Office of Gift Planning — Wills, Trusts, & Estates

Retirement Plans

“It’s money that’s already being taken out of your paycheck, so you never see it,” she said. “Why not direct it somewhere important to you?”  

Read about Geneviève Frempong Boye (Col ’99) gift >


Assets from your individual retirement account, pension plan, profit sharing plan, stock bonus plan, 401(k) or 403(b) can constitute a large portion of your retirement portfolio.

However, any retirement plan assets you don’t use during your lifetime will be subject to income tax regardless of who your beneficiary is. If that person is not your spouse, your estate may also have to pay estate tax on those assets. In some cases, the combination of the two can mean that your heirs could receive as little as 30% of the entire value of your account.

Retirement Plan Asset Basics

Designating the University as a Beneficiary of Your Retirement Plan …

  • Ensures that the University school, program or related foundation (all tax exempt entities) receives the full value of your gift.
  • May be easily changed as your plans change.
  • Removes assets from your estate, reducing estate tax.
  • May allow you to distribute a greater portion of your estate to your heirs.

How to Include UVA in Your Retirement Plan:

  1. Contact the Office of Gift Planning to discuss your plans and obtain the proper designate language.
  2. Request a beneficiary form from your retirement plan administrator.
  3. Identify the University of Virginia as a percentage beneficiary of your plan.
  4. Include the University of Virginia’s Federal tax ID number 54-6001796 on your beneficiary form.
  5. Return the completed form to your retirement plan administrator.
  6. Provide a copy of your completed beneficiary form to the Office of Gift Planning.

Let us thank you. Notify the University of your retirement plan gift and join the Cornerstone Society.

The University of Virginia does not provide legal, tax or financial advice. We strongly recommend that you consult professional advisors on all legal, tax or financial matters, including gift planning considerations. To ensure compliance with certain IRS requirements, we disclose to you that this is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding tax-related penalties.


Heather Engel, JD
Associate Vice President for Gift Planning
Telephone: 800-688-9882