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Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™: First Quarter 2024 Observations

401(k) investors were active in Q1, logging 14 above-normal1 days, according to the Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™. The distribution of those days reveals a slowing trend, however, with eight taking place in January, followed by four in February and just two in March. Net trading favored fixed income funds on 33 of 61 days. Large U.S. equity (50%) and bond (35%) funds had the most trading inflows, while target date funds2 (43%) and company stock (19%) saw the most outflows.  

First quarter observations:

  • Net transfers for the quarter were 0.45% of balances.
  • 33 out of 61 trading days in the first quarter had net trading dollars moving from equities to fixed income.

The Alight Solutions 401(k) IndexTM statistics for Q1 2024 and year-to-date:

Index statistics

Q1 2024

2024 YTD

Total transfers as percentage of starting balance

0.45%

0.45%

# Fixed days

33 (54%)

33 (54%)

# Equity days

28 (46%)

28 (46%)

# Above-normal1 days

14

14


Asset classes with most trading 

inflows in Q1 2024

Percentage of inflows

Index dollar value ($mil)

Large U.S. equity funds

50%

$551

Bond funds

35%

$391

Money market funds

8%

$93

Asset classes with most trading 

outflows in Q1 2024

Percentage of outflows

Index dollar value ($mil)

Target date funds2

43%

$476

Company stock

19%

$215

Mid U.S. equity funds

15%

$169


Returns for common indices

Q1 2024

2024 YTD

Bloomberg Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index

-0.78%

-0.78%

S&P 500 Index

10.56%

10.56%

Russell 2000 Index

5.18%

5.18%

MSCI All Country World ex-U.S. Index (net)

4.69%

4.69%

1 A “normal” level of relative transfer activity is when the net daily movement of participants’ balances, as a percent of total 401(k) balances within the Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™, equals between 0.3 times and 1.5 times the average daily net activity of the preceding 12 months. A “high” relative transfer activity day is when the net daily movement exceeds two times the average daily net activity. A “moderate” relative transfer activity day is when the net daily movement is between 1.5 and 2 times the average daily net activity of the preceding 12 months.

Target date funds also include the amounts in target risk funds. The amount in the target risk funds is less than 10% of the total.

Related Insights


Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™: April 2024 Observations

Trading activity rose slightly in April with four above-normal1 days compared to just two in March, according to the Alight Solutions 401(k) IndexTM.

2024 Universe Benchmarks Report

Alight’s 2024 Universe Benchmarks report provides a comprehensive look at the savings and investment behaviors of participants in defined contribution (DC) plans.

Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™: March 2024 Observations

Trading activity was subdued in March with just two above-normal1 days, according to the Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™. Investors favored equity funds on 11 of 20 days.