U.S. corporate defined benefit and defined contribution plans had combined assets as of March 31 of $6.821 trillion, a 2.78% increase from the previous quarter and a 3.71% increase over the first quarter of 2012, according to the Federal Reserve's Financial Accounts of the United States report issued Thursday.
Defined benefit plan assets were $2.566 trillion as of March 31, up 0.73% from the previous quarter, while defined contribution plan assets were $4.255 trillion, up 4.06% from the previous quarter.
In 2012, the report, formerly known as the Flow of Funds, showed $6.636 trillion as of Dec. 31, a 5.29% increase over 2011 and a 45.27% increase over 2008. Total assets in state and local government retirement funds in 2012 were $3.194 trillion, an increase of 11.17% over 2011.
As of March 31, state and local government retirement fund assets were $3.413 trillion, 6.81% above the previous quarter and 9.02% over the previous year. Federal government retirement fund assets were $1.611 trillion, an increase of 18.26% from the previous quarter and 6.47% higher than a year earlier.
“The report shows that public pension funds continue to recover,” said Keith Brainard, research director for the National Association of State Retirement Administrators.
For Q1 2013, equities in corporate pension plans grew 5.17% from the previous quarter to $2.283 trillion, an increase of 7.7% from a year earlier. Bonds decreased 5.79% in the latest quarter to $339.7 billion, a drop of 16.15 % from a year earlier.
“This report has a lot of good news. We're living through, and we hope recovering from, a very deep crisis,” said David Ordoobadi, managing director of Strategic Investment Group.