New rules and technology, trends among Baby Boomers and the Great Recession have led to a burst in Roth individual retirement account conversions.

At Bank of America, conversions to Roth IRAs in the first quarter spiked to about 15,000 from 3,600 a year earlier, and handily topped 2009's total of 8,000. Tax law changes involving income thresholds resulted in roughly 13 million U.S. households becoming newly eligible for conversion to Roths from traditional IRAs or 401(k)s.

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