Roth IRA conversions have spiked at Bank of America in the past year

Through the first 10 months of this year, BoA has conducted more than $2 billion in conversions, up from $111 million in conversions through the first 10 months of last year.

During the first nine months of the year, BoA’s clients made more than 35,000 conversions and during the third quarter they converted more assets then they did during all of last year.

The increase is due primary to the elimination of income limits for Roth IRA conversions this year and the expectation of higher tax rates in the future.

“We’ve recently taken a closer look at the type of clients converting from traditional IRAs to a Roth IRA this year, how they’re doing it, and the tax strategies they’re employing,” said Matthew Card, a spokesman for BoA. “We find that among clients converting, many are doing so for estate planning purposes and as part of leaving an inheritance to their heirs.”

The banking company said that a significant number of conversions this year, particularly among those newly eligible “early adopters”, likely engaged with their financial advisers and accountants last year to determine if it would make sense for them to take advantage of conversion rule changes this year.

Bank of America clients made approximately 15,000 Roth IRA conversions in the first quarter and an additional 20,000 through the end of September. The number of conversions – as we expected – slowed only somewhat during the middle of the year while individuals continued to seek advice on conversion decisions and to watch where the market goes and for any further tax policy changes. We expect to see an increase in Roth IRA conversion activity in Q4, creating a barbell-like year of activity,” the banking company said Tuesday.

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