IRA Assets Hit $5 Trillion in 1Q

November 30, 2012 ( – IRA assets reached $5 trillion in the first quarter of 2012, according to research from Cerulli Associates.

By PLANSPONSOR staff | November 30, 2012
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The research firm expects assets to increase 60%, to $8 trillion, in 2017. As Baby Boomers enter retirement, the next few years will be critical, said Kevin Chisholm, senior analyst at Cerulli. “The lack of income options available in defined contribution [DC] plans will make IRAs the focal point for many in their retirement income planning process,” he explained.

Cerulli analyzes pre-retiree, retiree, and post-retiree transactions and investor behavior, including a close look at IRAs in a report, “Evolution of the Retirement Investor: Understanding 401(k) Participant Dynamics, and Trends in Rollover and Retirement Income.”

The aging Baby Boomers pose a significant opportunity for asset managers, advisers, direct providers, insurers, and banks to gain individual retirement accounts (IRA) assets, Chisholm said: “The industry as a whole is focused on providing retirement income planning to help ensure that individuals do not outlive their assets.”

In order to be in position to benefit from a rollover opportunity, IRA providers and advisers need to establish relationships early, Cerulli said. Most often, the rollover goes to an existing relationship. Asset managers and providers need to demonstrate their retirement income capabilities with IRAs. Advisers who are able to provide effective retirement planning education will be the ones most successful at gaining client assets.