Converting to a Roth IRA


Roth IRA conversion overview

A Roth IRA conversion occurs when you move assets from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Tax laws allow for investors of all income levels to implement a conversion.

Why convert to a Roth IRA?

Converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA can be appealing for some investors because:

  • Investors in a Roth IRA are not required to begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) at age 73 like they are with a traditional IRA. This can help retirees gain more control over their investment withdrawals.
  • Roth IRA withdrawals are tax-free, which can provide tax diversification in retirement.
  • Roth IRAs can be passed on tax-free to heirs, making it an appealing estate-planning tool.

A Roth IRA conversion may make sense if:

  • You won’t need the converted Roth funds for at least five years. There is a five-year waiting period if you are under age 59½ before you can distribute the converted amount penalty-free.
  • You estimate being in a similar or higher tax bracket in retirement.
  • You can pay the conversion taxes without using the retirement funds themselves.
  • You do not expect to use the funds for retirement and wish to transfer them to your heirs.

Frequently asked questions

What type of retirement accounts can I convert to a Roth?

In addition to traditional IRAs, accounts in qualified employer plans such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s, or governmental 457(b)s that are eligible to be rolled over may be converted a Roth IRAs.

When am I eligible for tax-free withdrawals?

An account owner may withdraw tax-free earnings if the Roth IRA has been open for a minimum of five years and the circumstance meets one of these criteria:

  • The account owner is aged 59½ or older
  • The account owner has become disabled
  • The account owner has passed away
  • The money is being used for a first-time home purchase ($10,000 lifetime limit)

Will I owe taxes on my conversion?

Yes, any previously tax-deferred assets converted (such as a traditional IRA or a traditional employer plan) will be taxable as income. A conversion of after-tax amounts (such as a nondeductible contribution to a traditional IRA) will not be subject to income tax.

Do I need to convert all my assets at one time?

No. To help manage your tax liability, you may choose to convert just a portion of your assets. There is no limit to the number of conversions you can do, so you may convert smaller amounts over several years.

What forms do I need to use to complete a conversion?

If you are an existing investor and wish to complete a conversion, please complete the following forms:

Any tax or legal information on this website is merely a summary of our understanding and interpretations of some of the current income tax regulations and is not exhaustive. Investors should consult their tax advisor or legal counsel for advice and information concerning their particular situation. Allspring Global Investments does not provide accounting, legal, or tax advice or investment recommendations.

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