U.S. retirement assets were down 22% at the end of 2008, compared with yearend 2007, according to a report released on Monday by the Washington-based Investment Company Institute.
As of Dec. 31, the assets totaled $14 trillion, down from $17.9 trillion in 2007, the ICI found.
The stock market downturn had an impact on most aspects of the market, as individual retirement accounts assets fell 24%, defined contribution plan assets were down 22%, private-sector defined benefit plan assets dropped 27%, and state and local pension plan assets declined 27%, the ICI reported.
The only category that posted an increase was federal-government-pension assets, which gained 2% last year. These assets are invested primarily in non-marketable government securities, the report said.
The majority of the nations retirement assets are held in employer-sponsored retirement plans, offered by private-sector or government employers.
A full 65% of the total assets, or $9 trillion, were held in employer-sponsored retirement plans, the organization found.
Employer-sponsored defined contribution plans had the largest share, with $3.5 trillion in assets. Another $2 trillion was held in private-sector defined benefit plans.
State and local government plans held $2.3 trillion, and federal pension plans had $1.2 trillion at the end of 2008, the report said.