Serving the Philanthropic Community Since 1927

Suggested Maximum Gift Annuity Rates, Quality Training Opportunities, and Consumer Protection Advocacy

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How to Join or Support the ACGA

The ACGA relies on the support of the charitable community and indivuals to carry out our mission of promoting responsibile philanthropy.  The ACGA actively promotes responsible philanthropy through actuarially sound, suggested maximum charitable gift annuity rates, quality training opportunities and the advocacy of appropriate consumer protection. 

Ways you can support ACGA:

Current IRS Discount Rates

Month Rate
January 2019 3.4%
December 2018 3.6%
November 2018 3.6%

The IRS has released the Applicable Federal Rate for the current month. Each month the Service surveys hundreds of interest rates for various financial instruments and publishes the rate that is applicable for charitable deduction calculations. Click here to view historic AFRs.

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  • The Legacy IRA HR 5171

    The Board of Directors of the American Council on Gift Annuities is excited to join the remainder of the charitable community in announcing the introduction of HR 5171, The Legacy IRA.

    This bill will extend the right of American taxpayers to use portions of their Individual Retirement Accounts to fund Charitable Remainder Trusts and Charitable Gift Annuities during their lifetime. This compliments and completes the provisions of the PATH Act of 2015 which made the use of IRA assets for lifetime outright gifts permanent.

    Click here for a copy of the Bill and click here for a full discussion of its implications for your donors.

    Also begin immediately contacting your Congressmen and Senators and ask them to become co-sponsors of HR 5171. NOW IS THE TIME WE HAVE WAITED FOR DURING THE LAST SEVERAL DECADES!. You are a vital part of making The Legacy IRA a reality. Do your part now!

    Click here to view ACGA”s letter to The Honorable Peter Roskam in support of The Legacy IRA.

  • Charitable IRA Initiative

    charitableiraYOU have the opportunity to take action that would be helpful to charities throughout the USA!  The charitable community has the unique opportunity to focus the power of donors around the country on passage of legislation that will simplify the process and the tax liability when donating IRA assets to charity. 

    At the middle of 2014 it was estimated that $6,421,000,000,000 (that’s Trillions) was being held in IRA accounts.   Estimates further indicate that approximately 47% of all households in the USA hold 25% of all mutual funds through their personal traditional IRA accounts.

  • Progress Report: Charitable IRA Initiative

    The Charitable IRA Initiative is a 501(c)(4) organization created to pursue legislation that would expand and make permanent the Charitable IRA Rollover.  Following is the first of periodic reports you may expect to receive regarding progress in achieving this objective.

    This report has been drafted by Conrad Teitell, pro bono counsel to the Charitable IRA Initiative, who is leading the legislative effort.  Conrad Teitell has served for many years as volunteer counsel to the American Council on Gift Annuities.

    “The Charitable IRA Initiative continues actively to seek legislation that would make the expired direct Charitable IRA Rollover permanent and expanded to include life income gifts.

    “Our recent activities:  meetings in Washington D.C. in April and May with key legislators and their aides, plus a meeting with Ways and Means Committee staff members.  We have also had two meetings with staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (“JCT”).  These are hard-to-get meetings.  Congress wants to know the cost (called “the score”) of the proposed legislation.  The JCT gets over 10,000 requests per year for scores and, we are told, can only score a few hundred bills.  The congressman and senator who have asked that our bill be scored have been told that we will have a score in June.  We were fortunate in being able to meet the JCT and give them our reasons why the life income provision could have a neutral or positive score.

    “It has been a cliché that the two things one should not see being made are sausages and laws.  The U.S. Senate demonstrated this just recently by making the America Gives More Act (H.R. 644) passed by a two-thirds majority in the House and put on the Senate calendar – disappear from the face of the earth.

    “How could that be?  It takes 60 votes to be placed on the Senate calendar.  The Senate was debating the Pacific trade bill, but didn’t have 60 votes.  However, there was the America Gives More Act (that would make the direct Charitable IRA Rollover and a few other charitable provisions permanent) sitting on its calendar.  PRESTO: the title of the bill was changed to a trade bill title, all of the charitable provisions were removed, and the trade provisions were substituted.

