Bipartisan Charitable Giving Enhancements Set to Advance Through Key House Committee

On May 3, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) introduced the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021. The Committee passed the bill on May 5.

The bill includes a modified version of the bipartisan Legacy IRA Act, introduced by Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA) and Mike Kelly (R-PA), which would enable seniors to make one-time, tax-free contributions from their individual retirement accounts to charities through life-income plans. With many Americans unable to afford to give away their retirement income during their lifetime, Independent Sector worked closely with staffers of the House Ways and Means Committee, considering various policy options so prospective donors could have one more critical way to invest in the common good in a way that works for them. While the $50,000 limit on this provision is lower than in previous versions, it still represents a highly significant commitment from the bill’s authors and their staff.

Since the IRA charitable rollover was created in 2006, the purchasing power of the annual $100,000 limit has declined significantly. Importantly, the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021 also indexes this limit to inflation, preventing further erosion in the future while allowing policymakers and our community to focus their energy on other critical needs.

Independent Sector worked with our members for over a decade to support the IRA charitable rollover provision, which was made permanent in the PATH Act as part of Public Law 114-113. The provisions in the Legacy IRA Act could unlock much-needed, additional funds for charities at this time of economic pain and historic demand. Planned giving experts estimate the Legacy IRA Act would raise up to $1 billion annually for charities.

On May 4, Independent Sector sent a letter of support to Chairman Neal and Ranking Member Brady. This provision is also supported by 46 charitable national organizations that signed a letter of support led by the Legacy IRA Coalition.

Note: This blog post has been updated to reflect that the House Ways and Means Committee approved the bill.

Types: Blog
Focus Areas: Giving
Policy Issues: Charitable Giving