How to use the Employee Action File

The Employee Action File (EAF) is a CSV file showing any actions your employees have taken since you last ran your payroll and uploaded a pension data file.

For example, it will show whether employees have opted into or out of the Scheme or started or stopped paying Additional Voluntary Contributions.

You’ll use this file to update your payroll software before you run your next payroll, so your next pension data file includes the changes.

What does the EAF contain?

The file will include column headings, but the order will also be consistent with any redundant columns that remain in the file but are blank.

All fields will be included in Downloaded reports.

Item noHeaderFormatExplanation
1ER Code4Four-character code (also known as Employer Code) supplied by NOW: Pensions to identify individual employers
2PAYROLL CODE4Four-character Payroll Code (also known as Pay Code) to identify individual payrolls
3EMPLOYEE NO25Unique employee identifier (ID)
6NINOAA000000ANational Insurance number.
7OPT IN INDICATORI or blankI = opt in Populated when employee asks to opt in
9OPT OUT INDICATORA or O or blankA = Valid auto enrolment opt-out O = Scheme opt-out This is populated when employee asks to leave the Scheme. See appendix 2 for more information
11OO LAST DAYDD/MM/YYYYThe last date an employee can opt out and receive a contribution refund This can be updated if a two-week extension is granted
12EE CONTRATE0.00Employee contribution rate excluding additional voluntary contributions (AVCs)
13ER CONTRATE0.00Employer contribution rate
14AVC RATE0.00AVC percentage
15AVC RATE INDICATORI or blankI = AVC rate included in file This is populated when AVC is requested
16TOTAL EERATE0.00Columns 12 and 14 aggregated Used when AVCs can’t be split out in the payroll system
17CATEGORYSee Appendix 1Assessment category
18POSTPONEMENT DATEDD/MM/YYYYLast date of postponement/deferral period
19AE DATEDD/MM/YYYYDate that an employee is enrolled

Appendix 1 – auto enrolment categories

These are the categories that will pass validation. Codes are case sensitive.

Eligible JobholderEligible jobholder
Non-eligible JobholderNon-eligible jobholder
Entitled WorkerEntitled worker
WorkerUnder 16 or over 74

Appendix 2 – opt-out indicator additional information

AValid auto enrolment opt-out: employee has opted out within their statutory window.Employee should be opted out on the payroll system.   No further contributions should be deducted.   A refund must be processed through payroll for all employee contributions deducted previously.
OScheme opt-out: employee has left the Scheme (ceased membership) after their statutory opt-out period has elapsed.The employee should be opted out on the payroll system and no further contributions should be deducted.   No refund should be processed through payroll as the employee is no longer entitled to a refund of their contributions.

Download the how to use the Employee Action File guide.