WASHINGTON — Assets in American private defined benefit pension plans took a step backward in 2005, dropping 2% to $1.769 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Board's flow of funds data.
This was the first drop since 2002, when total assets for U.S. private defined benefit plans plummeted 16% to $1.409 trillion. Since then, assets increased by 19% in 2003 and 8% in 2004.
Total retirement assets — including private defined contribution plans and local government, state and federal defined benefit plans — increased by 3% to $8.41 trillion from $8.15 trillion in 2004.
Assets in private defined contribution plans continued to grow, rising 7% to $2.844 trillion in 2005. That followed a 13% increase to $2.7 trillion in 2004, and a 24% increase to $2.347 trillion in 2003. The Fed data did not include information on public defined contribution plans.
Assets in state and local government defined benefit plans jumped 6% to $2.722 trillion; and federal retirement funds increased 3.5% to $1.075 trillion.
Federal retirement funds include the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust, the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, the Judicial Retirement Fund, the Military Retirement Fund, and the Foreign Service Retirement and Disability Fund.