Investors are relying on IRAs (individual retirement accounts) as their main source of retirement income, according to a survey of American adults with annual household incomes of $50,000 or more. The survey, conducted by Salomon Smith Barney and Smith Barney Mutual Funds, found investors expected IRAs to provide 30% of their retirement incomes, while tax-deferred company retirement plans such as 401(k)s were expected to provide 25%, as reported in Credit Union Magazine's News Now.

The same investors expected to receive only 16% of their income from Social Security and 7% from guaranteed company pensions. What this means? Investors know they'll have to rely on themselves—not the government or guaranteed pensions—for secure retirements, according to Ellen Breslow, director of individual retirement planning services at Salomon Smith Barney.

Other findings: More than 40% of respondents held an IRA, but 71% decided not to convert their traditional IRAs into Roth IRAs—mainly because of confusion about the conversion and reluctance to pay up-front taxes. Almost two-thirds of those surveyed said they rolled their employer-sponsored retirement plans into IRAs when they changed jobs, while just 31% left their money in the plan. Ask the people at your credit union for information about your IRA options.

© 2000 Credit Union National Association Inc.