Defined-Contribution Plans, IRA-Keogh Assets Fall 15 Percent

August 7, 2009

Median asset levels in defined-contribution and IRA/Keogh plans fell at least 15 percent from the end of 2007 through June 19, according to an Employee Benefit Research Institute analysis.

The median plan balance among households that had at least one defined-contribution plan was $26,578 as of June 19, down 16.4 percent from year-end 2007, according to the analysis.

The median value of assets among households with an IRA/Keogh plan was $28,955, down 15 percent, the analysis said.

The analysis, based on Employee Benefit Research Institute estimates and the Federal Reserve’s 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances, showed the median plan balance among families who had a DC plan at the end of 2007 was $31,800, up 16 percent from the end of 2004, when the Fed last previously reported similar data.

The median plan balance for households’ IRA/Keogh plans was $34,000 at the end of 2007, up 3 percent from the end of 2004, the EBRI analysis said.

“Americans have a great deal of work to do after the tremendous loss of wealth in 2008 to ensure financial security in retirement,” Craig Copeland, EBRI senior research associate and the study’s author, said in the analysis. “However, some optimism is warranted, as most individuals continue to contribute to their individual accounts plans and are in a position to accumulate added wealth as the economy recovers.”

Filed by Doug Halonen of Pensions & Investments, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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