U.S. Retirement Markets 2022

The Role of Workplace Retirement Plans in the War for Talent

Master the U.S. Retirement Market

  • Assess plan sponsors’ strategic priorities, investment menu construction, retirement income offerings, financial wellness objectives, and service provider relationships
  • Explore trends in the state-sponsored retirement plan market
  • Understand the role of technology in financial wellness


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US Retirement Markets 2020 Detail

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Maeve Flanagan

Maeve Flanagan

Associate Director, Account Management


This annual report represents Cerulli’s broadest coverage and most comprehensive sizing of the U.S. retirement market and addresses the following retirement segments: individual retirement accounts (IRAs), corporate and not-for-profit (NFP)/governmental defined contribution (DC) plans, and corporate and public defined benefit (DB) plans. The report also highlights results from Cerulli’s annual DC recordkeeper and 401(k) plan sponsor surveys.

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Each report is lead authored by a senior Cerulli analyst with significant industry experience. The report incorporates qualitative and quantitative inputs, based on Cerulli’s proprietary research process. For more on our research process, click here.

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A Note From the Author

IRA Assets Continue to Climb

Shawn O'Brien, CFA

Shawn O'Brien, CFA


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Shawn O'Brien, CFA

Shawn O'Brien, CFA


Shawn oversees the Retirement practice at Cerulli Associates. In this role, Shawn oversees and mentors a team of analysts responsible for publishing research on the trends in defined contribution (DC) and IRA markets. Additionally, Shawn provides strategic oversight to Cerulli’s consulting projects focused on opportunities in the retirement space. Shawn frequently speaks at industry summits and conferences. Shawn is also responsible for overseeing the firm’s Data Analytics team.

Prior to joining Cerulli Associates, Shawn was a researcher at Harvard Business School where he co-authored case studies alongside professors Adi Sunderam and Luis M. Viceira focused on investment management for individual and institutional investors. Shawn started his career in investment operations at SSgA where he covered the firm’s equity collective investment trusts and institutional separate accounts.

Full biography here.

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.

Market performance aside, much of the asset growth in the IRA market can be attributed to rollovers from DC plans, which accounted for $2.9 trillion in IRA asset growth between 2016 and 2021.

For many recordkeepers, capturing rollovers is a key part of their overall retirement strategy because rollovers may facilitate financial planning and wealth management relationships and result in the greater use of proprietary retail investment products. Retirement plan providers will be essential to helping recordkeepers achieve success. Those that nurture relationships with participants throughout their financial journey can become a path of least resistance for participants looking to roll their assets in an IRA at or near retirement or during a job/career change.

To learn more, access our report, U.S. Retirement Markets 2022: The Role of Workplace Retirement Plans in the War for Talent, Cerulli’s broadest coverage and sizing of the U.S. retirement market.

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