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IRA assets to hit $9T by 2018

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The individual retirement account market will account for more than one-third of retirement market assets by year-end 2018, according to new research.

Cerulli Associates discloses this finding in “Retirement Markets 2013: Data & Dynamics of Employer-Sponsored Plans.” This 11th edition of the annual report examines the size and segmentation of public and private U.S. retirement markets, including defined benefit (DB) plans, defined contribution (DC) plans and IRAs.

“The lack of widespread use of in-plan retirement income solutions means assets accumulating in a defined contribution (DC) plan will eventually shift to an IRA,” says Bing Waldert, a director at Cerulli. “We anticipate the market reaching $9 trillion by 2018. The DB market continues to lose marketshare as DC plans garner more adoption and IRAs capture DC rollovers.”

The report pegs the IRA segment’s share of retirement market assets in 2018 at 35.4 percent, up from an estimated 32.1 percent this year. Cerulli estimates that other retirement market segments will garner less than a quarter of the total market by year-end 2018; among them: private DC plans (21.4 percent) and public DC plans (21.5 percent).

The report adds that nearly 8 percent of advisors are retirement specialists.

“The insurance channel has the largest percentage [of retirement specialists] because their companies are also recordkeepers and it is a natural extension of other insurance products to business owners,” the report states. “Dually registered and registered investment advisors (RIAs) are the next biggest channels due to the fiduciary requirements necessary to be a top advisor.”


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