American Skandia is offering a 2.5% bonus to investors who use so- called "X" shares of its Advisors Funds to open a Roth Individual Retirement Account, or roll another IRA into a Roth IRA.

The X-or extra credit-share was introduced two years ago to allow investors who roll money out of a qualified retirement plan into an IRA to get 2.5% on the dollar, according to Daniel Darst, a senior vice president at Shelton, Conn.-based American Skandia.

And last month, American Skandia made the bonus available to investors in the Roth IRA.

"We designed it precisely so that it could offset penalties and fees associated with proprietary funds," said Mr. Darst.

Also last month, American Skandia began mailing seminar packages on the new IRA to the brokerage community, said Mr. Darst. Included in the packages is a Roth IRA calculator, which enables investors to determine whether they are qualified to participate, he said.

Launched at the start of the year, the Roth IRA was created by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 and features tax-free earnings growth and higher income thresholds.

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