What is a Defined Contribution (DC) pension?
In a DC pension you build up a pot of money that you can use at retirement. You determine the amount of contributions you wish to make, (or you are automatically enrolled at the default contribution level) and Vodafone also contributes to your pension pot.
Your contributions are made via Salary Sacrifice meaning there are no tax or National Insurance deductions on these contributions. What you build up in your pot is invested in order to grow the value up until your retirement. You can then use the value of your pension pot at retirement in a number of ways to suit your preferences.
LifeSight is a DC pension plan and the home for your pension savings. Your contributions are paid into your LifeSight Account, along with Vodafone's employer contributions.
You can access your LifeSight Account online. Once you’ve registered you will be able to see how much you and Vodafone have paid into your Account and where your money is invested.
All money saved in the previous DC Plan moved to LifeSight in early 2020. You can read more about the transition in LifeSight – your new pension arrangement from 2020.
LifeSight is a Master Trust operated by Willis Towers Watson.
Can I join LifeSight?
Yes, if you are a current Vodafone employee you can join LifeSight, please visit MyChoices and go to the Pensions & Life Cover section under the Benefits tab.
If you have previously opted out of LifeSight and wish to rejoin you should also join via MyChoices.
If you want to save more towards your retirement you can pay additional voluntary contributions (AVCs). These could be one-off payments into your LifeSight Account or you can opt to increase your monthly contribution and pay regular AVCs. The maximum Vodafone will contribute to your Account is 10%. Increasing your own contributions will not attract any further contribution from Vodafone. If you choose to make regular AVC payments, you can change how much you pay at any time. You can start paying AVCs and change your AVC payments by visiting MyChoices.
Is it affordable?
Saving for later life can be a very tax-efficient way to save. Every £1 you pay into LifeSight actually only costs you 68p (if you are a basic rate taxpayer) because you make savings on tax and National Insurance. Take a look the example below to see how it works:
How it works
In this example you are a basic rate taxpayer with a gross annual Basic Salary of £24,000. You contribute £100 a month to your LifeSight Account, which is 5% of your Basic Salary.
Vodafone double-matches your contributions and pays £200 a month (10% of your Basic Salary) to your LifeSight Account in addition to your contributions.
If you pay contributions via salary sacrifice, this is taken from your salary before tax and National Insurance (NI) is deducted. That means you pay less tax and NI as it is calculated using your reduced salary. For example:
If you die while you still work for Vodafone, your beneficiaries will receive a payment of at least three times your Basic Salary. Employees can choose to pay more to increase this to a maximum of eight times Basic Salary. If you wish to increase your life cover, you may do this during the benefits selection window in March, or if you have had a significant life event. To find out more information, or change your level of cover, go to MyChoices.Increase your life cover
LifeSight will also pay your beneficiaries your Account value as a death-in-service lump sum, subject to the Trustee’s discretion.
On leaving Vodafone, life cover will cease but LifeSight will pay a refund of your Account value at date of death, subject to the Trustee’s discretion.
Putting your money in the best place for you
How much you get in retirement depends on your total contributions and how the money in your Account is invested.
LifeSight offers a number of investment options for you to choose from. There are 25 self-select options and nine Lifecycle arrangements. Each option offers a different level of risk. The different Lifecycle arrangements provide you with a choice between different investment approaches tailored to reflect how you wish to access your money in the future.
If you don’t wish to make a choice there is a default option. In LifeSight the default investment strategy is the LifeSight Medium Risk Drawdown Lifecycle investment strategy. In this strategy, a proportion of your assets will remain invested in higher risk assets so that they will potentially continue to achieve investment returns until you want to access your LifeSight savings. This is a change from the default in the previous DC Plan which was a Cash Lifestyle Fund. Read More about LifeSight for further details.
Until 25 years before your Target Retirement Age* your LifeSight Account will be solely invested in the LifeSight Equity Fund.
From 25 years before your Target Retirement Age*, your investments will gradually begin to move into the LifeSight Diversified Growth Fund. This means you will be invested in a broader range of assets which provides some protection from extreme changes in the investment market and reduces the risk of significant changes to the value of your LifeSight Account.
