Investors took advantage of a growing economy and favorable market conditions to add almost a trillion dollars to retirement accounts in the first quarter.
The Investment Company Institute reports in its quarterly roundup that total U.S. retirement assets were $20.8 trillion as of March 31, up 4.6 percent from $19.9 trillion on Dec. 31. Retirement savings accounted for 36 percent of all household financial assets in the United States.
Assets in individual retirement accounts totaled $5.7 trillion, an increase of 5.1 percent from year-end 2012. Defined contribution plan assets rose 5.7 percent to $5.4 trillion.
Government pension plans — including federal, state and local government plans — held $5.2 trillion in assets as of the end of March, a 5.3 percent increase from the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. Private-sector defined benefit (DB) plans held $2.7 trillion in assets at the end of the first quarter, and annuity reserves outside of retirement accounts accounted for another $1.9 trillion.
Defined Contribution Plans
Americans held $5.4 trillion in all employer-based DC retirement plans on March 31, of which $3.8 trillion was held in 401(k) plans. Those figures are up from $5.1 trillion and $3.6 trillion, respectively, as of December 31. Mutual funds managed $3.1 trillion of assets held in 401(k), 403(b), and other DC plans at the end of March, up from $2.9 trillion at year-end 2012. Mutual funds managed 57 percent of DC plan assets at the end of the first quarter.