Pensions auto-enrolment poses challenge for recruitment agencies

Filed under News update

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Released on 20 April 2011

The REC has highlighted the difficulties of pensions auto-enrolment for agencies placing temp workers, in its response to the DWP consultation ‘Preparing for automatic enrolment – regulatory differences between occupational and workplace personal pensions’.

Whilst a million workers are engaged in temporary agency work at any one time, there is often a high level of churn among this population. With the new pensions rules requiring all workers to be auto-enrolled in a pension plan by their employer, this tendency for workers to change assignments and even agencies presents particular challenges for the recruitment industry.

The 12-week qualifying period for auto-enrolment will certainly help agencies cope with the new regulations, but it is still expected that many agency workers will wish to opt-out of a pensions scheme after being auto-enrolled by their agency.

Commenting, Gillian Econopouly, REC Head of Public Policy, said:

“Although the 12-week qualifying period for auto-enrolment is very helpful, we remain concerned that the bureaucracy of auto-enrolling and then un-enrolling workers on a regular basis will be very time-consuming for agencies. This will detract from their day-to-day business of helping workers to find job opportunities, and employers to access talent.

“We are regularly meeting with DWP and the Pensions Regulator on the particular challenges of the new pensions regime for the industry, and have recently corresponded with the Pensions Minister Steve Webb about the key issues for recruiters.

"In addition to our lobbying activity, the REC will be hosting a pensions workshop with NEST, the new Government-backed pensions plan in May, to provide practical guidance and help our members get to grips with the latest developments."

 The REC’s response to the DWP consultation is available online at:

REC members can register for the NEST workshop via:


Contact: Ed Sexton

Phone: 020 7009 2192

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