U.S. Retirement Asset Total Increases 8.5%: ICI

Individual retirement accounts continue to be the big gorillas

(Photo: Thinkstock) (Photo: Thinkstock)

Life insurers may be having a harder time building U.S. retirement assets than other types of financial services providers are.

The apparent gap shows up in new first-quarter figures from the Investment Company Institute.

Retirement services providers of all kinds were managing a total of $26.1 trillion in assets at the end of the quarter, up 8.5% from the total ICI recorded a year earlier.

The value of annuity assets held outside of retirement accounts increased 5.8%, to $2.1 billion.

(Related: DC Plan Participants Prefer Equities, Target-Date Funds)

Consumers had the largest share of their retirement assets, or about 31% of the total, inside individual retirement accounts. The value of IRA assets of all kinds increased about 10%, to $8.2 trillion.

The ICI, a group for mutual fund issuers, variable annuity issuers and other types of fund companies, publishes detailed fund flow data every three months.

Consumers and employers can use life insurance and annuities both inside and outside retirement plans. The ICI includes data on use of life insurance policies and annuities inside individual retirement accounts.

Life insurers were managing $416 billion in IRA assets in the first quarter, or 5.1% more IRA assets than they were managing a year earlier.

The value of IRA assets in mutual funds increased 10%, to $3.9 trillion. 

--- Read 5 Ways to Help Employees Boost Retirement Savings on ThinkAdvisor.

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