With Deadline Approaching, Many Undecided on Roth

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index reveals that 23% of middle-class Americans who own a traditional IRA have yet to decide if they will convert their account to a Roth IRA.

A news release about the survey said so far, 5% of consumers have completed a Roth IRA conversion, and another 4% percent say they plan to convert.

“While the 2010 conversion opportunity is a potentially lucrative move, the uncertain economic climate has made it a difficult decision for many investors,” said Terri Kallsen, executive vice president of strategic development at First Command, in the news release “The cost of conversion taxes – as well as the possibility of moving into a higher tax bracket – has been a determining factor for many Americans who have already decided against a Roth IRA conversion. “

Almost half of survey respondents say they are enrolled in a traditional IRA, making them candidates for a Roth conversion. Nine percent of consumers say they are currently enrolled in a Roth IRA, and one in five say they own both types of accounts.

Just one in three say they do not have an account that can be converted. Still, many investors have decided against a conversion. Thirty-four percent of consumers say they will not convert their traditional IRAs, and the most often cited reason is they expect to be in a lower tax bracket in retirement.