IRA Assets Reach Nearly $14 Trillion

January 23, 2023 — Boston

Asset growth can be attributed to rollovers from defined contribution plans

Individual retirement account (IRA) assets remain the largest segment of the retirement market, reaching $13.9 trillion in 2021. Over the past 10 years, IRA marketshare has increased from 31% to 38% and is expected to grow to 41% by 2027, according to The Cerulli Report—U.S. Retirement Markets 2022: The Role of Workplace Retirement Plans in the War for Talent.

Much of the asset growth in the IRA market can be attributed to rollovers from defined contribution (DC) plans; rollovers accounted for $2.9 trillion in IRA asset growth between 2016 and 2021. “The exceptional capital market performance experienced during this five-year period translated to higher average 401(k) account balances and—for many higher balance participants nearing retirement—higher rollover balances as well,” says Shawn O’Brien, associate director.

Conversely, the sharp market downturn in 2022 should place downward pressure on IRA rollover balances in 2023, resulting in slightly higher net flows into corporate DC plans. “Furthermore, the auto-enrollment and auto-escalation provisions within SECURE 2.0 and ongoing legislative and market efforts to expand workplace retirement plan coverage may facilitate stronger contribution growth in the years ahead,” concludes O’Brien.

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