Assets in defined contribution plans flowed to target-date and international equity funds in 2012, according to a new tracking tool launched by the Defined Contribution Solutions group atNorthern Trust.

In 2012, the tracker shows, participants lightened up on U.S. equity investments even as the Russell 3000 Index of U.S. stocks gained 16.4 percent for the year. U.S equities remained the largest asset class at 31.1% of holdings, but fixed income saw inflows of 9.2% for the year despite lower yields, as DC investors looked for safe havens from volatility and uncertainty in the equity markets.

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