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U.S. Retirement Assets Reach $26 Trillion

By the end of the first quarter of 2017, U.S. retirement assets amounted to $26.1 trillion, according to the Investment Company Institute (ICI). That’s a 3.2% increase over where things stood at the end of last year.

Furthermore, says ICI, those retirement assets constituted just over one-third of all household financial assets.

The assets at the end of the first quarter broke down in this manner:

Retirement Asset     Total Assets,
   March 31
Change from End of
4th Quarter 2016 
 IRAs    $8.2 trillion  +4.1%
 Defined Contribution Plans    $7.3 trillion +3.7%
 Defined Benefit Plans, Public Sector   $5.5 trillion +2.1%
 Defined Benefit Plans, Private Sector   $3 trillion   --
 Annuity Reserves   $2.1 trillion   --

The report offers finer details on DC plans:

Type of DC Plan  Assets, March 31
 401(k) Plans    $5 trillion
 403(b) Plans    $932 billion
 Other Private Sector Plans    $565 billion
 Federal Employees Retirement System Thrift Savings Plan    $484 billion
 457 Plans    $290 billion

Investments in mutual funds figured heavily in the first quarter, the ICI says. They accounted for $3.2 trillion of 401k plans’ assets and $3.9 trillion of the assets contained in IRAs.

A Caveat

While retirement assets grew, unfunded liabilities amounted to $4.2 trillion by the end of the first quarter, says the ICI. It further reports that unfunded liabilities are a bigger factor for federal DB entitlements than any other kind of entitlements, amounting to 54%. They comprised 32% of state and local DB plan entitlements and 13% of private sector pension plan entitlements.