    “Bottom line:  There is no longer a bill passed by the House and before the Senate that makes permanent the direct Charitable IRA Rollover.  For this reason, we believe our efforts to make permanent the expired law and expand it takes on additional and timely importance.

    “We will be back in Washington for two days in June to press our case.”

  • Charitable IRA Initiative Press Release

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    March 31, 2015

    (Washington D.C.)    A group of national leaders in planned giving and philanthropy have formed the Charitable IRA Initiative, a 501(c) 4) non-profit organization with the sole purpose of encouraging members of the U. S. Congress and the President to enact permanent legislation enabling owners of IRAs to transfer their IRA assets to the American charities. IRA rollovers could be outright gifts up to $100,000 per year or life income agreements up to $500,000/year.  There are no income taxes on IRA charitable rollovers.

    Lindsay Lapole, Chairman of the American Council on Gift Annuities, is the president of the Charitable IRA Initiative; Michael Kenyon, President/CEO of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning is vice president; John Pierce, Senior Gift Planner, Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, is secretary; and Sister Georgette Lehmuth, President/CEO of the National Catholic Development Conference, is treasurer.  Conrad Teitell serves as the volunteer legal counsel to the Charitable IRA Initiative.

    Lapole says, “IRA rollover legislation, allowing outright gifts of IRAs up to $100,000/year, enacted in 2006.  It has been periodically renewed and resulted in substantial gifts to America’s charities.  The temporary nature of IRA renewal bills has dampened the growth of IRA gifts to America’s non-profit organizations.  These are the very organizations upon which we all rely to deliver human services, provide education, health services, support the arts, conservation and so many other services that play key roles in providing the quality of life Americans hold dear.”

    “Our dual agenda items are to first make the outright gift IRA rollover provision permanent. This will allow IRA owners 70½ years and older to give $100,000 annually  in outright gifts from their personal IRA accounts without having to wait until late December to receive word from Congress and the White House.  Further, the expansion of the legislation will also allow IRA owners 59 ½ and older to create life income agreements with portions of their IRA assets up to a limit of $500,000 annually.  These agreements will pay income to those IRA owners and their spouses for life, often with a larger payout (5% minimum in the case of charitable trusts) than their IRA required minimum distribution (RMD).   At the same time these donors will be taking the opportunity of having a phenomenally positive impact on America’s needy.  Because these IRA rollover gifts are not deductible, we believe that permanent and life-income IRA rollovers will be revenue neutral or even positive to the Treasury.”

    Click here to download a copy of the press release.

    The American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) was formed in 1927, to actively promote responsible philanthropy through actuarially sound charitable gift annuity rate recommendations, quality training opportunities and the advocacy of appropriate consumer protection. ACGA is sponsored by over 1,000 social welfare charities, health organizations, environmental organizations, colleges, universities, religious organizations and other charities.  Contact Information: The American Council on Gift Annuities, 1260 Winchester Parkway, SE, Suite 205 Smyrna, GA 30080-6546, phone: (770) 874-3355, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Call to Action: ACGA and NCDC Statement to the Senate Finance Committee on the Charitable IRA Initiative

    The American Council on Gift Annuities, along with the National Catholic Development Conference,  with the support of Conrad Teitell as volunteer legal counsel, submitted a statement to the Senate Finance Committee on the Charitable IRA Initiative. Click here to read a copy of the statement that was submitted.

    The ACGA encourages each of you, our sponsors, to reach out and submit your own statement to the SFC by April 15th.  Click here for an article written by Conrad Teitell in the April issue of Taxwise which includes information on how to submit your own statement.

    Please contact us immediately if you have a relationship with a "working group" Senator in any of the following states.  This will give the Charitable IRA Initiative the opportunity to follow up.  The group’s co-chairs are Senators Grassley (R-IA), Enzi (R-WY) and Stabenow (D-MI). The other members are Senators Crapo (R-ID), Cornyn (R-TX), Toomey (R-PA), Schumer (D-NY), Nelson (D-FL), Menendez (D-NJ) and Bennet (D-CO).  

