NEW LAW: No Required Minimum Distributions in 2020!

As a part of the CARES Act, Congress has temporarily eliminated most required minimum distributions (“RMD”) from retirement plans during 2020. Check with your financial advisor to see how this might affect you. Even without an RMD, a QCD remains a great way to make tax advantageous contributions. Learn more about the CARES Act


Here is a tax-smart way to make an impact to Sigma Chi Foundation using your qualified retirement plan. The IRA charitable rollover (also called the Qualified Charitable Distribution, or QCD) is a great way to make a tax-free gift to Sigma Chi Foundation and satisfy your required minimum distribution.

A gift of retirement plan assets could be right for you if:

  • You have an IRA or qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b).
  • You do not expect to use all of your retirement plan assets during your lifetime.
  • You have other assets, such as securities and real estate, that you want to pass to heirs.
  • You may want to provide payments to loved ones after you are gone.
  • You would like to make a bequest gift to Sigma Chi Foundation.

Option 1: Make a tax-free gift with an IRA charitable rollover (also called a qualified charitable distribution, or QCD.)

You can make a tax-free gift from your traditional IRA. Such a gift is known as a Qualified Charitable Distribution or QCD.  (Other qualified retirement plans such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s are not eligible). You must be at least 70 ½ years old to take advantage of this opportunity. Your QCD must go directly from your IRA administrator to Sigma Chi Foundation. The total of all of your QCD gifts in any one year cannot exceed $100,000 per person. A spouse with a separate IRA could also make a QCD of up to $100,000 if they otherwise qualify.

The benefits of a QCD gift include:

  • If you don’t itemize and are not yet required to take your RMD, a QCD offers all of the benefits of an itemized income tax charitable deduction.
  • If you are age 72 and must take your RMD, a QCD can satisfy your RMD without increasing your income taxes.
  • Your gift supports the important work of Sigma Chi Foundation with a tax-free gift.

Option 2: Designate remaining retirement plan assets for Sigma Chi Foundation.

Another attractive option is to designate Sigma Chi Foundation as the recipient of some or all of what’s left in your IRA, 401(k), 403(b), or other qualified plan when they end. 

In addition to having the satisfaction of making a significant gift to Sigma Chi Foundation, your benefits include:

  • Your estate is entitled to an unlimited estate tax charitable deduction for the value of your IRA donated to Sigma Chi Foundation if your estate exceeds the applicable exemption.
  • The QCD is an income tax smart gift.  The Secure Act enacted in 2020 limits prohibits stretching out distributions from an inherited IRA over the life of heirs.
  • Since Sigma Chi Foundation is tax-exempt, a gift to Sigma Chi Foundation from your IRA is not subject to income taxes.
  • Preservation of non-retirement plan assets for family.

Option 3: Designate remaining retirement plan assets for a life income plan.

Alternatively, you can designate that some or all of the assets remaining when your IRA, 401(k), 403(b), or other qualified plan ends be used to fund a charitable remainder trust or gift annuity arrangement that will make payments to family members or other loved ones for the rest of their lives. When the gift arrangement ends, what is left will go to Sigma Chi Foundation.

In addition to having the satisfaction of making a significant gift to Sigma Chi Foundation, your benefits include:

  • A charitable trust or annuity can provide lifetime income for life since that is no longer possible after adoption of the Secure Act. That law prohibits stretching out distributions from an inherited IRA over the life of heirs.
  • The gift portion of your charitable trust or annuity provides an unlimited estate tax charitable deduction if your estate is subject to estate taxes.
  • Such a plan preserves non-retirement plan assets for family.

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IRAs and qualified retirement plans
Retirement plan assets are a major source of wealth for many households. For example, you may have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in your IRA, 401(k), 403(b), or other qualified retirement plan. These plans do not pay tax on the income they earn, or the capital gain realized within the account. This allows the assets to grow faster than if held and invested these qualified plans.

The primary purpose of your retirement plan is to provide you with income during your retirement, but it can also be an excellent source of funds for making charitable gifts during your life and when your plan ends.

