Human Resources
401(k) Index &  Observations Monthly Details: July 2015

401(k) Index & Observations Monthly Details: July 2015

Market Commentary

According to the Aon Hewitt 401(k) Index, trading activity was light in July. There were zero days of above-normal activity, making it the first month with no above-normal1 trading days since August, 2014. On average 0.021% balances transferred each day. Among the 22 trading days in the month, 12 had more money flow into fixed income than equities.

  • The most popular asset classes for inflows were GIC/stable value, large U.S. equity funds, and money market.
  • The most common classes for outflows were target-date, company stock, and specialty/sector funds.
  • Target-date funds2 continued to receive the majority of new contributions into individuals’ accounts.

Asset Classes with Most Trading Inflows

Percent of Inflows Index Dollar Value ($ mil)
GIC/stable value funds 40% $119
Large U.S. equity funds 18% $52
Money market funds 11% $33


Asset Classes with Most Trading Outflows

Percent of Outflows Index Dollar Value ($ mil)
Target-date funds 68% $203
Company stock funds 13% $39
Specialty/sector funds 9% $27


Asset Classes with Most Contributions

Percent of Contributions Index Dollar Value ($ mil)
Target-date funds 40% $424
Large US equity funds 19% $203


Target-date funds are now the largest asset class in the Aon Hewitt 401(k) Index.


Asset Classes

Percent of Balance Index Dollar Value ($ mil)
Target-date funds 23% $39,681
Large U.S. equity funds 23% $38,458
GIC/stable value funds 13% $21,458


  • When combining contributions, trades, and market activity in July, participants’ overall allocation to equities decreased slightly to 66.4% from 67.0% in June. Future contributions to equities also decreased to 66.8% from 67.2% at the end of June.

July Capital market returns were mixed:

  • U.S. Large-Cap equities (represented by the S&P 500 Index) and International equities (represented by the MSCI ACWI ex-US Index) delivered positive returns.
  • U.S. Small-Cap equities (represented by the Russell 2000 Index) and international equities (represented by the MSCI ACWI ex-US Index) delivered negative returns.

The following tables show Aon Hewitt 401(k) IndexTMstatistics and the returns of major market indices for periods ending July 31, 2015.


Index Statistics

July 2015 YTD
Total Transfers as Percent of Starting Balance 0.18% 0.68%
Number of Fixed Income Days 12 (55%) 71 (50%)
Number of Equity Days 10 (45%) 71 (50%)
Number of Above-Normal1 Days 0 26


Indices Returns

July 2015 YTD
Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index 0.7% 0.6%
S&P 500 2.1% 3.4%
Russell 2000 Index -1.2% 3.5%
MSCI All Country World ex-U.S. Index (net) -0.3% 3.8%

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 Aon Hewitt 401(k) IndexTM 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.
2 Target-date funds also include the amounts in target-risk funds for companies who do not have target-date funds. The amount in the target-risk funds is less than 10% of the total.