective January 1, 2012 To Remain the Same as of 11/5/12
The American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) Board of Directors held its semi-annual meeting on November 5, 2012. As part of an ongoing review process, the board examined the assumptions that underlie the gift annuity rate schedules and determined that it would make no changes to the suggested maximum rates originally published as of January 1, 2012. The ACGA encourages charities to review carefully gift illustrations prepared for young annuitants (generally age 60 or below) to determine whether the suggested maximum rates need to be lowered to meet the minimum 10% residuum requirement under the Internal Revenue Code.
For more detailed information about ACGA rates, please visit our website to obtain a copy of the 2012 Rates Paper.
David A. Libengood
ACGA Rates Committe