    Your participation in this effort can help make a difference.

  • IRA Charitable Rollover Legislation Signed

    Today, President Barack Obama signed legislation to reinstate retroactively the IRA charitable rollover. While the timeline for making IRA charitable rollover gifts is tight (the reinstatement expires January 1, 2015), it is not too late to let your donors know that they still have time to take advantage of this gifting opportunity. The provision allows each IRA owner who is 70 1/2 or older to make direct transfers of up to a total of $100,000 per year to one or more qualified charities. The IRA charitable rollover is tax-free and not included in adjusted gross income. For more information and planning thoughts, please watch the video presentation from Emanuel J. Kallina II, J.D., LL.M., Managing Member of Kallina & Associates, LLC and ACGA Board member.

    As a reminder, the IRA rollover provision excludes IRA transfers to fund charitable gift annuities.

    IRAStill

  • Take Action TODAY - IRA Rollover Legislation

    Urge Your House Member of Congress to Pass Legislation That Includes a Permanent Extension of the IRA Rollover Provision

    We have learned that the House plans to place a standalone bill on the suspension calendar (a fast-track means of passing legislation) that would permanently extend the following three charitable provisions that were contained in the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5771):

    • the IRA Rollover provision
    • the deduction for gifts of food inventory and
    • the deduction for conservation easement contributions.

    In order for this bundle to pass the House, 50-65 Democrats are needed to vote in favor of the bill.

  Time is of the essence as we've heard that a House vote could come as early as today.



  • Significant Change in Wisconsin’s Gift Annuity Regulation

    WisconsinLegislation 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.

  • Call to Action: NY Legislation on Gift Annuities

    We need your help in contacting NY legislators relating to pending legislation in New York. ACGA has been working for some time to modify NY's gift annuity law relating to reinsurance of gift annuities. Currently if a charity wishes to reinsure a gift annuity, and reduce the liability in its gift annuity reserve fund, it must use a reinsurance treaty, something that is available only from a few insurers and can be costly. The pending legislation would allow a charity to purchase a commercial annuity and count it as reinsurance in offsetting the reserve obligation.

    Click here to view a copy of the Assembly bill (A3783). The corresponding bill in the Senate (S3066) has already passed. What we need now is to urge the Assembly to take action on the bill. There is just one month left in the legislative session, so the time to act is now. We are asking you to call or email your Assemblymen in support of this legislation. Democratic Assemblymen are particularly key, since that party controls the Assembly. Contacting the Speaker of the Assembly's office is also critical, since ultimately the Speaker controls the movement of legislation. Speaker Sheldon Silver's office numbers are 212-312-1420 (NYC) and 518-455-3791 (Albany).

    This legislation would provide all charities registered in New York with a much easier, cost-effective way to reinsure gift annuities. As a result, an organization would have an additional option for managing risk with, for example, a particularly large gift annuity, or a large concentration from one gift annuity donor within its gift annuity reserve fund.

    Thank you for your assistance in moving this effort forward!

    Edie Matulka
    Chair, ACGA State Regulations Committee

  • State Regulations - Washington & Wisconsin

    Two important changes are currently in the works in Washington and Wisconsin:

    WisconsinLegislation 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.

  • ACGA's Statement Regarding the House’s Tax Reform Bill

    ACGA requests that the House’s tax reform bill:

    1. Make permanent the IRA/charitable rollover for direct transfers to public charities (expiring this year).
    2. Expand the IRA/charitable rollover to allow a rollover for charitable life-income plans for donors.
    3. Provide an option for donors to make charitable contributions by April 15 and elect to deduct them on the prior year’s income tax return (due by April 15 in the year that the election is made).
    4. For all new charitable remainder unitrusts and annuity trusts, decrease the minimum annual payment to three percent.

    Click here to read the full statement.

