NEW YORK (April 15, 2010) — Assets in U.S. defined benefit and defined contribution (DC) plans were up a combined 18 percent to $9.3 trillion in 2009, according to a Spectrem Group report.
DC plans, which represent 49 percent of all retirement assets, increased 19 percent to $4.5 trillion last year. Seventy-one percent of DC plan assets were in 401(k)s, which increased 20 percent to $2.3 trillion in 2009.
The report did not provide a detailed analysis of defined benefit assets.
Gerald O´Connor, a director at Spectrem Group, said in a telephone interview that the percentage of participants saying they would like more advice and assistance with investment decisions increased to 58 percent in 2009, from 26 percent in 2008.
“When we´ve asked people (in prior years) if they would like more advice, we have consistently seen numbers in the mid- to high 20s; in December 2009, it leaped considerably to over 50 percent,” Mr. O´Connor said. “I was not surprised to see the jump; I was a little surprised at the magnitude of it.”
He said participants are “paying more attention to the article in the local newspaper about investing, talking to co-workers or signing on with an investment adviser.”
The annual study is based on data derived from public and private plans as well as Spectrem surveys.
This report appeared in Pensions & Investments magazine, a New York-based sister publication of Tire Business.