An Aon Hewitt news release said that $54 million (0.05% of total assets) moved out of diversified equities into fixed income, excluding company stock transfers.
However, when viewed with company stock, transfers were strongly fixed income-oriented. The news release said a total of $408 million moved out of equities, with the $354 million being pulled out of company stock representing nearly three-quarters of flows for the month.
On the other hand, GIC/stable value funds received the majority of the transfers, with $294 million shifting into this asset class.
Aon Hewitt said that in spite of an overall positive market during the third quarter, $560 million moved out of diversified equities and into fixed income investments. Including company stock, over $1.2 billion shifted out of equity funds.
The biggest loser of the quarter was company stock, with a total of $643 million transferring out of these funds (representing 4.4% of assets in this asset class), followed by large U.S. equity funds (outflows of $439 million) and small U.S. equity funds (outflows of $175 million).
GIC/stable value and bond are the asset classes with the largest inflows for the quarter. GIC/stable value funds received $587 million. Bond funds had inflows of $552 million during the third quarter, Aon Hewitt said.
Transfer Volume Dips
As for the volume of transfers, September was slightly lower than the 12-month trailing average with only 0.03% of balances transferred on a net daily basis during the month and just two of the days in the month had an above-normal level of transfer activity. In total, six days of the quarter had transfer activity higher than normal, which was significantly lower than the second quarter (16 above-average days).
Participants' overall equity holdings increased significantly due to positive market movement — up 1.5% to 57.9% by the end of September. For the quarter, change in overall level was also positive, although most of the movement occurred during September. On the other hand, employee-only equity contributions decreased 0.3%, from 59.9% at the end of August to 59.6% at the end of September. For the quarter, they were down 0.7%.
The news release said during the month, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 7.85%, the Russell 2000 by 12.46%, and the S&P 500 by 8.92%.