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Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™: Fourth Quarter 2023 Observations

401(k) investors were more active in Q4 with seven above-normal1 days, half of the 14 total above-normal1 days in 2023. Net trading favored fixed income funds on 38 of 63 days, according to the Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™. Bond (31%) and money market (28%) funds had the most trading inflows, while target date funds2 (40%) and company stock (31%) saw the most outflows.  

Fourth quarter observations:

  • Net transfers for the quarter were 0.25% of balances.
  • 38 out of 63 trading days in the fourth quarter had net trading dollars moving from equities to fixed income.

The Alight Solutions 401(k) IndexTM statistics for Q4 2023 and year-to-date:

Index statistics

Q4 2023

2023 YTD

Total transfers as percentage of starting balance

0.25%

0.82%

# Fixed days

38 (60%)

155 (62%)

# Equity days

25 (40%)

95 (38%)

# Above-normal1 days

7

14


Asset classes with most trading 

inflows in Q4 2023

Percentage of inflows

Index dollar value ($mil)

Bond funds

31%

$183

Money market funds

28%

$161

Large U.S. equity funds

25%

$148

Asset classes with most trading 

outflows in Q4 2023

Percentage of outflows

Index dollar value ($mil)

Target date funds2

40%

$236

Company stock

31%

$178

Mid U.S. equity funds

16%

$94


Returns for common indices

Q4 2023

2023 YTD

Bloomberg Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index

6.82%

5.53%

S&P 500 Index

11.69%

26.29%

Russell 2000 Index

14.03%

16.93%

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

9.75%

15.62%

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™: 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.