Mutual Fund Ownership Inside Retirement Plans Continues to Grow

October 31, 2005 ( - The annual Investment Company Institute (ICI) survey on mutual fund ownership shows that the gap between mutual fund ownership outside of retirement plans and inside of retirement plans is narrowing.

An estimated 53.7 million households and 91.3 million individual investors own mutual funds in 2005, according to an ICI press release.   Almost 36 million households own mutual funds inside an employer-sponsored retirement plan, while 39 million own funds outside of employer-sponsored plans.

“The number of households owning funds inside retirement plans increased 87% between 1997 and 2005, largely due to the widespread use of mutual funds as investment options in defined contribution plans,” said Sandy West, Director of Market Policy Research at ICI, in the release.

The survey also found that two-thirds of the households owning mutual funds were headed by individuals age 35 to 64.   In addition, about half of the households owning mutual funds in 2005 had household incomes between $25,000 and $74,999.

The ICI data is based on a June 2005 survey of 3,000 randomly selected US households.   The full report can be viewed  here .