Statistics on Tax Deferred/Tax Free Vehicles


W

woessner

Hi, all. This may not be the best newsgroup to ask this question, but
you all are very smart and I figured someone could point me in the
right direction. I'm trying to answer a pretty simple question: How
much money is currently invested in tax deferred/tax free vehicles? I
want to include 401k, 403b, IRA, 529... all of them.

In the course of my research, I've seen vague estimates that range from
$4 trillion (for just IRAs and 401k's) to $16 trillion for everything.
But I have yet to come across anything concrete. In all fairness, I
have yet to wade through most the IRS's very poorly organized
statistics section.

If anyone knows where I could find information like this, I would
really appreciate it.

Thanks in advance,
Bill Woessner
 
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M

Mechanics of Money Financial BBS

Bill,

The idea behind most of these plans is that they are private -- meaning
that there is no central depository authority that has an exact figure.
As you are no doubt aware, the idea is that each individual is
responsible for creating and maintaining their own accounts. With that
said, many of the companies use National Financial for their deposits.
You might find part of the answer there.... If that doesn't satisfy
your quest for knowledge, you should try contacting some of our
government beuracrats. They can be quite helpful sometimes (especially
when it is something more academic than practical). You might start
with the IRS national office -- as they seem to be the most responsive.
If that doesn't work, then look to some of the higher-ups at the
Treasury Department (if you call, they will actually answer the phone).
Good luck.


Gary Brolis
http://www.MechanicsofMoney.com
http://www.MechanicsofMoney.com/blog.php
 
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M

Mark Freeland

Hi, all. This may not be the best newsgroup to ask this question, but
you all are very smart and I figured someone could point me in the
right direction. I'm trying to answer a pretty simple question: How
much money is currently invested in tax deferred/tax free vehicles? I
want to include 401k, 403b, IRA, 529... all of them.

In the course of my research, I've seen vague estimates that range from
$4 trillion (for just IRAs and 401k's) to $16 trillion for everything.
But I have yet to come across anything concrete. In all fairness, I
have yet to wade through most the IRS's very poorly organized
statistics section.
This paper by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) interpreting Fed/IRS
data may help:

"Tax-Deferred Retirement Savings in Long-Term Revenue Projections"
http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=5418

Section 2 includes the sentence: "As of the end of 2002, $10.1 trillion
was in tax-deferred retirement plans, of which $9.0 trillion was taxable
upon withdrawal."
http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=5418&sequence=1#pt3

It gives footnotes 5 and 6, referring to Fed "Flow of Fund Accounts of
the United States", March 4, 2004 Release, Tables L.225 and L.225.i.

Here are those tables:
http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/Z1/20040304/z1.pdf

If you take the Houshold assets from L.225 ($8.0 trillion at end of
2002), add Total IRA assets from L.225.i ($2.33 trillion at end of
2002), and subtract line 5 ($0.25B) - the life insurance IRAs (footnote
to L.225.i says this is already included in L.225), you get the $10.1
trillion that the CBO reports.

So you can update the figures using more current Fed reports. Here's
their archive for "Flow of Funds" reports:
http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/Z1/
(The current tables were just released this month, and give you YE 2005
data.)
 

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