Withdrawals are taxed as income
With the exception of the Roth IRA, the money used to fund a qualified retirement plan, such as a traditional IRA, 401(k), or 403(b), has never been taxed. Also, earnings that occur within a qualified retirement plan are not taxed. As a consequence, withdrawals from any of these plans (except for the Roth IRA) are taxed as ordinary income. Your federal income tax alone on a withdrawal from one of these plans could be as high as 37%.

Withdrawals are required once you reach 72 years old
You must start taking withdrawals from your qualified retirement plan once you reach 72 years old. The amount you must withdraw each year is a percentage of the value of your retirement plan as of the last day of the previous year. The percentage starts below 4% for someone who is taking their first “required minimum distribution” and increases with age according to a schedule published by the IRS. 

Taxes on remaining retirement assets can be very high
Your family members and other heirs will have to pay income tax on any distributions they receive from your retirement plan after you are gone. In addition, your qualified retirement plan is included in your estate, so if your estate is large enough to owe estate tax, your plan may increase the estate taxes you owe. 

Federal income tax alone can be 37%. When you add federal income tax and estate tax together, they can total 62% or more. In states that assess their own taxes on estates, the total taxes on retirement plan assets paid to heirs can be over 62%.

Give retirement plan assets to Sigma Chi Foundation and save taxes
In contrast to your retirement plan assets, your estate will not owe income tax on most of its other assets in addition to estate taxes that may be due. As a result, your estate and heirs will pay lower taxes if you pass your less heavily taxed assets to your heirs, and give your retirement plan assets to charity. Paying lower taxes will mean that more assets will reach your heirs. How much more will depend on the size of your estate, where you live, the other assets you own, and the type of gift you make.

How do I pass retirement plan assets to Sigma Chi Foundation? 
You have several good options for passing your retirement plan assets to us.

Beneficiary Designation 
The simplest and most common way to give retirement plan assets is to make our organization a beneficiary of your retirement plan. All you need to do is to file a revised beneficiary designation form with your retirement plan administrator to designate our organization as a beneficiary of your plan and name the percentage of your remaining assets that you want us to receive. The retirement plan assets that you designate for us will avoid all income tax and estate tax. In order for your estate to enjoy both of these tax benefits, it is especially important that you make our organization the designated beneficiary of these retirement plan assets, not your estate. Please identify us on the form with our legal name: Sigma Chi Foundation.

Life income plan 
Prior to the passage of the Secure Act in 2020, inherited IRAs could stretch out their taxable distributions over the life expectancy of your heirs.  The Secure Act requires an inherited IRA to distribute all of its assets within 10 years.  With the elimination of the stretch IRA, an attractive option for planning so that inherited retirement plan assets can pay income for life is to designate a charitable remainder trust or charitable gift annuity as the beneficiary of your retirement plan. Passing assets to us through a life income plan allows you to provide income to your loved ones after you are gone and then provide support to us. Such a plan strikes a balance between leaving all of your retirement plan assets to loved ones subject to significant taxation and leaving all of these assets to us and eliminating taxes on them altogether. Here's how a life income plan works:

1. Your retirement plan transfers the designated portion of its final balance to a charitable remainder trust or a charitable gift annuity. 
2. The heirs you have chosen receive payments from the plan each year, typically for life. 
3. When the life income plan ends, its remaining principal goes to support Sigma Chi Foundation.

Using retirement plan assets to fund a life income plan spreads out income tax and reduces estate tax on these assets, if your estate is subject to estate taxes. A typical result is to reduce total taxes on your retirement assets by more than half compared to distributing them to your heirs through your estate.

Life income plan options 
There are several life income plan options to choose from. The one that is right for you will depend on a variety of factors. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about funding a life income plan with assets from your retirement plan.

Example

Jake Henderson, 75, is a retired business executive who has accumulated $500,000 in the retirement plan that he set up through his company years ago. He takes minimum distributions from his plan in order to preserve as much tax-free growth inside the plan as he can. At this rate, he expects that his account may still be worth $500,000 when he dies.

