Retirement assets in the United States have reached a record US$16.4 trillion dollars in 2006, an increase of 11% over the prior year and a 55% rise since 2002, according to a report.

The Investment Company Institute’s report—The U.S. Retirement Market, 2006—finds that last year’s increase was powered by strong growth in employer-sponsored defined contribution(DC)plans and individual retirement accounts(IRAs).

Together, assets in DC plans and IRAs represented 51% of retirement assets in 2006, up from 39% in 1990.

Employer-sponsored retirement plans play a key role in helping American workers accumulate retirement assets. Nearly two-thirds are held in employer-sponsored retirement plans, including both DC plans and defined benefit(DB)plans.

The report also found that assets in lifestyle and lifecycle funds are continuing to grow rapidly. Lifestyle and lifecycle funds jumped 50% in 2006 to $303 billion, following a 57% increase in 2005.

Retirement assets in the U.S. now account for almost 40% of household financial assets, up from 24% two decades ago.

To read the report on ICI’s website, click here.

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