Market Drags Down Q308 Retirement Assets

Retirement assets fell 5.9% from $16.9 to $15.9 trillion during the third quarter of 2008, according to Investment Company Institute (ICI) data.

Americans held $15.9 trillion in retirement assets at the end of the third quarter of 2008, accounting for 35% of all U.S. household financial assets in the United States.

ICI said that at the end of the third quarter, IRAs held $4.1 trillion of retirement market assets while another $4 trillion was held in defined contribution plans, of which $2.7 trillion was held in 401(k) plans. Forty-six percent of IRA assets and 47% of defined contribution plan assets were invested in mutual funds.

According to the ICI data, lifecycle, or target-date mutual funds, managed $187 billion at the end of the third quarter, compared with $200 billion at the end of the second quarter. Almost 90% of assets in lifecycle funds were held in retirement accounts.

The report covers assets held in private-sector pension plans—both defined benefit and defined contribution plans, government pension plans, annuities, and IRAs.

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