Jake has reached the time in his life when he has begun thinking about the legacies he wants to leave behind after he is gone. He decides to leave a bequest to Sigma Chi Foundation to create an endowed fund that will perpetuate generous support in his name. To accomplish his goals, he designates 40% of the final balance in his retirement account for Sigma Chi Foundation.

Benefits

  • There will be no income tax or estate tax on the 40% of Jake's retirement plan assets that are transferred to Sigma Chi Foundation.
  • Assume the balance in Jake IRA when it ends is $500,000 and he donates 40% of that balance ($200,000) to Sigma Chi Foundation.  If Jake were to pass the same amount to his family, that distribution would be subject to ordinary income tax. His family would owe income tax of $74,000 (37% bracket) on the IRA assets, leaving only about $126,000 for their own use. If Jake’s estate is subject to estate tax the tax savings would be even greater since his estate would be entitled to an estate tax charitable deduction of $200,000.  
  • Jake has the immediate satisfaction of knowing that he has put a gift plan in place that will keep his name alive and support Sigma Chi Foundation long after he is gone.

 

Donors-Scholars Initiative

Each year, your generous donations make it possible for the Sigma Chi Foundation to grant numerous academic scholarships and awards to our deserving undergraduate and graduate brothers. Providing scholarships and academic awards furthers the Foundation’s goal to promote academic excellence. We proudly award brothers who show outstanding leadership, academic motivation and commitment to their chapters and campuses. The Sigma Chi Foundation will provide $505,000 in academic scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students over the 2018-19 academic year. This year, your gifts impacted individuals from 169 different Sigma Chi chapters. This includes an 12th-consecutive annual increase of $25,000 or more in awards.

The Sigma Chi Foundation’s Donor-Scholar Initiative provides a naming opportunity to interested alumni who wish to directly support the Foundation’s expanding scholarship program. Donors contributing to this effort at an endowment level (a one-time gift of $25,000) will have an annual academic scholarship named for themselves, or an honoree, for a minimum of 30 years. Donors are also encouraged to establish a mentor relationship with the recipient(s).

learning continuum

Our overarching goal is to positively impact every undergraduate brother every year with values-based leadership training and support.  Sigma Chi is focused on the relevant issues confronting our brothers on college campuses today, better educating these young men on alcohol misuse, drug abuse, hazing, sexual misconduct, suicide, depression and much more through an integrated presentation of our values.

By providing our members with world-class leadership initiatives, through the support of major gifts to the Foundation, Sigma Chi is helping young men develop into character-based leaders who are committed to the betterment of their chapters, campus and community.

The curriculum leads brothers to reflect upon leadership within themselves and the actions they take in everyday life, and think about how that impacts their communities and others. These modules allow our in-person programming to be more targeted and effective.

Click here to learn more about Sigma Chi’s leadership initiatives supported by the Sigma Chi Foundation.

planned giving

“I wanted to reflect that my career arc was fundamentally improved because of Sigma Chi. And I wanted to be able to leave a legacy beyond my own life that would provide that opportunity to others. ... What Sigma Chi and the Foundation do is help build good men. Our nation needs that, and I thought there was no better way to support that than through a planned gift to the Foundation so the next generation can have the benefit of Sigma Chi and learn and grow as young men.”

John Pasquantino UNLV 1984
White House Deputy Associate Director, Office of Management and Budget

Leave A Legacy

A planned gift to the Sigma Chi Foundation enables a brother to define their legacy and directly impact the lives of future Sigma Chis and our Fraternity.

Why are planned gifts so important? Our ‘One Voice’ strategic plan envisions a $100 million cash reserve that will expand world-class leadership programming and academic scholarships. While we are making great progress, planned gifts will be vital to our ultimate success.

By including Sigma Chi Foundation in your estate plan, you will help us achieve our goal and, at the same time, enjoy practical advantages for your estate and heirs.