  • Conrad Teitell Speaks to the Committee on Ways and Means on Behalf of ACGA

    On Thursday, February 14, 2013, Conrad Teitell, volunteer legal council for the ACGA, spoke to the Committee on Ways and Means regarding tax reform and charitable contributions including the ACGA's proposed All-American Charitable IRA Rollover Act.  Mr. Teitell addressed four points including asking Congress to: (1) make permanent the provision that allows direct tax-free distributions from IRAs to charity (the so-called IRA/charitable rollover); (2) expand the IRA rollover to include transfers to fund a charitable life-income plan for the donor; (3) eliminate the charitable deduction as one of the deductions subject to the reinstated overall limitation on itemized deductions (the Pease provision); and (4) not place a cap or floor on the charitable deduction - or impose a lower tax rate at which contributions may be deducted.  Mr. Teitell summed up by reporting that decreased support from federal, state and local governments and increased burdens on charities make this the time to enact legislation that increases - not decreases - the incentive to make charitable gifts. Charities need the funds now to do their vital work.  To read Mr. Teitell's entire statement to the the committee, click here.

  • Charitable Gift Annuities in Difficult Economic Times

    During trying economic times, with wide swings in the stock market, many charities look to review the risks associated with their charitable gift annuity programs. The American Council on Gift Annuities endorses regular reviews of gift annuity programs, while emphasizing the long-term nature of charitable gift annuities.
  • H.R. 4853 Sec. 725 IRA/Charitable Rollover

    ACGA’s Response Letter to H.R. 4853 Sec. 725 IRA/Charitable Rollover.

    Honorable Congressional Leaders and Exhausted Staff:

    As volunteer legal counsel to the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA), I write this letter requesting an addition to Sec. 725 of H.R. 4853 of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010.

    Since 1987, ACGA — with over 1200 sponsoring charitable organizations — has been dedicated to both protecting donors and assuring that charities at the end of the day will have gifts to further their missions.

  • Letter to IRS - Corrective Action on Notice 2010-19

    Letter to IRS regarding Corrective Action on Notice 2010-19

    Dear Ms. Daly:

    This letter is written by me as counsel to the American Council on Gift Annuities. ACGA, formed in 1927, is an IRC §501(c)(3) organization described in IRC §170(b)(1) (A)(vi). ACGA's board of directors and its legal counsel are all unpaid volunteers. ACGA is sponsored by over 1200 social welfare charities, health organizations, environmental organizations, colleges, universities, religious organizations and other charities.

  • Recent Court Case Involves Marketing of Gift Annuities

    David Wheeler Newman

    A recent ruling involving charitable gift annuities by the US Court of Appeals illustrates the old lawyers’ adage that bad facts make bad law.  The case is further fallout from the melt-down of Mid-America Foundation, whose gift annuity program the Ninth Circuit characterized as a Ponzi scheme.

    The Foundation paid commissions to investment advisors who arranged for the Foundation to issue over 400 annuities in exchange for about $55 million.  The Foundation promoted the program aggressively with marketing materials stressing investment returns to annuitants, with language like “current average net-yield”, and comparing those returns to dividend yields on stocks and other investment alternatives.

  • ACGA Statement Regarding Treasury Notice 2008-99

    ACGA Statement Regarding Treasury Notice 2008-99: Potential for Avoidance of Tax Through Sale of Charitable Remainder Trust Interests

    People of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service:
    Comments submitted by the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) (formerly the Committee on Gift Annuities). ACGA, formed in 1927, is an IRC §501(c)(3) organization described in IRC §170(b)(1)(A)(vi). ACGA’s board of directors and its legal counsel are all unpaid volunteers. ACGA is sponsored by over 1200 social welfare charities, health organizations, environmental organizations, colleges, universities, religious organizations and other charities. The Mission of ACGA is to “actively promote responsible philanthropy through actuarially sound charitable gift annuity rate recommendations, quality training opportunities and the advocacy of appropriate consumer protection.”

