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eRate Newsletter | March 15, 2021


Using a CRT or CGA to Stretch Payments From a Retirement Plan

While we examine implications for planned giving in the American Rescue Plan (ARP) that was just signed into law in the PG Calc blog (see below), Bill Laskin, PG Calc's Vice President of Product Management, explores the tax implications of the SECURE Act for IRAs and how that could impact gift planning in this month's feature article.

IRS statistics indicate traditional IRAs held nearly $8 trillion in assets at the end of 2018, the latest year for which data is available. That is a huge potential source of charitable gifts. Any change that might increase the likelihood of gifts of IRA assets is enough to get gift planners excited, and rightly so.

The SECURE Act that was signed into law at the end of 2019 contained several provisions that drew the attention of gift planners. One provision of the Act was elimination of the so-called “stretch” IRA for most non-spouses. 

The SECURE Act significantly limited who can stretch payments from an inherited IRA over their life expectancy. Gift planners recognized that for charitably-minded IRA owners, the elimination of the “stretch” IRA created an additional incentive to designate what is left in their IRA to one or more charities and use other funds to benefit their heirs.



Notice: To accommodate clients currently not able to view PG Calc webinars in a group, all registrants will receive a link to a recording of the webinar that they can share with colleagues at their organization. Ordinarily, the recording is available within 1-2 weeks of the live session. Alternatively, additional participants at the same organization who wish to attend the live session may do so for just $25 each.

The Retained Life Estate: A Most Underutilized Gift

Presented by
Craig Wruck

March 25, 2021
1:00 - 2:30 pm ET



Lead Trust School

March 24-25, ONLINE (6 hours over 2 days)

PGM to PGM Anywhere FREE

April 6, ONLINE (90 Minutes)

GiftWrap Advanced Reporting

April 13-14, ONLINE (4 hours over 2 days)

PGM Anywhere and Gift Annuities

April 27-28, ONLINE (4 hours over 2 days)


Quick Tip: Using New Security Options in PGM Anywhere

We have designed PGM Anywhere with data security in mind from the very beginning. But there is always more we can do to make PGM Anywhere and its data even more secure. In recent releases, we have added several optional security features that PG Calc can activate for you. These options control access to PGM Anywhere and further increase security. Just days ago, we added blocking social security numbers to the list. You and your team may want to take advantage of one or more of these features.

  • Blocking social security numbers eliminates social security numbers (SSNs) from PGM Anywhere data by suppressing all questions that ask for this information. Activating this option also removes SSNs from any cases that contain SSNs at the time of activation.
  • Single sign-on (SSO) allows users to open PGM Anywhere based on the credentials used to login to their computer or network. Applying SSO reduces the number of usernames and passwords a user needs to remember/enter and can lessen IT Help Desk workload.
  • Two-factor authentication requires users to verify their identity two ways before they can open PGM Anywhere. In addition to entering a username and password on the login screen, they must confirm their identity using a cellphone, a landline, a tablet, or other device.
  • IP filtering allows PGM Anywhere to be configured so that only devices connected to the Internet from an authorized IP address can login.
  • A key management service separates the management of data encryption keys from other stored data, adding an additional level of security to stored data.
Blocking social security numbers does not involve an additional cost. The other four options do. If you are interested in taking advantage of any of these options, please contact PG Calc Client Services at or 888-474-2252 to discuss implementation and cost.


Tax Changes


From the PG Calc Blog: $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan Will Affect Giving Only Indirectly

Last week, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP), a $1.9 trillion package of initiatives aimed at facilitating the U.S.’s recovery from the health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ARP provides economic assistance to individuals in a variety of ways, primarily to Americans making less than $75,000/year (or couples making less than $150,000/year). It also extends the Paycheck Protection Program for businesses, creates block grants to help schools reopen and expand childcare, provides aid to state and local government, and much more.

What the ARP does not contain is any provision directly related to charitable contributions.


