IRA Assets and Characteristics of IRA Owners

December 2002, Vol. 23, No. 12
Paperback, 16 pp.
PDF, 189 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2002

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Executive Summary

IRA Assets and Characteristics of IRA Owners—As defined contribution plans in recent years have become the dominant form of retirement plan for private-sector employees, the individual retirement account (IRA) has emerged as a primary vehicle for storing retirement wealth. Almost all of the growth in IRA assets in recent years is attributable to investment gains and rollovers from tax-qualified employment-based individual account retirement plans. This article examines the level and the trends in assets in IRAs and in the type of financial institutions in which IRA assets are held. It also ascertains the percentage of individuals owing IRAs, the relative frequency of ownership across various demographic groups, and the characteristics of those who make tax-deductible contributions to these plans.