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Charitable Gift Annuities

Giving is a religious act. Each of us knows someone somewhere whose life was changed by the courage and compassion of Unitarian Universalism. Many whose lives were touched never knew that the spirit of Unitarian Universalism was at work in their midst. Many have never heard of Unitarian Universalism! We give of ourselves, our time, our energy, our ideas, even our lives—not for recognition, but because it is the right thing to do.

For all the good we Unitarian Universalists (UUs) do, only we know the value of our religious heritage. Only we love this free faith enough to give it a future. And when we make a gift to Unitarian Universalism, we receive a gift in return: the joy and deep satisfaction of giving to something we cherish. A "charitable gift annuity" (CGA) is a way that you can give now, enjoy income for life, see tax savings, but most importantly, experience the joy and satisfaction of giving to the future of Unitarian Universalism.

What is a Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA)?
When you set up a CGA, you enter into a contractual arrangement with the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA). A simple contract identifies the donor(s) and states who will receive the annuity, when payments begin, when the contract ends, and how you wish your gift to be used. As a donor, you make an irrevocable gift of cash, stock, or other assets, and the UUA agrees to pay one or two people a guaranteed, fixed annual income for the rest of their lives. Ultimately, Unitarian Universalism directly benefits from your generosity.

What is a Deferred Charitable Gift Annuity (DGA)?
If you don't need your income payments today, you can set up a deferred gift annuity, which gives you options about when you would like to start receiving annuity payments. Deferred annuity rates are generally slightly higher than the rates in immediate annuities. You make the contribution now, receive a charitable tax deduction and you select when to begin receiving payments for life, usually three to five years from now.

How is the annuity amount determined?
The amount paid each year is a percentage of the amount given. The UUA uses rate tables prepared by the American Council on Gift Annuities, a national non-profit organization. Annuity rates are determined by the age(s) of the annuitant(s). The annuitant(s) and the annuity amount never change.

Who may receive annuity payments?
One or two people may be annuitants. The donor names the annuitant(s) when the gift contract is prepared. Usually, the annuitant is also the donor.

What is the minimum age to establish a gift?
The minimum age for one annuitant is 65 or an average age of 65 for two annuitants.

What is the minimum gift amount?
The minimum gift amount is $10,000.

When do annuity checks get mailed?
Quarterly. Checks are mailed on the first of January, April, July, and October. Annuity gifts that arrive late in a quarter will be held one full quarter before any payment. In this case, the first check will include a pro-rated amount for the short quarter.

Are the gift annuity payments guaranteed?
Yes. Your gift annuity is guaranteed by the UUA and backed by its assets.

How will my gift be invested?
The UUA holds all charitable annuity contributions in charitable trust fund accounts, at State Street Global Advisors in Boston, Mass. Gifts remain in the funds until the gift contract ends. The current asset allocation is approximately 30.3% fixed income, 59.3% equities, 6% REIT and the rest in cash equivalents. All UUA investments are screened to exclude tobacco and weapons industries. On March 31, 2015 the UUA Segregated Annuity Reserve had a fair market value of $7.28M.

Are annuity payments taxable?
For a period of years, part of the annuity payment is tax free, and part is taxable ordinary income. Gifts of appreciated assets will see some of the capital gain excused, the rest is payable over the course of the annuity. Ask the UUA Office of Charitable Gift and Estate Planning for more information about how your gift plans might be taxed.

May I make a non-cash gift?
Yes, common stocks, mutual funds, and other marketable securities are acceptable donations to establish a gift annuity. Gifts of real estate are allowed in some states and are subject to approval by the UUA Vice President of Finance.

Will I get a charitable income tax deduction?
Yes. You may claim a charitable income tax deduction for a percentage of your gift. For instance, if you are 70, your annuity rate is 5.1% and you are eligible for a charitable deduction is currently approximately 40% of your contribution. U.S. Treasury tables set the deduction, based on the annuitant's age, the annuity rate, and date of the gift. Ask the UUA Office of Legacy Gifts to estimate your deduction.

When do annuity payments begin?
Donors chose when payments begin, either immediately or deferred for more than a year. Immediate annuities start payments within a year of the gift date. Deferred annuities delay payments but still generate a current income tax deduction. The annuity rate and tax deduction for a deferred annuity will be higher than what you will enjoy from an immediate annuity.

What will my gift support?
Charitable gift annuities support the work of the Unitarian Universalist Association and/or your own congregation or any other UUA-affiliated organization. Unrestricted gifts are always welcome, as are gifts designated for specific purposes. For instance, your gift could help fund loans to congregations for land acquisition or new construction, or help to support the development of life-cycle religious education curricula, or promote the mission of Faith in Action, or add to the permanent endowment, income used only for general operations.

How will a CGA work for me?
To request a gift illustration based on your personal situation, please fill out the Confidential Reply Form and it will be sent to the UUA Office of Legacy Gifts.

Note: The information found on this page of is for use by Unitarian Universalist congregations, organizations and entities. This information may be copied, shared and reproduced to promote generosity within the Unitarian Universalist Community. We advise you to seek your own legal and tax advice in connection with gift planning and tax matters. The Unitarian Universalist Association does not provide legal or tax advice

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