Total retirement assets were $17.0 trillion as of Sept. 30, down 7.5% from a record high of $18.4 trillion as of June 30, the Investment Company Institute said Wednesday, attributing most of the decline to the 13.9% decline in the S&P 500 Index in the third quarter. Assets might have declined even further were it not for automatic contributions to 401(k)s, the ICI said.

Retirement assets now comprise 36% of all U.S. household financial assets, the ICI said.

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