  • ACGA Legislative Alert - IRA/Charitable Rollover Endangered

    To: ACGA Sponsors

    From: American Council on Gift Annuities

    Several weeks ago, the Executive Committee of the American Council on Gift Annuities approved the preparation of a letter to the Senate Leadership regarding the need for making permanent the direct rollover to outright gifts and life income agreements from IRAs. This action would provide American taxpayers the opportunity to participate in the recovery of our country through the funding of reliable charities by direct rollover of IRA assets either as outright gifts or to life income agreements.

    The note below, from Conrad Teitell to you, our sponsors, provides the specifics of the action needed. Please note that emails and letters are becoming counterproductive. The suggestion is that personal contacts from the officers and board members of your institution to members of the Senate and House listed on the attached letter will be the most help.

    We are also looking for someone who can help us get the message to President-elect Obama. Should you or your organization have such a contact we would appreciate hearing from you. Please be assured that any contact would be coordinated through your leadership and would in no way compromise the relationship of your organization with the President-elect and his advisors.

  • UPDATE: ACGA Issues Additional Statement Regarding Operating a Gift Annuity Program in the Current Economy

    Many charities are concerned about the impact of the current economy on their gift annuity programs, and they are asking what steps they might take to control risk and ensure the continued profitability of their programs. In response to these concerns and questions, the ACGA offers the following suggestions for consideration.
  • Comments on Proposed Regulations on the Substantiation and Reporting Requirements for Cash and Noncash Charitable Contribution Deductions

    ACGA and the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP) comment on Proposed Regulations on the Substantiation and Reporting Requirements for Cash and Noncash Charitable Contribution Deductions.

    CGA and NCPG have asked for guidance regarding IRS Regulation 140029-07, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Substantiation and Reporting Requirements for Cash and Noncash Charitable Contribution Deductions (http://www.irs.gov/irb/2008-40_IRB/ar13.html).

  • Comment on the Proposed Charitable Lead Trust Regulation

    ACGA and PPP comment on the proposed charitable lead trust regulation that requires the payments to the charity beneficiary consist of different classes of income determined on a pro rata basis.

    Treasury and the IRS have proposed a regulation that disregards "income-ordering" provisions in charitable lead trusts and imposes a deemed pro rata share of each type of trust income requirement. An income-ordering provision will be respected by the Service only if it has an economic effect independent of income tax consequences.

  • Revenue Procedure 2005-24

    Letter to Treasury Department officials regarding Revenue Procedure 2005-24 ACGA Chair Frank Minton and Conrad Teitell sent this letter to various officials at the Department of the Treasury and the IRS on behalf of ACGA.

  • ACGA Response to Media Reports of Charitable Gift Annuities as "Investment Scams"

    In August the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) released a list of the "Top 10" scams that they are fighting. Unfortunately, charitable gift annuities were included on the list. Their inclusion was apparently prompted by the recent default on gift annuities by the Mid-America Foundation and the Baptist Foundation of Arizona.

  • Standardizing the State Regulations of CGAs

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has approved final drafts of two drafts for state legislatures to choose and adopt to standardize the state regulation of charitable gift annuities (CGAs). The Charitable Gift Annuity Model Act and Charitable Gift Annuity Exemption Model Act language is posted below. Both drafts were approved by the NAIC at its Winter National Meeting in Orlando, Florida on December 7, 1998 and was sent to the 50 state legislatures in early 1999, suggesting that they pass one draft or the other, so that the state regulation of charitable gift annuities will be standardized as to the issuance of Gift Annuity Permits or exemption from regulation.

  • Annuity Disclosure Model Regulation Draft

    (To be adopted by State Legislatures)

    ANNUITY DISCLOSURE MODEL REGULATION
    Draft: 10/18/10

    Revisions to Model 245, as adopted by the Annuity Disclosure (A) Working Group, Oct. 18, 2010
    Underlining and overstrikes show the changes from the existing model. Comments are being requested on this draft.
    Comments should be submitted by email only by Nov. 19, 2010, to Jolie Matthews at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Click here to view a current copy of the draft on the NAIC website.