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Retirement Assets Total $28.2 Trillion in
Fourth Quarter 2017

Note: These data, which were originally released on March 22, 2018, have been updated to incorporate newly available data on IRA assets and flows for 2015 from the Internal Revenue Service Statistics of Income Division. Incorporating the 2015 IRA data caused revisions to previously released estimates of IRA assets and total retirement assets from the first quarter of 2015 through the fourth quarter of 2017.

Washington, DC, April 19, 2018 – Total US retirement assets were $28.2 trillion as of December 31, 2017, up 3.4 percent from the end of September and up 11.2 percent for the year. Retirement assets accounted for 35 percent of all household financial assets in the United States at the end of 2017.

US Total Retirement Market Assets
Trillions of dollars, end-of-period, selected periods

e Data are estimated.

Note: For definitions of plan categories, see Table 1 in “The US Retirement Market, Fourth Quarter 2017.” Components may not add to the total because of rounding.

Sources: Investment Company Institute, Federal Reserve Board, Department of Labor, 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 $9.2 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, an increase of 4.0 percent from the end of the third quarter. Defined contribution (DC) plan assets were $7.7 trillion in the fourth quarter, up 3.5 percent from the end of the third quarter of 2017. Government defined benefit (DB) plans— including federal, state, and local government plans—held $6.0 trillion in assets as of the end of December, a 3.8 percent increase from the end of September. Private-sector DB plans held $3.1 trillion in assets at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, and annuity reserves outside of retirement accounts accounted for another $2.2 trillion.

Retirement Assets by Type
Billions of dollars, end-of-period, 2017:Q3–2017:Q4

e Data are estimated.

Sources: Investment Company Institute and Federal Reserve Board

Defined Contribution Plans

Americans held $7.7 trillion in all employer-based DC retirement plans on December 31, 2017, of which $5.3 trillion was held in 401(k) plans. In addition to 401(k) plans, at the end of the fourth quarter, $540 billion was held in other private-sector DC plans, $993 billion in 403(b) plans, $321 billion in 457 plans, and $563 billion in the Federal Employees Retirement System’s Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Mutual funds managed $3.5 trillion, or 67 percent, of assets held in 401(k) plans at the end of December 2017. With $2.1 trillion, equity funds were the most common type of funds held in 401(k) plans, followed by $971 billion in hybrid funds, which include target date funds.

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

Sources: Investment Company Institute, Federal Reserve Board, and Department of Labor

Individual Retirement Accounts

IRAs held $9.2 trillion in assets at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, up 4.0 percent from the end of the third quarter. Forty-seven percent of IRA assets, or $4.3 trillion, was invested in mutual funds, predominately in equity funds ($2.4 trillion).

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

e Data are estimated.

Sources: Investment Company Institute, Federal Reserve Board, American Council of Life Insurers, and Internal Revenue Service Statistics of Income Division

Other Developments

As of December 31, 2017, target date mutual fund assets totaled $1.1 trillion, up 5.8 percent in the fourth quarter and up 25.8 percent for the year. Retirement accounts held the bulk of target date mutual fund assets: 87 percent of target date mutual fund assets were held through DC plans (67 percent of the total) and IRAs (20 percent) at year-end 2017.

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

Note: Components may not add to the total because of rounding.

Source: Investment Company Institute

The quarterly retirement data tables are available at “The US Retirement Market, Fourth Quarter 2017.”

Technical Notes

The Investment Company Institute’s total retirement market estimates reflect revisions to previously published data.

These estimates incorporate US Department of Labor (DOL) Form 5500 data for 2015 (which resulted in downward revisions to DC plan assets beginning in the first quarter of 2015).

The latest estimates also incorporate newly available data on IRA assets and flows for 2015 from the Internal Revenue Service Statistics of Income Division, resulting in upward revisions to IRA assets beginning in the first quarter of 2015.