Here are ways you can leave a legacy:

gifts by bequest

A bequest to Sigma Chi Foundation can be made for a specific amount, a percentage of your estate, or all or a portion of what is left after you have provided for your family. With a bequest, you retain control of and use of your assets during your lifetime and can potentially save on income taxes, capital gains and estate taxes.

life insurance gifts

Life insurance policies are powerful philanthropic tools often allowing a donor to make a much larger donation than they ever thought possible. Donors can name Sigma Chi Foundation as their beneficiary or transfer poilcy ownership to the Foundation and then make tax deductible gifts to pay the premiums. Sigma Chi Foundation receives the proceeds of the policy after your lifetime.

life income gifts

Your gift can be structured to provide you income for life. Sigma Chi Foundation will make a fixed payment to you for life with the remainder benefiting the Fraternity. Such arrangements are particularly appealing because donors can often reduce taxes and increase their spendable income. You benefit now and Sigma Chi benefits later.

gifts of retirement assets

Designating Sigma Chi Foundation as a beneficiary of all or a specified percentage of your 401(k) or other retirement plan assets can save your estate both income and estate taxes. Additionally, if you are age 70.5 or older, you can roll over up to $100,000 a year from your IRA as a charitable gift and count it towards your required minimum distribution.

bell chapter challenge

As an undergrad, your home chapter was your Sigma Chi world. It was where you forged your leadership skills, formed lifelong bonds of friendship and shaped what kind of man you would become. Please consider engaging with your Sigma Chi Foundation to continue that rich legacy at your chapter.

make your chapter a bell chapter

Sigma Chi has made a difference in the lives of over 300,000 brothers and these brothers want to give back. More importantly they want to give back to where they lived Sigma Chi, their own chapter. The Bell Chapter Challenge provides an excellent opportunity to make this happen and provides your chapter with enhanced benefits from the Foundation.

Your unrestricted, and tax-deductible, gift to the Sigma Chi Foundation will support the key leadership and scholarship programs provided by Sigma Chi for your chapter. These cutting-edge, valuesbased opportunities help change the lives of undergraduates at your chapter, bringing them to their full potential in college and life.

Our chapters need strong, values-based leaders to grow stronger. Engage with your Sigma Chi Foundation today and cultivate tomorrow’s leaders!

benefits provided to bell chapters

  • Krach Transformational Leaders Workshop
    Bell Chapters can send up to 5 additional attendees to Workshop for free.
    Gold level Bell Chapters will receive an additional $1,000 travel stipend for Workshop.
  • Horizons Leadership Training Program
    Bell Chapters will receive up to 2 designated slots for qualified undergraduates
  • Academic Scholarships
    Bell Chapters will receive up to 3 designated $1,000 academic scholarships for qualified undergraduates.
  • Education and Leadership Stipend
    Gold Level Bell Chapters will receive a $3,000 educational stipend to cover the costs of educational programming for the chapter.
  • Crossroads Program
    Bell Chapters will receive the Crossroads program at no cost.
LEVELS BLUE GOLD
Amount $10,000 per year
$250,000 Endow*
$20,000 per year
$500,000 Endow*
Chapter Benefits
  • 3 Additional free registration slots at KTLW (8 Total)
  • $250 KTLW Travel Stipend
  • 1 Designated Horizons Slot
  • 2 Designated $1,000 Academic Scholarships that will recognize lead donor
  • Crossroads retreat at no cost to Chapter
  • Donor plaque for chapter house
  • 1 Exclusive Bell Chapter Dinner invite at KTLW
  • 5 Additional free registration slots at KTLW (10 Total)
  • $1,000 KTLW Travel Stipend
  • 2 Designated Horizons Slots
  • 3 Designated $1,000 Academic Scholarships that will recognize lead donor
  • Crossroads retreat at no cost to Chapter
  • $3,000 Stipend for Journey Chapter Retreat
  • Donor plaque for chapter house
  • 1 Exclusive Bell Chapter Dinner invite at KTLW
  • Krach Transformational Leaders Workshop
    Bell Chapters can send up to 5 additional attendees to Workshop for free.
    Gold level Bell Chapters will receive an additional $1,000 travel stipend for Workshop.
  • Horizons Leadership Training Program
    Bell Chapters will receive up to 2 designated slots for qualified undergraduates
  • Academic Scholarships
    Bell Chapters will receive up to 3 designated $1,000 academic scholarships for qualified undergraduates.
  • Education and Leadership Stipend
    Gold Level Bell Chapters will receive a $3,000 educational stipend to cover the costs of educational programming for the chapter.
  • Crossroads Program
    Bell Chapters will receive the Crossroads program at no cost.
Blue  
Amount
  • $10,000 per year
  • $250,000 Endow*
Chapter
Benefits
  • 3 Additional free registration slots at KTLW (8 total)
  • $250 KTLW Travel Stipend
  • 1 Designated Horizons Slot
  • 2 Designated $1,000 Academic Scholarships that will recognize lead donor
  • Crossroads retreat at no cost to Chapter
  • Donor plaque for chapter house
  • 1 Exclusive Bell Chapter Dinner invite at KTLW
Gold  
Amount
  • $20,000 per year
  • $500,000 Endow*
Chapter
Benefits
  • 5 Additional free registration slots at KTLW (10 total)
  • $1000 KTLW Travel Stipend
  • 2 Designated Horizons Slot
  • 3 Designated $1,000 Academic Scholarships that will recognize lead donor
  • Crossroads retreat at no cost to Chapter
  • $3,000 Stipend for Journey Chapter Retreat
  • Donor plaque for chapter house
  • 1 Exclusive Bell Chapter Dinner invite at KTLW

