EBRI Notes

'IRA Asset Allocation' and 'Characteristics of the CDHP Population, 2005-2010'

May 24, 2011 24  pages


IRA Asset Allocation

THE IMPORTANCE OF IRAs: Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) hold more than 25 percent of all retirement assets in the United States. A substantial portion of these assets originated in other tax-qualified retirement plans, such as defined benefit (pension) and 401(k) plans, and were moved to IRAs through rollovers. Thus, IRAs in many cases have become a repository for assets built up in the employment-based retirement system, as individuals hold money in them until or during retirement.

THE EBRI IRA DATABASE™ AND ASSET ALLOCATION: EBRI collects data from IRA plan administrators, and its IRA database currently contains information on 14.1 million accounts of 11.1 million unique individuals with total assets of $732.9 billion, as of year-end 2008. In this database, 38.5 percent of the assets were in equities, 22.3 percent in money, 13.6 percent in bonds, 12.1 percent in balanced funds, and 13.6 percent in other assets.

ALLOCATION BY AGE: IRA owners under age 45 were more likely to be invested in equities and balanced funds combined than those over age 45. Those over age 45 were more likely to be invested in bonds and other assets. The percentage of assets in money across each age group was around 21 percent.

Characteristics of the CDHP Population, 2005–2010

DIFFERENCES BY HEALTH PLANS: This article examines the population with a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP) and how it differs from the population with traditional health coverage. While it is very difficult to generalize the differences in characteristics among CDHP enrollees, high-deductible health plan (HDHP) enrollees, and individuals with traditional coverage, a few differences stand out.

AGE: The CDHP and HDHP populations were less likely to be young (ages 21-34) than the population with traditional coverage. However, in 2010, both the CDHP and HDHP populations were more likely to be ages 35-44. There were no differences in the portion ages 45-54 and no recent differences in those ages 55-64.

INCOME AND EDUCATION: CDHP enrollees have higher income than traditional plan enrollees, but the degree to which they have higher income has been falling. CDHP and HDHP enrollees have consistently reported higher education levels than traditional plan enrollees.

HEALTH: CDHP enrollees have consistently reported better health status than traditional plan enrollees and exhibited better health behavior than traditional plan enrollees with respect to smoking, exercise, and, recently, obesity rates. It cannot be determined from the survey whether plan design had an impact on health status, smoking, exercise, or obesity rates.