U.S. defined contribution plans nearly ended the first quarter back where they started in 2019. Total DC assets as of March 31 stood at an estimated $4.2 trillion, after the COVID-19 outbreak ravaged the global economy. Money markets were the only source of growth for retirement investors as the asset class added $33 billion, by far the most in any quarter since Q4 2008. During the three-month period, equity mutual funds lost $691 billion in value by way of outflows and performance, while bond and target-date funds lost $218 billion and $28 billion, respectively.
Money markets did their best to buoy DC assets in Q1
The quarter also nearly wiped out any progress made in the previous year. Compared with Dec. 31, 2018, DC assets grew by $45 billion despite seeing combined U.S. and ex-U.S. equity funds fall in value by $96 billion.