Bounce in stocks boosts retirement assets in Q1

Total U.S. retirement assets reached $35.4 trillion as of March 31, up 3.5% from Dec. 31, according to the Investment Company Institute.

The first-quarter jump in retirement assets, which accounted for 31% of all household financial assets in the United States as of the end of March, is directly attributed to the 7.5% rise in the S&P 500 index during the first three months of 2023. Last year the S&P 500 index fell 20%.

Breaking the ICI’s Q1 report down further, assets in individual retirement accounts totaled $12.5 trillion at the end of the first quarter, an increase of 4.3% from the end of the fourth quarter. The ICI said 42% of IRA assets, or $5.2 trillion, was invested in mutual funds, primarily in equity funds ($2.9 trillion).  

Meanwhile, the report showed defined-contribution plan assets totaled $9.8 trillion at the end of the first quarter, up 5% from the end of 2022, of which $6.9 trillion was held in 401(k) plans. Digging deeper, mutual funds managed $4.3 trillion, or 62%, of the assets held in 401(k) plans, with equity funds once again leading the pack with $2.5 trillion in assets.

As for public employees, government defined-benefit plans held $7.7 trillion in assets at the end of March, a 0.5% increase from the end of 2022, the ICI said.Total U.S. retirement entitlements were $41.8 trillion, including $35.4 trillion of retirement assets and an additional $6.4 trillion of unfunded liabilities, according to the ICI report.

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