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

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

November 2015 Review

According to the Aon Hewitt 401(k) IndexTM, November was another slow trading month in defined contribution plans with no days of above-normal trading activity. July 2015 was the last month without any above normal days.

Participants favored fixed income over equities when they made trades. In November, 60% of the trading days showed more inflows to fixed income.

After combining contributions, trades, and market activity, the overall equity allocation in participants’ accounts rose to 65.6% at month-end, up slightly from 65.5% at the end of October. Future contributions to equities increased to 66.4%, from 66.0% in October.


Asset Classes with Most Trading Inflows in November

Percent of Inflows Index Dollar Value ($ mil)
Large U.S. equity funds 56% $112
International 15% $30
GIC/stable value funds 13% $26


Asset Classes with Most Trading Outflows in November

Percent of Outflows Index Dollar Value ($ mil)
Target-date funds2 59% $118
Small U.S. equity funds 14% $27
Company Stock 9% $19


Asset Classes with Most Contributions in November

Percent of Contributions Index Dollar Value ($ mil)
Target-date funds 41% $328
Large U.S. equity funds 19% $154


Asset Classes with Largest Percentage of Total Balance at end of November

Percent of Balance Index Dollar Value ($ mil)
Target-date funds 23% $38,405
Large U.S. equity funds 23% $37,928
GIC/stable value funds 13% $21,892

Market Observations

November market returns were mixed:

  • U.S. Small-Cap equities (represented by the Russell 2000 Index) and U.S. Large-Cap equities (represented by the S&P 500 Index) had positive returns
  • International equities (represented by the MSCI ACWI ex-US Index) and bond index (represented by the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index) had negative returns

Aon Hewitt 401(k) IndexTM statistics and the returns of major market indices for periods ending November 30, 2015:


Index Statistics

November 2015 YTD
Total Transfers as Percent of Starting Balance 0.12% 1.47%
Number of Fixed Income Days 12 (60%) 127 (56%)
Number of Equity Days 8 (40%) 99 (44%)
Number of Above-Normal1 Days 0 34


Indices Returns

November 2015 YTD
Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index -0.3% 0.9%
S&P 500 Index 0.3% 3.0%
Russell 2000 Index 3.3% 0.6%
MSCI All Country World ex-U.S. Index (net) -2.1% -3.9%

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.