Life Income Plans
You can make a substantial gift to the University of the Pacific while still earning income from the donated assets. The life income plans are some of the most flexible and fruitful options available to donors. They allow you to provide income for yourself, your heirs, or both; avoid significant capital gains and estate taxes; and satisfy your wish to make a substantial gift to Pacific.
This is how it works: You fund the trust with a significant, irrevocable gift to Pacific. (The gift must be irrevocable to qualify for the Federal charitable deduction.) The University invests the gift, and you or your designee receive income for as long as you choose: for a definite term of not more than 20 years, or for the rest of your life. At the end of that time, the remaining principal benefits the University in whatever way you specify.
You may establish a trust using assets such as real estate, stock, or cash. Funding it with appreciated long-term property enables you to protect your profit or reinvest for a higher yield, while avoiding capital gains taxes. You thereby maximize the value and the benefit of the property, both as income and as a gift.
There are two basic types of life income trusts: annuity trusts and unitrusts. The annuity trust pays a fixed dollar amount, while the unitrust pays a fixed percentage. With the annuity trust, your income will be the same each year regardless of the value of the trust. With the unitrust, your income will go up or down as the value of the trust itself fluctuates.
A charitable remainder annuity trust pays a fixed amount (at least five percent of the fair -market value of the trust assets when the trust is established) to you or your beneficiaries at least once a year. The payout is determined when you set up the trust, based on such factors as your age, the number of beneficiaries, your desired income, and the length of the trust term. If the trust earns more income than the agreed amount, the additional earnings are reinvested. If the earnings are less, withdrawals from the trust’s principal make up the difference. Once the annuity trust is created, you may not make additional contributions to it. The minimum gift to establish an Annuity Trusts can be set up for a minimum of $50,000.
You will receive an income tax deduction for the value of the charitable remainder interest in the trust at the time you set it up (calculated from tables based on your age), and you avoid capital gains taxes on the transfer of appreciated long-term assets such as real estate or securities. Because the assets are effectively removed from your estate, you also avoid estate taxes.
Features & Benefits of Annuity Trusts
A charitable remainder unitrust differs from an annuity trust by paying a fixed percentage—at least five percent—of the fair market value of the trust’s assets each year, rather than a fixed sum. That means the income will fluctuate from year to year as the trust’s value fluctuates, but because the long-term market pattern is usually one of growth, you can generally expect payments to increase over time. In this way a unitrust can be an effective hedge against inflation.
Choosing a lower percentage rate may actually increase your income over time because it allows the principal to grow more quickly. As the principal increases, so will the amount of your payment. The difference can be significant. And the more the principal grows, of course, the larger the ultimate gift to University of the Pacific will be, and the more completely it fulfills your philanthropic goals. You may also make additional contributions to a unitrust.
Your charitable deduction depends on the fair-market value of the initial assets you transfer, the payout percentage you choose, the number and ages of beneficiaries, and other such factors. As with an annuity trust, you effectively remove the funding assets from your estate, and you likewise avoid capital gains taxes. The minimum gift to establish a Unitrust Trust is $50,000.
Features & Benefits of Unitrusts
Pooled Income Funds
Another kind of trust is called a pooled income fund. It allows separate donors to pool their gifts for investment purposes. Two or more donors must irrevocably transfer property into the trust, contributing the remainder interest in the property to Pacific. The University then is investing the combined fund and distributing the annual proceeds to the donors in direct proportion to the assets each one contributed. The actual dollar amount is not specified: it depends on the amount earned by the fund. You may designate yourself as beneficiary, or anyone else living at the time the fund is created.
Your charitable deduction would be the present value of the remainder interest in the property, as determined by IRS tables, on the day you transfer it. You may add to the fund at any time. The minimum gift to participate in the Pooled Income Fund is $10,000.
Features & Benefits Pooled Income Funds
Charitable Gift Annuities
One of the most common and popular ways to make a planned gift is with a charitable gift annuity. It is a simple contract between you and Pacific. In exchange for an irrevocable gift, the University agrees to pay one or two annuitants a fixed dollar amount each year for life. The amount is based on life expectancy: the older you are the time of the gift, the greater the pay out amount will can be. The payments are guaranteed by the general resources of the University.
Charitable gifts annuities can be funded with cash, real estate, or appreciated securities. You receive a tax deduction based on your age, the payout rate, and the Federal discount rate. If you use an appreciated asset, a portion of each payout will be capital gain, which is therefor spread out over your lifetime. Likewise, a part of each payment would be a tax-free return of principal, increasing the after-tax value of each payment. And because you have effectively removed the assets from your estate, you avoid estate taxes.
A similar type of annuity is the deferred charitable gift annuity. The arrangement is essentially the same; the difference is that Pacific waits to begin your fixed payout until some specified point in the future (at least one year). In either case, at your death the proceeds of the gift annuity become available for the University of the Pacific to use in whatever way you wished.
A deferred charitable gift annuity can be an excellent way to supplement your retirement income. The University receives the gift today and invests it for years; you receive a current tax deduction, but you don’t receive the payments until you retire, when you may be in a lower income tax bracket.
Features & Benefits of Charitable Gift Annuities