U.S. Retirement Assets Steady in Q2

December 23, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) -American savers held $16.9 trillion in retirement assets at the end of the second quarter of 2008, accounting for nearly 36% of all U.S. household financial assets according to Investment Company Institute (ICI) data.

class=”normal-1″> An ICI news release said between March 31, 2008 and June 30, 2008, retirement assets remained largely unchanged from a revised finding of $16.9 trillion in the first quarter of the year. During the second quarter, total return on equities was -2.7%, while bonds lost -1.2% percent, according to the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index and the Citigroup Broad Investment Grade Bond Index.

class=”normal-1″> At the end of the second quarter, according to ICI IRAs held $4.5 trillion of retirement market assets, and another $4.3 trillion was in employer-sponsored defined contribution plans, of which $2.9 trillion was held in 401(k) plans. Mutual funds represented 47% of IRA assets and 51% of defined contribution plan assets.

class=”normal-1″> Lifecycle funds continued their growth during the second quarter, ICI said. Assets in those funds reached $205 billion, compared to $190 billion at the end of the first quarter. Almost 90% percent of assets in lifecycle funds were held in retirement accounts, according to the report.

The ICI report discussed in the announcement,  The U.S. Retirement Market, Second Quarter 2008 ,.covers assets held in private-sector pension plans, both defined benefit and defined contribution; government pension plans; annuities; and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).