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

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 will be moving to LifeSight. We expect this process to be completed 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.

Watch the LifeSight video to find out more.

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.

How much can I pay into LifeSight?

As a member, the minimum you can pay is 3%. Vodafone will pay in twice as much as you do, up to a maximum of 10% employer contributions. You can change how much you pay at any time by visiting MyChoices.

If you pay 3%

You pay
3%
Vodafone pays
6%
Total invested
9%

If you pay 4%

You pay
4%
Vodafone pays
8%
Total invested
12%

If you pay 5%

You pay
5%
Vodafone pays
10%
Total invested
15%

Saving more

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:

Actual cost to you £68
Total contribution £300
Vodafone pays £200

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:

You pay £100, 5% of your salary
You make tax and NI savings of £32
The amount you actually pay is £68
With Vodafone's £200 contribution a total of £300 is paid into your LifeSight Account but your take home pay is only reduced by £68!

Increase your contributions

Life cover

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.

Investments

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. 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.

Tax allowances and your retirement savings

You do not pay tax on the money you save into a pension up to certain amounts. Once the amount you save reaches 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).

  • Annual Allowance (AA)

    The AA is the maximum amount you can save into your pension each year and still attract tax relief. Your AA applies to the total amount you save including any pension savings you make outside LifeSight. There is no limit on the amount you can save in a pension plan, but there is a limit on the amount that receives tax relief each year. The Annual Allowance for 2019/20 tax year is £40,000. If the amount you save is more than the AA you will pay a tax charge on the amount over the AA.

  • Money Purchase Annual Allowance

    If you are aged 55 or over and have previously drawn, or are currently drawing an income from any Defined Contribution (DC) savings under the flexible benefit options introduced in April 2015, your AA will be reduced to £4,000 for future DC savings. This is referred to as the Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA).

  • Tapered Annual Allowance

    From 6 April 2016, a reduced or ‘tapered’ AA was introduced for those with adjusted income over £150,000. More detailed information on tax and your pension is available on gov.uk.

  • Lifetime Allowance (LTA)

    The LTA is the maximum amount of pension and / or lump sum that you can get from all your pension arrangements that will benefit from tax relief during your working life. There is no limit on the amount you can take from your LifeSight Account. However, if the value of your LifeSight Account is more than your LTA, you will pay an extra tax charge on the amount above your LTA. The LTA for 2019/20 tax year is £1.05m.

More detailed information on tax and your pension is available on gov.uk.

Transferring out

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.

To find out more visit the Financial Conduct Authority’s ScamSmart service and take the pensions scams quiz.

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:

Email: lifesightsupport@willistowerswatson.com

Phone: 01737 227 517

Write: The LifeSight Team, Willis Towers Watson, PO Box 758, Redhill, Surrey RH1 9GT

Life events

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.

Current employees – update your details

Former employees – update your details