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Retirement Assets Total $17.5 Trillion in Fourth Quarter 2010

Washington, DC, April 13, 2011 - Total U.S. retirement assets were $17.5 trillion as of December 31, 2010, up 5.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 and up 9.1 percent for the year. Retirement savings accounted for 37 percent of all household financial assets in the United States at year-end 2010.

U.S. Total Retirement Market
Trillions of dollars, end-of-period, selected periods

figure 1

e Data are estimated.
p Data are preliminary.
Note: For definitions of plan categories, see Table 1 in “The U.S. Retirement Market, Fourth Quarter 2010.” Components may not add to the total because of rounding.
Sources: Investment Company Institute, Federal Reserve Board, National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, American Council of Life Insurers, and Internal Revenue Service Statistics of Income Division

Assets in individual retirement accounts (IRAs) totaled $4.7 trillion at the end of 2010, up 5.3 percent from the end of the third quarter. Defined contribution (DC) plan assets increased 5.1 percent in the fourth quarter, hitting $4.5 trillion. Government pension plans— including federal, state, and local government plans — held $4.4 trillion in assets as of December 31, up 6.9 percent from September 30. Private-sector defined benefit plans held $2.2 trillion in assets at year-end and annuity reserves outside of retirement accounts accounted for another $1.6 trillion.

Retirement Assets by Type
Billions of dollars, end-of-period, 2010:Q3–2010:Q4

figure 2

e Data are estimated. Note: For definitions of plan categories, see Table 1 in “The U.S. Retirement Market, Fourth Quarter 2010.”
Sources: Investment Company Institute, Federal Reserve Board, National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, American Council of Life Insurers, and Internal Revenue Service Statistics of Income Division

Defined Contribution Plans

Americans held $4.5 trillion in employer-based DC retirement plans on December 31, 2010, of which $3.1 trillion was held in 401(k) plans. Those figures are up from $4.3 trillion and $2.9 trillion, respectively, on September 30, 2010. Mutual fund managed $2.5 trillion of assets held in 401(k), 403(b), and other DC plans at the end of 2010, up from $2.3 trillion at the end of the third quarter. Mutual funds managed 54 percent of DC plan assets at year-end 2010.

401(k) Plan Assets
Billions of dollars, end-of-period, selected periods
 

figure 3

e Data are estimated.
Note: Components may not add to the total because of rounding.
Sources: Investment Company Institute, Federal Reserve Board, and Department of Labor

Individual Retirement Accounts

IRAs held $4.7 trillion in assets at the end of 2010, up from $4.5 trillion at the end of the third quarter. Forty-seven percent of IRA assets, or $2.2 trillion, were invested in mutual funds.

IRA Market Assets
Billions of dollars, end-of-period, selected periods
 

figure 4

e Data are estimated.
p Data are preliminary.
Note: Components may not add to the total because of rounding.
Sources: Investment Company Institute, Federal Reserve Board, American Council of Life Insurers, and Internal Revenue Service Statistics of Income Division

Other Developments

Assets in target date mutual funds continued to grow due to ongoing net inflows and investment returns. As of December 31, 2010, target date mutual fund assets totaled $340 billion, an increase of 11 percent in the fourth quarter and 33 percent higher than December 31, 2009. Retirement accounts held the bulk of target date mutual fund assets: 91 percent of target date mutual fund assets were held through DC plans and IRAs.

Target Date Mutual Fund Assets
Billions of dollars, end-of-period, selected periods
 

figure 5

Note: Components may not add to the total because of rounding.
Source: Investment Company Institute

The quarterly retirement data tables are available at “The U.S. Retirement Market, Fourth Quarter 2010.”