Retirement Accounts More than a Third of U.S. Household Assets

A report from the Investment Company Institute (ICI) finds Americans held $16.5 trillion in retirement assets at the end of the first quarter of 2010, accounting for 36% of all household financial assets in the United States. 

The U.S. Retirement Market, First Quarter 2010shows that between December 2009 and March 2010, retirement assets rose 2.6%. The report includes assets held in private-sector defined benefit (DB) plans, government pension plans, DC plans—including 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans—annuities, and individual retirement accounts (IRAs).  

At the end of the first quarter, IRAs were a significant component of U.S. retirement market assets, holding $4.3 trillion in assets. Forty-six percent of IRA assets, or $2 trillion, were invested in mutual funds.   

According to the report, Americans held $4.2 trillion in all employer-based defined contribution (DC) retirement plans, of which $2.9 trillion was held in 401(k) plans, on March 31, 2010. Those figures are up from $4.1 trillion and $2.8 trillion, respectively, on December 31, 2009.  

Mutual funds managed $2.2 trillion of assets in 401(k), 403(b), and other DC plans at the end of the first quarter, up from $2.1 trillion at year-end 2009. Mutual funds managed 52% of DC plan assets.  

For 403(b) plans, life insurance companies held 52% of plan assets, while Variable Annuity mutual funds held 26%, and non-Variable Annuity mutual funds held 22%.  

Assets in lifecycle mutual funds grew 9.8% in the first quarter. Eighty-four percent of assets in lifecycle mutual funds were held in retirement accounts.  

The report is here.