Rising corporate equity values helped boost balances in U.S. retirement accounts in the first quarter of 2012, according to the Investment Company Institute. As of March 31, U.S. retirement assets totaled $18.9 trillion, up 6.3% from $17.8 trillion in the previous quarter, an increase driven largely by rising stock market prices, ICI announced today.

Most of the assets were held in individual retirement accounts, which totaled $5.2 trillion, followed by defined contribution and government pension plans, which had $4.8 trillion and $4.7 trillion, respectively, at the end of the first quarter. Private-sector defined benefit plans held $2.5 trillion in assets, and annuity reserves outside of retirement plans accounted for another $1.7 trillion.  

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