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UT Austin Benefits from Permanent IRA Rollover

Giving News

Since 2006, Individual Retirement Account (IRA) rollovers have accounted for more than $15 million in philanthropy to UT Austin. For 2014, 191 individuals made a total of 842 gifts through this mechanism, setting the record for participation. The record for the total amount raised through rollovers was set in 2011, when alumni and friends gave nearly $3.3 million.

Congress has permanently extended the opportunity for Americans to make direct transfers from their IRAs to public charities. While individuals may begin taking distributions from their IRAs as early as age 59½, they are required to begin taking them at age 70½. The mandatory distribution often creates a tax burden, even if the individual donates the money to charity. The IRA Charitable Rollover provision, established under the Pension Protection Act, allows those at least 70½ to donate up to $100,000 to charitable organizations directly from their IRA, without treating the distribution as taxable income.

This has the ability to help senior citizens who have paid off their mortgage and therefore no longer file itemized returns. The provision mitigates negative tax consequences and encourages charitable giving during one’s lifetime.

Peter and Claire Buenz

Peter R. Buenz, B.S. in chemical engineering 1960, and his wife, Claire, B.A. in Business, 1957

Gifts from IRAs can change lives directly by supporting scholarships and programs, and can change society by supporting the discovery of knowledge at a university working to solve pressing challenges. “For several years, I was able to make a transfer directly from my IRA to the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering to begin funding an endowed chair in my family’s name,” says Peter Buenz, a 1960 chemical engineering alumnus. “It was a smart way to give and make a difference for the institution that had given me the gift of education and been a conduit to my success.”


Questions about IRA rollovers can be answered at 512-475-9632, 866-488-3927, or by email at For more information, see


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