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Gains Appear in U.S. Corporate Retirement Plan Assets

June 10, 2010

U.S. corporate defined-benefit and defined-contribution plans had combined assets of $5.727 trillion as of March 31, up 4.7 percent from three months earlier, according to the Federal Reserve’s Flow of Funds report issued Thursday, June 10.

Corporate DB plan assets totaled $2.17 trillion as of March 31, up 3.1 percent from the previous quarter. Total assets in corporate DC plans were $3.557 trillion, up 5.7 percent.

Total assets in state and local government retirement funds as of March 31 were $2.794 trillion, up 4 percent, while assets in the federal government’s retirement funds totaled $1.318 trillion, down 0.5 percent.

The value of equities in corporate DB plans was $819 billion as of March 31, up 1.7 percent, while the value of bonds in those plans totaled $343 billion, up 3 percent.

In corporate DC plans, the value of equities was $1.099 trillion, up 6.6 percent, while the value of bonds was $109 billion, down 0.55 percent.

Corporate DB plans saw outflows of $48.4 billion for the quarter, while corporate DC plans had inflows of $29.5 billion.

Craig Copeland, senior research associate for the Employee Benefit Research Institute, said it was unclear why the federal government’s retirement plan assets were down overall because all asset categories except miscellaneous assets were either even or up for the quarter.

Copeland said the slight drop in corporate DC bonds could be attributed to “the movement of money, with people going for the higher stock market returns that occurred at the end of 2009.”

“The overall asset increase was consistent with the market returns in both the equities and bond markets during the quarter,” Copeland added. 

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

 

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