Assets in U.S. institutional retirement funds set a new record in 2014 — $22.1 trillion — after gaining 9 percent year-over-year, according to Towers Watson's annual Global Pension Assets Study.

Globally, defined contribution and defined benefit fund assets in the 16 major markets examined by Towers Watson grew by over 6 percent last year compared to around 10 percent in 2013, also reaching a new high of $36 trillion, according to the research.

The study also revealed that defined contribution assets globally are on track to overtake defined benefit assets within the next few years.

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