If your payroll application doesn’t calculate pension contributions, read on to see how you can use our tool to assess your employees and calculate their contributions in one go. 

If your payroll application calculates pension contributions, you can read more about how to upload your payroll file here. 

Step 1 - Set up your scheme

Make sure you’ve completed your scheme set-up and have entered all your employee details. If you are using self-certification tier 1 or 2 to determine what your employees' pensionable earnings are, you won't be able to use this tool and will need to use a payroll application to calculate your contributions.

Step 2 - Download a template

Go to the Calculate contributions page and download a template spreadsheet from the box on the right hand side. We will pre-populate this spreadsheet with all of your employees' information.

Step 3 - Fill out the template

The template has three empty columns for you to fill out: gross qualifying earnings (GQE), pay reference period, and additional voluntary contributions (AVC). Don't change the ID field as this is what we use to match up the employees in your spreadsheet to our system.

Gross qualifying earnings (GQE)

This is the amount of an employee's earnings that we calculate their pension contributions from. It's usually the gross earnings that they see on their payslip. Salary, wages, commissions, bonuses, overtime, and all statutory pay should make up GQE. You should also consider if allowances to employees should be part of GQE. Expenses don't count towards GQE. 

Pay reference period (PRP)

This is how often your employees are paid. It can be based upon either calendar weeks or months, or tax weeks and months. You can only use one type of pay reference period per file, ie for weekly PRPs.  Using the same formatting shown here, you should use either:

  • weekly
  • fortnightly
  • four_weekly
  • monthly
  • quarterly
  • bi_annually
  • annually

Additional voluntary contributions (AVC)

If your employee wants to make a one-off contribution to their scheme via payroll, you can add it to this column. Make sure you've added this information to your payroll software separately. We don't currently accept AVCs directly from employees.

Step 4 - Upload your file

Go to the Calculate contributions page and set your pay period start and end dates. These dates must correlate with the pay reference period you've put in your spreadsheet. Then upload your completed spreadsheet. 

Step 5 - Check the calculations

Once you've uploaded your spreadsheet successfully, you can see the details on the Contributions page. Once we've calculated your contributions, we'll take payment on the 7th of the following month. If there is a mistake, you can edit or delete contribution records before midnight on the 5th of that month. If any of your employees are in an opt out period their contributions will be taken on the next available payment date after their opt out period ends.

For more details on what your contributions page shows, you can see our dedicated help article here.

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