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IRA Rollover Legislation Expands Options for Donors

IRA Rollover Legislation Expands Options for Donors

Chuck and Kathryn Scott

August 8, 2017 | 10 a.m.
By Jenny Hudalla '15, content specialist

Every year, sometime between trips to the Boundary Waters and tweaks to his pink 1956 Pontiac Safari, Chuck Scott '68 sits down to plan his annual charitable contributions. He's been giving to Bethel University for more than 40 years, and recent legislation has made it even easier for Scott to manage and maximize his retirement income.

In December 2015, Congress made permanent an IRA charitable rollover option that allows retirees 70½ and older to make charitable donations directly through their IRA.

Instead of paying taxes on the extra income from their required minimum IRA distribution, retirees can transfer funds to a charitable organization like Bethel, which receives the gift tax-free.

"There's a great advantage to using a direct contribution out of your IRA," Scott says. "It costs you nothing today, and it's free of federal and estate tax."

But Scott doesn't give for the tax breaks. He doesn't even give for the sake of being charitable. He gives for a greater purpose: to advance the Kingdom of God. By supporting Christian higher education, Scott makes a direct impact on young people as they navigate some of the most important spiritual, relational, and professional decisions of their lives.

"Investing in Bethel helps me support a school where the intent is not only to educate kids, but also to give them a Christian worldview and make that part of their daily lives," Scott says.

Scott and his wife Kathryn have made it a point to stay connected to Bethel by attending events on campus—Festival of Christmas is one of their favorites—and flipping through the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of Bethel Magazine. But nothing has assured Scott of Bethel's continuing relevance and impact more than his conversations with professors like Jim Beilby, Chris Gehrz, and Wayne Roosa, who have taught in the adult Sunday School program Scott leads at Salem Covenant Church in New Brighton.

While Scott is not what he calls a "big-time donor," he believes in returning what God has provided and cares deeply about the legacy he'll leave behind.

"I hope my story will encourage people to give back," Scott says. "You don't have to be rich to use your money in a way that will help the cause of Christ."

Learn more about IRA rollovers and how you can advance Bethel's mission.

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