Vodafone has moved its £1.4bn single-trust defined contribution (DC) scheme into LifeSight, boosting its assets under management to £8bn, in what is believed to be the biggest ever transfer of an unbundled DC scheme to a master trust.
The transfer sees 45,000 Vodafone scheme members move into the LifeSight 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.
Vodafone also wanted to provide more environmental, social and governance (ESG) fund options for members. LifeSight offers ‘freestyle’ ESG fund options and says its incorporation of ESG into its primary default funds was a significant factor in its selection.
Over 70 per cent of Vodafone employees logging into their new LifeSight account following the launch.
Vodafone head of pensions and benefits Kate Grant says: “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.”
LifeSight managing director Fiona Matthews says: “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.”
LifeSight Trustee Board chair Jane Platt says: “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.”