Corporate retirement assets rise in Q1, but DB equity holdings drop

U.S. corporate defined benefit and defined contribution plans had combined assets of $6.54 trillion as of March 31, up 7.7% or $469.9 billion from the previous quarter, according to the most recent Federal Reserve's Flow of Funds report.

Among private defined benefit plans, equity investments of $1.11 trillion were down $58.4 billion on an annualized rate, or $14.6 billion for the quarter. That represented the largest quarterly drop in equities since 2010.

Total assets in state and local government DB and DC plans were $3.08 trillion as of March 31, up $230.3 billion, or about 8%, from the previous quarter.

The federal government's retirement assets totaled $1.514 trillion, up a marginal 0.27%, or $4.1 billion, from the previous quarter, according to the report, issued earlier this month.

First-quarter corporate retirement assets were up $209 billion, 3.3% higher than a year earlier. Assets are in defined benefit and defined contribution plans.

The value of equities in corporate plans rose 1.19% from the previous quarter, from $2.005 trillion to $2.244 trillion, an increase of 2.7% from a year earlier. The value of bonds decreased 0.39% from the last quarter to $439.2 billion, a slight increase of 0.09% from a year earlier.

Compared with first-quarter 2011 levels, state and local government assets were up 1.49%, and federal assets were up 6.36%.