Rollovers from employee retirement accounts pumped up individual retirement plan assets in 2005, the Employee Benefits Research Institute reports.

IRA assets increased 9.9% that year, to $3.7 trillion, according to EBRI, Washington.

But the rate of growth was down from 11.5% in 2004.

Individuals’ annual direct contributions to existing IRAs amounted to just $40 billion. Rollovers from 401(k) plans and other employer-sponsored retirement plans accounted for about $200 billion in IRA contributions in 2005, EBRI estimates.

Traditional IRAs hold more assets, but more of the new contributions are going to Roth IRAs, EBRI reports.

The total amount of IRA assets allocated to mutual funds increased to $1.7 trillion in 2005, from $1 trillion in 2002, while the amount of IRA assets held in self-directed brokerage accounts increased to $1.4 trillion, from $949 billion, over the same period.