Recruiters should start early if they are to implement pension auto-enrolment on time, according to a panel of industry experts addressing a recent pension reform summit.

Recruitment professionals, HR directors and business leaders gathered at London’s impressive St Botolph building last week to explore the impact of auto-enrolment on their organisations. The expert panel leading the audience included industry luminaries such as Grant Thornton’s principal consultant Paul Horan, Safe Computing’s operations manager Colin Jackson, specialist legal advisor Tim Johnson, and the MD of the employment law firm Seminars and Solutions, Fiona McKay.

Commenting on the event, Mark Mitchell, the chief executive of leading recruitment firm Meridian Business Support, which hosted the summit, said: “The key message from all the panellists was to start early when it comes to planning how your organisation will implement pension reform. At Meridian we plan to keep one step ahead, enabling us to learn valuable lessons that can be passed on to our clients when implementing their own reforms. It was encouraging to see all of the experts echoing this best practice and reminding delegates that preparation and communication are key when navigating this complex piece of legislation.”

The panel shared the belief that opt-out rates from auto-enrolment will prove to be far lower than anticipated when official figures are released. This is an indication that all affected organisations would be wise to prepare when developing their business strategies and budgets over the next few years.

The summit was held in response to a recent White Paper highlighting a major lack of awareness about auto-enrolment amongst both the permanent and temporary sectors.

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