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Gifts of Retirement Plan Assets

Using your retirement plan is a simple way of making a bequest to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), while protecting your children from additional taxes.  If your IRA, 401(k), 403(b), or other retirement plan is left entirely to your children, they must pay income taxes when they withdraw money from the plan.

You may designate WHOI as a beneficiary of part or all of the remainder of your IRA, TIAA-CREF, KEOGH, profit-sharing plan, qualified pension or other retirement assets.


  • Your heirs avoid income and possible estate taxes
  • You can continue to withdraw from the plan for the rest of your life
  • You can give a portion of your IRA plan to your heirs and a portion to WHOI
  • You can maintain the control and flexibility to change beneficiaries during your lifetime

To make this gift:

  • You must notify your plan’s administrator.
  • You will need a  “change of beneficiary” form.

For more information, please contact Jim Flynn, Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving at (508) 289-2018 or jflynn@whoi.edu.