The auto-enrolment solution for Northern Ireland

Changes to the Contribution File Format from October 2020

Workers Pension Trust is required by The Pensions Regulator to monitor the accuracy of contributions received. In order to automate more checks we are making some changes to the pension contribution upload file format from October 2020.

New mandatory fields, including the Pay Reference Period and the Gross Salary for that period will be required on the contribution file from October 2020 onwards.

There will also be a new grid format so that contributions can be entered manually without uploading a file. Any errors or validation issues will be shown on the grid so that it is easier to see what needs to be amended.

The new file format for employers will be:

Column Field Content Data Type (max characters) Example
      A* NINO Alphanumeric (9) JZ111111D
      B Employee Name (for information only) Alphanumeric (200) Peter Wilson
      C* Date PRP Start** Date  (dd/MM/yyyy) 01/10/2020
      D* Date PRP End** Date (dd/MM/yyyy) 07/10/2020
      E* Salary for PRP** Numeric (5.2) 400.00
      F Employer Pension Contribution (including Salary Sacrifice Contribution, if applicable) Numeric (5.2) 8.40
      G Employee Pension Contribution Numeric (5.2) 14.00
      H Group Life Contribution (if applicable) Numeric (5.2) 1.00
      I Employer lump sum (if required) ** Numeric (5.2) 1000.00
      J Employee lump sum (if required) ** Numeric (5.2) 250.00
      K Use PRP (if required) ** Boolean   Yes/No

*Mandatory Fields

**New fields (PRP refers to the Payment Reference Period. For example, employees may be paid weekly, monthly, four weekly or fortnightly)

  • Date PRP Start – the date on which the relative contribution period started.
  • Date PRP End – the date on which the relative contribution period ends.
  • Salary for PRP – gross earnings for the contribution period before salary thresholds are applied.  Ensure there are no commas contained within this field, or in any other fields with monetary values. 
  • Employer and Employee Lump Sum – If the employer or the employee would like to make an additional payment into the fund, enter the value into the corresponding column. This is not validated but cannot be a negative value.
  • Use PRP – This should normally be left blank. ‘Yes’ should be entered if the PRP should be used to validate the calculation instead of the normal payment frequency. Enter ‘No’ if the PRP for a contribution is different from the normal payment frequency recorded for the employee but normal payment frequency should still be applied to validate the contribution.

We have been working with payroll providers to make these changes as smooth as possible. Guidance on extracting information from your payroll software can be found here.

Alternatively, the contribution information can be entered into the new grid, without the need to upload a file. This has been introduced to assist small employers.

NB The upload file format for the WPT-E plan is not affected by the changes in October 2020.