To help our employers provide us with accurate and consistent data, we’re making some changes to the Smart Pension platform. These changes will affect the way you can upload and change employee information using PAPDIS files.

What changes are being made?

When you upload a PAPDIS file to submit your contribution data, it will be automatically rejected if you try to make changes to any of the protected core data. An employee's protected core data is their:

  • forename

  • employee start date

  • employee date of birth

  • National Insurance number

Restricting the ability to change this information via PAPDIS upload helps us make sure that the data you provide to us remains accurate, consistent and up to date. It will also ensure your records are accurate in line with your duties.
You will still be able to add a National Insurance number to a record that doesn’t have one via the PAPDIS upload. Similarly, you will continue to be able to change information such as an employee address, surname and email address in this way.

If you need to change an employee record for one of the items listed above, you can do this by going to Scheme set up in the menu, and then selecting Employees. Go into the employee record you wish to change and update the relevant details there. You will then be able to submit the PAPDIS file. 

If you try to update any protected core data on the PAPDIS file with a different forename, employee start date, date of birth or National Insurance number to what’s on an employee’s record, you will see an error message.

If you see an error message when you’re not trying to update one of these items via PAPDIS upload, an employee’s payroll number is probably already being used on another employee record. 

Never re-use the employee ID

All payroll reference numbers should be unique as per HMRC guidance.

Please make sure each employee, including former employees, is assigned a unique payroll number. If the employee ID is not unique, you will need to create a new employee ID and then upload the file again.

Under data protection law, employers are regarded as a data controller. In using Smart’s Pension platform or systems, employers, or their agents if applicable, are reminded to ensure that the payroll data provided to Smart Pension is accurate, kept up-to-date and complies with applicable rules, including, HMRC guidance. HMRC guidance requires the use of a single unique employee ID for each employee and therefore, employers must not re-use an employee ID.  

By providing data within the PAPDIS file, your organisation confirms that the employee ID is unique to each employee and has not been re-used.  The employee ID is no longer unique if it has been used on a previous record or with a prior employee.

If you have any other questions or need any help, our customer service team are available on 0333 666 2323 or by live chat from 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. You can also send an email to at any time, and we’ll respond within 48 hours.

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