Americans held $4.5 trillion in all employer-based DC retirement plans on Dec. 31, 2011, of which $3.1 trillion was held in 401(k) plans, according to data from the Investment Company Institute. Those figures are up from $4.3 trillion and $2.9 trillion, respectively, as of Sept. 30, 2011.

Mutual funds managed $2.5 trillion of the assets held in 401(k), 403(b), and other defined contribution plans at the end of December, up from $2.3 trillion at the end of September. Mutual funds managed 55% of DC plan assets at the end of the fourth quarter.

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