The Import Contributions form allows you to upload your payroll file if your payroll application does not calculate pension contributions for you. If your payroll application does calculate pension contributions, please use the pre-calculated option to upload your payroll


If someone does your payroll for you, please ask them to complete these details for you. 

Step 1 

Before you can assess your employees, you first need to upload their details, done under Scheme Setup.

Step 2

Once your have uploaded all employees you can use the Import Contributions form to export a pre-populated CSV file. You will be redirected to the Exports page where you can download the file; our guide on exports can be found here. This file will include all relevant details for each employee and is dynamically linked to their current membership status (opt in/out) as well as their chosen employee contribution percentage.

Step 3

Complete the empty fields for gross salary and pay period (weekly, monthly etc) as well as the optional AVC (Additional Voluntary Contribution) field. An AVC is used if an employee wishes to add an extra fixed sum in addition to their normal contribution percentage. 

Tip. Don't change the ID field, this is used to match each employee in the spreadsheet against the relevant employee in our system

Step 4

Once you have completed these details in the sheet come back to the Import Contributions form and set the pay period start date and end date. Upload the file and press the blue Upload button to assess these employees and calculate their contributions.

Step 5

Once you have uploaded the file, you can see your contributions on the Pending Contributions table. If you have made a mistake you can edit these on the page or delete them and upload a new file.


Once an employee has been assessed we send them a letter to let them know if they have been automatically enrolled or not. We also give them access to their personal Smart Pension account. 

Investing contributions

Calculated contributions can be seen on the contributions page and these will be invested on the 6th of the following month. You can edit or delete these calculations if you have made a mistake as long as it is before the 6th. 

Understanding Qualifying Earnings

Employers make contributions to an employee's pension fund based on a percentage of the employees' qualifying earnings. You may choose to base these earnings on the employees' gross qualifying earnings (their take home pay excluding items such as expenses), or their banded earnings which is the amount of pay after the salary thresholds have been applied.

Unbanded Earnings (best for the employee)

Also known as Gross Qualifying Earnings, this is the amount of pay that the employee typically sees on their payslip.
Please note that not all items of pay can be included when calculating pension contributions. Items such as expenses or travel money should be excluded.

Banded Earnings

Banded earnings are earnings that are between the salary thresholds. These amounts are currently: £5,824* and £43,000*. Please make sure your payroll application can make these calculations or use our software to do the calculations for you and add the sums back into your payroll application.

Qualifying earnings are made up of any of the following components that are due to be paid to the employee.

Statutory sick pay
Statutory maternity pay
Ordinary or additional statutory paternity pay
Statutory adoption pay
Expenses such as food, travel or car allowance are not considered to form part of an employee's qualifying earnings.

The assessment of whether a component of pay constitutes an element of qualifying earnings is for the employer to make. For any earnings above the qualified earnings threshold of £43,000* the employer is under no obligation to contribute to the employee's pension fund.

These figures are for the 2016-2017 tax year. For more details on these thresholds please click here.

We are compatible with a number of payroll applications. If you use Sage 50 Payroll but do not have the AE bolt on you can ask for the relevant Smart Pension import file from Sage. Please click here to see how to import the Sage 50 file.

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