At Long Last, a New Mortality Table May Be on Its Way

Two years ago, we started letting clients know we expected the IRS would soon announce a new mortality table for use in computing charitable deductions for planned gifts with terms based on one or more lives. We said that because IRC Section 7520 says: “The Secretary shall revise the initial (mortality) tables... not less frequently than once each 10 years...” The current mortality table, 2000CM, went into effect on July 1, 2009, so the ten-year mark was July 1, 2019.

While the IRS has not announced the long overdue updated mortality table, we note that the CDC published in August 2020 the mortality data on which we expect the new mortality table to be based. That data shows significantly lower mortality, especially at older ages, which will translate into lower deductions for gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, retained life estates, and pooled income funds. The deduction will increase for the rare charitable lead trust with a term based on lives. Deductions for fixed term trusts will be unaffected.

How big will the effect be? We cannot know yet with precision, but Larry Katzenstein, a St. Louis attorney who has performed some experimental calculations using the updated CDC mortality data, finds that the deduction for a 5% CRUT with a 70-year-old beneficiary would decline about 5%.

Now that the CDC data is available, the IRS has the information it needs to develop a new mortality table. It remains to be seen when the IRS will announce one, what its effective date will be, and whether there are any transition rules.

IRS Building, Washington DC


Virtual Conferences in 2021


Conferences Will Be Virtual This Spring – Here's Where We'll Be

PG Calc is looking forward to when conference season means we’ll get to see you in person again, but until then, we hope to see you virtually at the following conferences:

  • Planned Giving Group of New England’s Annual All-Day Conference on May 18th
  • Western Regional Planned Giving Conference on May 25th-27th
  • Chicago Council on Planned Giving’s Annual Symposium on May 27th
  • National Capital Gift Planning Council’s Planned Giving Days on June 10th-11th

Fairbairn Decision a Useful Reminder That DAFs Sell What They Are Given

On December 28 and 29, 2017 Malcolm and Emily Fairbairn gave just short of 2 million shares of Energous stock to their donor advised fund (DAF) at Fidelity Charitable. The Fairbairns made the gift to reduce taxes on about $250 million of offshore income they had to recognize in 2017. Fidelity Charitable sold all the stock on December 29. The Fairbairns sued, contending that Fidelity Charitable had promised not to sell the stock until the next year and that selling it all at once on the date of gift depressed the stock price and therefore reduced their deduction because the mean market value on the 29th went down. On February 26, 2021, the Fairbairns lost their case in U.S. District Court. The presiding judge found that Fidelity had exercised a proper “standard of care” in selling the donated stock immediately. You can read the whole very readable opinion here.

The Fairbairn case is a good reminder for donors considering a gift of stock that the charity is very likely to sell the assets immediately and that, in any event, the donor has no control over what becomes of the assets. Charities are not financial service providers and do not engage in speculation. More generally, this is a reminder that clear communication and setting expectations with a donor about all aspects of their gift is critically important.

Fairbairn Decision and DAFs


PG Calc Trainings in 2021


PG Calc Training for You – Wherever You Want It!

Spring is in the air, and hope is in our hearts! We are certainly hearing a lot of good news about the decline in COVID-19 cases, and the vaccination rollout is proceeding even faster than expected. But while we seem to be approaching a time when in-person meetings will again be possible, out of an abundance of caution, we wanted to play it as safe as possible for our clients and our staff. In finalizing our training schedule for all of 2021, we have decided to keep the majority of our sessions virtual for the remainder of the year (we do have two in-person trainings tentatively scheduled – will keep you posted!).

This means that most of our training sessions will continue to be available to anyone who can participate online – no travel required! Please take a look at our entire schedule and register as soon as you can – some of these sessions fill up quickly!

PG Calc’s Gift Annuity Compliance Service Has Been a Game-Changer for Barnard College

“PG Calc has been a great help in handling both our initial registrations and our ongoing compliance, giving us peace of mind and saving us time that would otherwise be spent chasing down different requirements for each state. Edie and Julie truly understand the ins and outs of CGA compliance work. I am thankful for all their support!”

JiHae Munro
Director, Planned Giving
Development and Alumnae Relations
Barnard College

Learn more about Barnard College.

Learn more about how PG Calc's Gift Annuity Compliance Service can keep your organization in compliance and give you peace of mind.

Barnard College