ICI: Retirement assets reach record $19.4 trillion in 3rd quarter

Total U.S. retirement assets reached a record $19.4 trillion in the third quarter, confirmed Stephanie Ortbals-Tibbs, a spokeswoman for the Investment Company Institute, which publishes quarterly retirement data.

The $19.4 trillion represented a 3.7% increase from the $18.7 trillion for the second quarter, according to an ICI news release. The gain “was driven in large part by the rise in equity values,” the news release said.

The previous quarterly record for retirement assets — defined contribution plans, defined benefit plans, IRAs, annuity reserves and government plans — was $19.1 trillion for the first quarter of 2012, according to the release.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, 401(k) assets set a record at $3.515 trillion, Ms. Ortbals-Tibbs confirmed in an e-mail. The previous record was $3.445 trillion for the first quarter of 2012, according to the news release. For the second quarter, 401(k) assets were $3.375 trillion.

Target-date mutual fund assets also set a record with $460 billion in the third quarter, Ms. Ortbals-Tibbs confirmed, gaining 7.7% over the previous quarterly record of $427 billion during the second quarter. Ninety-one percent of target-date mutual funds were held through DC plans and IRAs, the news release said.