SOURCE: Spectrem Group

April 13, 2010 08:00 ET

U.S. Retirement Assets Rise 18% in 2009, Spectrem Group Reports

Defined Contribution Plan Assets Up 19%; Number of Participants Seeking Investment Advice More Than Doubles

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - April 13, 2010) -  Americans' retirement nest eggs are climbing back from their recession lows.

Total U.S. retirement assets, which include both defined contribution and defined benefit plans, rose 18% to $9.3 trillion in 2009, up from $7.9 trillion in 2008, according to "Retirement Market Insights 2010," a new report released today by Spectrem Group (

Assets held in defined contribution plans -- which include 401(k) plans -- rose 19% to $4.5 trillion, from $3.8 trillion the year before. As a percentage of all retirement assets, these plans held steady at 49%. By themselves, 401(k)s, which account for 71% of all defined contribution assets, rose 20% to $2.3 trillion in 2009, up from $1.9 trillion in 2008.

"The retirement market bounced back in 2009, recovering nearly all of the recession-driven losses of the previous year. Defined contribution plans, which account for half of all retirement assets including 401(k)s, recorded a 19% rise. However, the number of plan participants seeking advice on how to invest their retirement funds has more than doubled since 2008, suggesting some lingering uncertainty," said Gerald O'Connor, a Director at Spectrem Group.

Indeed, the number of participants saying they would like more advice and assistance with investment decisions rose to 58% in 2009 from 26% the prior year.

The Spectrem report, "Retirement Market Insights 2010," is based on data derived from both public and private sources as well as Spectrem surveys. The market sizing estimates make use of these data sources as well as Spectrem's proprietary algorithms.

Contact Information