Schwab Offers Roth IRA Conversion Resources

March 10, 2010 ( - Schwab is making additional resources and tools available to investors, independent investment adviser clients, and 401(k) plan participants designed to help navigate Roth IRA conversion decisions.

For 401(k) plan participants seeking information about Roth IRAs and Roth IRA conversion as part of their overall retirement savings strategy, Schwab has added an online Roth IRA conversion workshop to its Financial Education Center for participants. The online workshop, which is broken up into short topical segments, is designed to give 401(k) plan participants clear guidelines and easy-to-understand information that will help them determine if converting to a Roth IRA is right for them, according to a press release.

For investors, Schwab has recently launched an Online Quick Assessment in which investors can answer a few brief questions on current retirement accounts, expected time horizon to retirement, estate plans, and conversion taxes, and receive tailored next steps to further explore if a Roth IRA conversion is appropriate. The tool also pops up useful tips and explanations during the process to help people understand the considerations and rules around conversion.

Schwab has also produced a Webcast entitled Roth Conversion – Is it Right for You? featuring Mark Riepe, CFA, senior vice president at the Schwab Center for Financial Research, explaining Roth IRA fundamentals. The Webcast, available at, covers Roth IRA basics, the differences between traditional and Roth IRAs, the benefits of Roth IRAs, when conversion may and may not make sense, when a partial conversion might be the right choice, and where to find help at Schwab.

In addition, Schwab has launched a series of short videos addressing investors’ common questions about Roth IRAs and Roth IRA conversion, including how a Roth IRA can help with estate planning, the benefits that may be available when converting to a Roth IRA, and some of the potential tax implications of a Roth IRA conversion.

For its independent investment adviser clients, Schwab has created a Roth Decision Guide designed to help advisers guide their clients through a thoughtful consideration of the costs and benefits of conversion. The guide can help advisers answer initial questions their clients might have, such as the benefits of a Roth IRA and details about the conversion rule change.

A Roth Decision Matrix helps advisers discuss key considerations with their clients that can influence the decision to convert and how much to convert. Some of the key considerations in the guide include expected future tax rates, a client’s time horizon to retirement, the client’s ability to pay taxes from a non-IRA account, impact on a client’s current tax bracket, and the client’s estate planning needs.

As part of the Roth Decision Guide for independent advisers, Schwab also has a Roth conversion calculator that enables advisers to provide their clients with a comparison of Roth IRA and traditional IRA ending values, estimated taxes due from the conversion, and suggested next steps.

Advisers can also access online a Webcast that addresses factors for advisers to consider before recommending a conversion, using a Roth conversion as an estate planning tactic, and whether a partial conversion may be a better option for some clients.

Schwab is also making available for independent adviser clients a Roth conversion FAQ and an archive of articles discussing various topics related to Roth conversion to help advisers prepare for discussions with their clients.

Schwab’s Roth IRA resources are available at