U.S. households increasingly are making retirement investment decisions on their own, often placing nest-egg balances in different types of accounts at multiple institutions. And a huge chunk of that money has gone into everyday banking products.

Our research at Novantas indicates that at the end of 2008 households held roughly $8.6 trillion of retirement balances in certificates of deposit, money market deposit accounts, money market mutual funds and other types of retail savings and investment accounts. It is money that came into the industry through individual product purchases, usually with no signal that it is earmarked for retirement.

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