Fidelity Investments reported Thursday that one-third of all of the Roth IRA conversions it handled for advisers and individual investors occurred in December.
For the full year, Fidelity handled 22,000 conversions, four times the number that they were in 2009. And advisers and investors used Fidelity’s Roth Conversion Evaluator tool 197,000 times during the year. Since its launch in October 2009, it has been accessed 260,000 times.
Fidelity also found in a recent survey that 40% of investors are aware of the opportunity to convert their IRA to a Roth account, up from 15% in August 2009. In addition, 52% of investors said they are looking for ways to minimize taxes in retirement, up from 47%.
That is probably why 58% of the customers who converted their accounts to a Roth IRA in 2010 were 50 or older.
“For many investors, whether or not to convert to a Roth IRA is just the beginning of the discussion on potential ways to maximize their assets by minimizing taxes in retirement—and we expect these conversions to continue into 2011,” said Chris McDermott, senior vice president, investor education, retirement and financial planning at Fidelity.