Skip to content

Alight Solutions 401(k) Index: First Quarter 2021 Observations

Q1 2021 observations:

  • Total transfers as a percent of balances in Q1 2021 were 0.46%—the lowest quarterly level since Q3 2018.  Last year, as stocks tumbled in Q1, 1.59% of balances were traded.
  • Seventy percent of the trading days saw net trading money flowing from fixed income funds to equities.

 

The Alight Solutions 401(k) Index statistics for Q1 2021 and year to date:

Index statistics

Q1 2021

2021 YTD

Total transfers as percentage of starting balance

0.46%

0.46%

# Fixed days

18 (30%)

18 (30%)

# Equity days

43 (70%)

43 (70%)

# Above-normal days

1

1

 

Asset classes with most trading inflows in Q1 2021

Percentage of Inflows 

Index dollar value ($mil) 

Small U.S. equities

29%

$321

Mid U.S. equities

18%

$198

Target date funds1

16%

$181

 

Asset classes with most trading outflows in Q1 2021

Percentage of Outflows 

Index dollar value ($mil) 

Bond

31%

$343

Large U.S. Equities

30%

$336

Company stock

28%

$307

 

Q1 2021 Market returns:

Returns for common indices

March

2021 YTD

Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index

-1.25%

-3.37%

S&P 500 Index

4.38%

6.17%

Russell 2000 Index

1.00%

12.70%

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

1.26%

3.49%

 

 


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.

1Target date funds also include the amounts in target risk funds. The amount in the target risk funds is less than 10% of the total.


  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 two times the average daily net activity of the preceding 12 months
  2. 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.

Members of the media: please contact Landis Cullen for questions about the Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™.  Learn more about the Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™ here.

Related Insights


2022: The year of the employee

The “Great Resignation” isn’t unique to any country, market, sector, or role. The gap between people leaving and joining an organization is equal across Europe, Asia, and the US. The good news: These latest trends bring major opportunities — for employee and employers.

2022 Hot Topics in Retirement and Financial Wellbeing

This report summarizes the findings of an annual survey from Alight Solutions to capture changes employers intend to make to their retirement and financial wellbeing plans in the year ahead.