Ways to Give

Retirement Plan Assets

Protect your savings

Although you may want your heirs to receive all the assets remaining in your retirement plan, estate and income taxes could reduce its value by close to 50 per cent, leaving your loved ones with only a small fraction of what you had intended. In addition to the income tax due on the assets, the plan is also subject to federal and provincial estate taxes.

Rather than see your hard-earning savings diminished by taxes, you may wish to consider donating all or part of your retirement plan. Amounts from retirement plans for charitable use are still included in your taxable estate, but they are fully deductible from your estate as charitable gifts. This type of gift is appropriate for single or widowed individuals without dependents, as retirement plans are taxable to anyone other than a spouse or dependent child.

Things to consider:

  • You are able to make a larger gift than otherwise possible.
  • You have use of the retirement plan while you are alive.
  • Designations for retirement plans are revocable, so you remain in control of your finances.
  • You can support a University priority that meets your interest, such as student aid, building projects, specific programs or research. (We encourage you to do so in consultation with the Bequests and Planned Gifts staff.)
  • The estate receives a charitable tax receipt for the amount of the gift. Any unused portion can be carried back to the year immediately preceding the year of death, up to 100 per cent of your net income.
  • When designating your retirement plan assets, please use our legal name "Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning" or "McGill University" and our business number #11912 8981 RR0001.
  • In Quebec, you must also state in your will that the "Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning" or "McGill University" is the beneficiary of your retirement plan, in order to benefit from a charitable tax receipt.

Information on this site is of a general nature and not intended to constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your income tax, financial and/or legal advisors before arranging a planned gift. All requests for information are confidential.