Retirement Plans

Assets in a traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA) can make a wonderful gift to Sarah Lawrence College.

Lifetime Gifts of Retirement Plan Assets

If you are 70½ or older and must begin taking distributions from your retirement plan, a very welcome gift to Sarah Lawrence can help offset the income tax incurred by those withdrawals and help Sarah Lawrence accomplish its most important goals.

Using IRA Assets as a Gift to Sarah Lawrence (All Donors)

If you are between 59½ and 70½, you are permitted to take distributions from your traditional retirement plan with no early-withdrawal penalty. These funds can be used as a gift to Sarah Lawrence either outright or as a Life Income Gift. (You will incur an income-tax liability for this  IRA withdrawal, which is partially offset by the charitable income tax deduction you will earn by making your gift to Sarah Lawrence.)  Please consult your tax advisor to make sure this gift works best for you.

Estate Charitable Gifts of Retirement Plan Assets

Estate gifts of traditional IRA assets made outright to Sarah Lawrence are free of both estate and income taxes. There is an unlimited federal income tax charitable deduction:  every gift from an estate to charity reduces the size of the estate and the potential estate tax.

Traditional IRA assets left to heirs are subject to both income and estate taxes. Left to your estate or to heirs, an IRA may be worth less than 30 cents on the dollar. Heirs are better off if you use your IRA as an estate charitable gift, with other assets left to your heirs.

A traditional IRA can be used to fund a testamentary Charitable Remainder Trust, free of income tax and with substantial savings of estate taxes. There may be no estate tax due at all on this gift if the spouse is the beneficiary of the trust. As always, please consult your estate planning or tax advisor for guidance on the best way for you to use your retirement plan as a charitable gift.

Please contact Dorea Ferris, Director of Gift Planning, at (914) 813-9251 or for more information.

Try our Gift Planning Calculator

Planned Giving Calculator

Learn More about Retirement Plans

Dorea FerrisFor more about Retirement Plans, please download our information sheet (PDF format). You may also call Dorea Ferris, Director of Gift Planning, at (914) 813-9251 or e-mail her at