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Defined contribution plans and IRAs add assets at the expense of DB plans and annuities

Total U.S. retirement assets totaled $27.2 trillion as of Sept. 30, 2017, according to data from the Investment Company Institute. Defined contribution plan and individual retirement account assets grew by $700 billion each in the first nine months of 2017, while defined benefit plan assets added $500 billion and annuities adding a relatively modest $200 billion.

Defined benefit plans hold a slight majority at 32.5% of retirement assets, with 28% of assets in DC plans. At the end of 2007, DB plans had $2.2 trillion more in assets than DC plans; that gap was reduced to $1.2 a trillion at the end of September.