Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Retirement Assets Make a Comeback

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Retirement Assets Make a Comeback

Article excerpt

Retirement assets at the end of 2013 were the highest on record, a strong indication that many savers have seen their investment accounts bounce back from the financial crisis of 2008 when the stock market fell so hard it lost nearly half its value.

Following a strong equity market in 2013, retirement assets at the end of the year had grown to $19 trillion compared to $16.3 trillion at the end of 2012, according to the Retirement Market Insights Report 2014 prepared by Chicago-based Spectrem Group.

"The total retirement assets now are greater than they were before the recession," said George Walper Jr., president of Spectrem Group. "All of the accounts have grown primarily due to record stock markets last year.

"But people also are continuing to make contributions to their retirement accounts. More people are working now - due to lower unemployment - and more employers also have restarted matching 401(k) plan contributions. All these things are driven by the economy as a whole being stronger today versus 2009."

In 2013, there was $7.8 trillion in company 401(k) retirement plans; $6.2 trillion invested in Individual Retirement Accounts; $3.9 trillion in public sector retirement accounts; and $985.4 billion in 403(b) retirement plans, according to Spectrem Group.

Mr. Walper said the fact that these strong results were seen across all sectors of the market bodes well for the future retirement security of American workers.

It's certainly an improvement over the past several years.

According to the Washington, D.C.-based Urban Institute, assets in defined contribution workplace retirement plans and IRAs reached $8.7 trillion Sept. 30, 2007. About 70 percent were invested in stocks.

As of Dec. 2, 2008, retirement accounts had lost $2.8 trillion, or 32 percent of their value. …

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