From five years before your Target Retirement Age*, your investments will gradually move into the LifeSight Cash Fund reducing your exposure to the investment market and further reducing the risk of significant changes to the value of your LifeSight Account.
At your Target Retirement Age, your LifeSight Account will consist of 70% in the LifeSight Diversified Growth Fund and 30% in the LifeSight Cash Fund. Detailed information on each of the funds is available from LifeSight.
Investment decisions are very personal choices which are dependent on how much risk you can afford to take and how much risk you are comfortable with, amongst other factors. It is important to review where your money is invested to make sure it is right for you. You can read more in the LifeSight Investment Guide.
* You can choose to retire at the Plan’s Normal Retirement Age, which is age 65, or set your own Target Retirement Age which can be any age from 55 (rising to 57 from 2028, subject to legislation). If you are in one of the Lifecycle options, your Target Retirement Age affects when your investments switch from higher risk to lower risk funds.
Risk and reward
When deciding how your money should be invested, risk is an important factor to consider. Typically, the higher the potential returns on your investment, the higher the risk. You should take time to consider your options before making any decisions. If you need help you can find an independent financial adviser in your local area at unbiased.co.uk.
Changing your investments
LifeSight offers a wide range of investment options to suit different needs. If you would like to know more about the options available to you visit More about LifeSight.
Your retirement savings and the State Pension
Your Vodafone pension may not be the only savings you have for your retirement. You may have saved into a pension scheme with another employer and you may also be entitled to a State Pension. The amount of State Pension you will receive depends upon your National Insurance record. For more information visit the Government’s Your Pension website.
If you need to trace a pension from a previous workplace you can use the Government’s Pension Tracing Service.
Tax allowances and your retirement savings
You do not pay tax on the money you save into a pension up to certain amounts. Once your savings reach these amounts there are tax charges to pay. There is an annual amount, known as the Annual Allowance (AA) and a lifetime amount called the Lifetime Allowance (LTA). There are different allowances for people earning over £200,000 a year (Tapered Annual Allowance) and for those who have already started to take their retirement savings (Money Purchase Annual Allowance - MPAA).
HMRC’s Annual Allowance and Tapered Annual Allowances
Before 6 April 2020
|Over £150,000 (including pension contributions) and less than £210,000||–||In a range reducing from £40,000 to £10,000|
After 6 April 2020
|Over £240,000 (including pension contributions) and less than £312,000||–||In a range reducing from £40,000 to £4,000*|
*The £4,000 limit also applies if you are already in receipt of your defined contribution pension. This is known as the Money Purchase Annual Allowance, see above for more details.
More detailed information on tax and your pension is available on gov.uk.
What is transferring out?
Transferring out means moving the money in your LifeSight Account to another pension scheme. It is an important decision and you may wish to seek financial advice before choosing to move. You can find a professional adviser at unbiased.co.uk.
How does it work?
If you have been a member of LifeSight for more than 30 days you can transfer all or part of the value of your LifeSight Account to another registered pension arrangement.
If you’ve been a member of LifeSight for less than 30 days, you will receive a full refund of everything you’ve paid in instead.
Need to know
Beware of scammers, if you do plan to move your money check the scheme you are moving it to thoroughly. Scammers are known to encourage people to transfer their savings so that they can access the money more readily.
If you wish to transfer out you need to complete a transfer out form.Transfer out
Letting us know someone has died
If a member of LifeSight has recently died, you need to contact the LifeSight Team:
Phone: 01737 227 517
Write: The LifeSight Team, Willis Towers Watson, PO Box 758, Redhill, Surrey RH1 9GT
Keep your details up to date
If you move address, get married or divorced, have children, or change your name you will need to let LifeSight know.
You should keep your nomination of beneficiaries up to date. The information will help the LifeSight Trustee and the Life Assurance Trustee to determine who should receive any money payable in the event of your death. The LifeSight nomination of beneficiaries can be updated by visiting your LifeSight Account. The Life Assurance nomination of beneficiaries can be updated in your MyChoices profile.
Why it’s important
When you come to withdraw your savings, LifeSight will use the details it has on record to verify you. If your details are not up-to-date payment of your pension could be delayed.