The use of IRA accounts is most prevalent among older members of the workforce, as well as among those with higher household incomes.

That’s according to a study by the Investment Company Institute that found only 28 percent of households headed by a person younger than 35 owned an IRA.

Thirty-four percent of households headed by people 35-44 owned an IRA. That number rose slightly, to 36 percent of households, among those 45-55, and to 37 percent of households by those 55-64.

ICI’s study also indicated that only 16 percent of households that made less than $50,000 owned an IRA, whereas half of households that made more than $50,000 owned one. Nearly three in five households that made $100,000 or more were owners of an IRA.

IRAs account for 30 percent of total retirement assets in the U.S., amounting to $7.3 trillion.  

The study offered a few explanations for its finding, primarily that saving for retirement tends to be a more pressing priority for those in the workforce who are closer to retirement age than it is for younger workers.

Likewise, households with lower incomes tend to be more focused on near-term spending and less focused on long-term savings for retirement. Older workers also often roll workplace-sponsored retirement plans into IRAs after they leave their jobs, which accounts in part for more elderly workers having money in IRAs.