*Based on accumulated cash in your chapter’s Bell Fund.

For more information contact Dakota Chavez, Associate Director of Development, at (847) 425-4408.

Did you know?

The Sigma Chi Foundation is eligible for all company matched gifts made to 501 (c) (3) foundations. Please check with your employer to see if you can double the size of your gift!

Bell Chapter List for 2019-2020

other ways to give

memorial gifts

You may wish to direct memorial gifts to the Sigma Chi Foundation to honor the memory of a deceased brother. Unrestricted gifts will be applied to the area of greatest need to support educational and leadership development opportunities for undergraduate members. Gifts may also be directed to a specific chapter or program fund. The Sigma Chi Foundation is a 501 (c) (3), charitable, educational organization and gifts are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. Following is suggested language that may be used in an obituary to direct gifts to the Sigma Chi Foundation on behalf of a brother who enters the Chapter Eternal.

Contributions may be made to the Sigma Chi Foundation, 1714 Hinman Ave., Evanston, IL 60201.

matching gifts

The Sigma Chi Foundation is eligible for all company matched gifts made to 501 (c) (3) foundations. Please check with your employer to see if you can double the size of your gift!

distinguished visitors program

The Sigma Chi Foundation’s Distinguished Visitors program has provided alumni with an opportunity to reconnect to their Sigma Chi roots and impact undergraduate brothers since its inception in the 1980s. This year, 24 brothers attended the Huntsman Horizons Leadership Summit in Snowbird, Utah or the Balfour Leadership Training Workshop in Bowling Green, Ohio. During their visits, these men, who are among Sigma Chi’s most accomplished brothers, shared their values, their wisdom and their perspective on leadership with undergraduate brothers.

regional alumni receptions

Over the course of the 2018 to 2019 fiscal year, the Sigma Chi Foundation Board of Governors and staff made a targeted effort to connect with alumni in United States metropolitan areas with special reception events. Hosted by Foundation board members and donors, these events provided an opportunity to deliver updates from the General Fraternity and to discuss Sigma Chi’s forward direction. The receptions will expand to new regional locations over the present 2019 to 2020 fiscal year. For more information on these events or to receive a reminder when the Sigma Chi Foundation visits your area, e-mail the Foundation at foundation@sigmachi.org.

volunteering

Have some time on your hands and would like to contribute in other ways? Then consider the Fraternity’s volunteer programs. Help out on the international level in fraternity governance, on leadership programs such as the Balfour Leadership Training Workshop, or on one of the committees that keeps the organization running.

amazon smile

Did you know that you can contribute to Sigma Chi while making an online purchase through Amazon? Visit smile.amazon.com and select the Sigma Chi Foundation as your philanthropy of choice. A small percentage of each purchase made through Amazon Smile will support the leadership mission of Sigma Chi.