This summer we asked over 340 organizations about how they market charitable gift annuities. One of the most interesting things we learned were the specific tactics organizations were trying to get the word out.
Legislation making significant changes to Wisconsin’s gift annuity regulation was recently adopted when Wisconsin Act 271, Senate Bill 152 became effective April 18th, 2014. With its enactment, it is no longer necessary for charities to register with, or submit annual reports to, the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance. However, organizations must still comply with certain requirements. The changes in Wisconsin serve as a reminder of the importance of planned giving compliance for fundraisers.(4/22/2014: A small update to Planned Giving Manager and Gift Annuity Manager will be released soon to accommodate clients that issue annuities (or are considering it) in Wisconsin. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.) REMINDER: If you are a current PGM client and have not received a link to the update reflecting changes to WI law, please contact Client Services (888-474-2252).
On October 2nd, 2013, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported The New York City Opera was entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and would “wind down” its operations after 70 years. The news prompted anxious calls from charities and gift annuitants to us here at PG Calc. They all had the same concern: what happens to gift annuitants when a charity goes into bankruptcy? The good news is that such circumstances have been incredibly rare. Based on the few occasions where it has occurred, it seems likely that those with annuities issued by the bankrupt organization will be protected. Here are two key factors to understand in addressing questions that may come from your boss or your annuitants and other constituents.
I learned recently of a donor who left money to charity in a manner that made it seem like she wanted to establish a so-called “college annuity” for her seven-year-old granddaughter. The applicable bequest language indicated that the annuity would begin “on or about July 30 of the year the beneficiary attains the age 19 years, and the payment shall continue for a term of 5 years.” If perhaps you’re not familiar with the college annuity, it’s a deferred charitable gift annuity established for the life of a young child, with the deferral period ending – and payments beginning – when the child is age 18 or 19. Shortly after the annuity is established, the child’s guardian (usually a parent) exercises a right explicitly reserved in the gift annuity agreement to commute the lifetime payments into a stream of payments made over the course of only four or five years. Because the present value of the lifetime payments must equal the present value of the commuted payments at the time the commutation provision is exercised, each commuted payment is quite a bit larger than each lifetime payment would have been.