Only 4.6% of U.S. households told census takers they had annuities or trusts in 2013, but those households had an average of $180,271 in annuity and trust assets each.
The median value of trust and annuity assets was $60,000. That means that half of the households with annuities and trusts had less than $60,000 in those arrangements, and half had more.
The Census Bureau published those figures today in the first batch of a major new stream of U.S. annuity, trust and cash-value life insurance data: two new columns added to each Survey of Income and Program Participation net worth table.
(Related: Indexed Annuity Sales Fall 14%: Wink)
The bureau once put information about annuity, trust and life assets, together with information about other types of assets, in a miscellaneous assets column. In 2014, when the bureau released a new income survey program questionnaire, it added separate questions for those types of assets.
The Income Survey Program
The Census Bureau has been conducting the income survey since 1977, and it added questions about household net worth, or wealth, to the survey it released in 1984.
The bureau uses a typical survey questionnaire for about two to four years. It gives each questionnaire to more than 10,000 households.
In addition to giving information about annuity and trust assets, the newest net worth tables provide detailed information about many other types of household assets, including home equity, checking accounts, retirement accounts, educational savings accounts and cash-value life insurance.