Market Drags Down Q308 Retirement Asset Totals

February 20, 2009 ( - Retirement assets fell 5.9% from $16.9 trillion to $15.9 trillion during the third quarter of 2008, according to Investment Company Institute (ICI) data.

class=”normal-1″> Americans held $15.9 trillion in retirement assets at the end of the third quarter of 2008, accounting for 35% of all U.S. household financial assets in the United States.

class=”normal-1″> ICI said that at the end of the third quarter, IRAs held $4.1 trillion of retirement market assets while another $4 trillion was held in defined contribution plans, of which $2.7 trillion was held in 401(k) plans. Forty-six percent of IRA assets and 47% of defined contribution plan assets were invested in mutual funds.

class=”normal-1″> According to the ICI data, lifecycle, or target-date mutual funds managed $187 billion at the end of the third quarter, compared with $200 billion at the end of the second quarter. Almost 90% of assets in lifecycle funds were held in retirement accounts

class=”normal-1″> The report covers assets held in private-sector pension plans – both defined benefit and defined contribution plans, government pension plans, annuities, and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).

class=”normal-1″> More information is available  here .