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Vodafone completes DC pension scheme move to LifeSight Master Trust

Move designed to put members back in control of their retirement savings

London, 23 July 2020 – Vodafone has completed the transfer of its 45,000 UK Defined Contribution (DC) pension scheme members into the LifeSight master trust. With £1.4bn of assets it is believed to be the largest ever transfer of an unbundled DC scheme to a master trust.

Formerly a single employer trust-based scheme, the Trustees of the Vodafone UK DC Pension Plan conducted a strategic review of their DC investment approach. This review concluded that the default investment strategy should be targeted at decumulation drawdown – providing greater flexibility for members at retirement – and that the members would be best served by a specialist master trust that could deliver a range of targeted investment strategies and provide value for money for the member.

In addition, Vodafone was keen to provide more Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) fund options for members. LifeSight’s combination of ‘freestyle’ ESG fund options and its incorporation of ESG into its primary default funds was a significant factor in its selection.

LifeSight’s introduction saw strong engagement from members, with over 70% of Vodafone employees logging into their new LifeSight account following the launch.

Kate Grant, Head of Pensions and Benefits at Vodafone, said:

“The transfer of our DC pension plan to LifeSight was designed to give members greater control of their savings. LifeSight has particularly strong financial wellbeing and savings consolidation tools, which we feel are increasingly important in the defined contribution market as members have more options and are faced with more decisions on how to manage their retirement savings.”

Fiona Matthews, Managing Director of LifeSight said:

“Vodafone was really focused on ESG, high quality governance, online tools to help engage members and financial wellbeing, so we were delighted that LifeSight’s commitment to these areas matched Vodafone’s expectations.”

“We know from our own research that within the next two years over a third of FTSE 350 companies are likely to have adopted a master trust for their defined contribution pension provision, so we are expecting a lot more movement in this area in the near future.”

Jane Platt, Chair of the LifeSight Trustee Board said:

“The engagement levels we’ve seen so far from members has been very encouraging and we will continue to work closely with Vodafone, and its employees, to make sure that their LifeSight experience is as positive and engaging as it can be.”

The addition of Vodafone brings LifeSight’s membership to 200,000 with £8bn of assets under management.