401k Assets Hit $4.8 Trillion in First Quarter of 2016

401k saving shows steady rise, the ICI reports.

Total 401(k) assets are strong, according to ICI.Total 401(k) assets are strong, according to ICI.

Total retirement assets held in the United States hit $24.1 trillion as of March 31, up .6 percent from the end of December, according to the Investment Company Institute’s latest roundup of the 401(k) and retirement savings industries. Retirement assets accounted for 34 percent of all household financial assets in the United States at the end of the first quarter of 2016.

The report also found that Americans held $6.8 trillion in all employer-based DC retirement plans on March 31, of which $4.8 trillion was held in 401(k) plans.

Assets IRAs totaled $7.4 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2016, an increase of 1 percent from the end of the fourth quarter of 2015. Defined contribution (DC) plan assets rose 1.7 percent in the first quarter of 2016 to $6.8 trillion.

Government defined benefit (DB) plans—including federal, state, and local government plans—held $5.1 trillion in assets as of the end of March, a .8 percent decrease from the end of December. Private-sector DB plans held $2.8 trillion in assets at the end of the first quarter of 2016, and annuity reserves outside of retirement accounts accounted for another $2 trillion.

Defined Contribution Plans

In addition to $4.8 trillion held in 401(k) plans, at the end of the first quarter, $517 billion was held in other private-sector DC plans, $876 billion in 403(b) plans, $267 billion in 457 plans, and $434 billion in the Federal Employees Retirement System’s Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Mutual funds managed $3.7 trillion, or 54 percent, of assets held in DC plans at the end of March 2016. With $2.2 trillion, equity funds were the most common type of funds, followed by $915 billion in hybrid funds, which include target date funds.

Individual Retirement Accounts

IRAs held $7.4 trillion in assets at the end of the first quarter of 2016, up 1.0 percent from the end of the fourth quarter of 2015. Forty-seven percent of IRA assets, or $3.5 trillion, was invested in mutual funds, predominantly in equity funds ($1.9 trillion).

Other Developments

As of March 31, 2016, target date mutual fund assets totaled $790 billion, an increase of 3.5 percent in the first quarter. Retirement accounts held the bulk of target date mutual fund assets: 88 percent of target date mutual fund assets were held through DC plans (68 percent of the total) and IRAs (21 percent).

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