Retirement account balances have made a major comeback since the 2008 stock market crash, according to new data by the Urban Institute. At the end of the first quarter of 2012, retirement account balances reached $9.2 trillion—their highest level ever. Before the crash, retirement account balances reached a high of $8.7 trillion in the third quarter of 2007, dropping down to $6 trillion in the first quarter of 2009.
According to the report, they are now just 3 percent below their peak when adjusted for inflation, but investors have lost four years of growth.
The stock market crash wiped out trillions of dollars in retirement accounts, including defined contribution plans and IRAs. When the stock market bottomed out in the first quarter of 2009, retirement accounts had lost $2.7 trillion, or 31 percent of their peak 2007 value.
The stock market rally of the past two quarters has fueled the rise in retirement account balances.