This help centre article is designed to help familiarise you with the two different file formats that are used when uploading data into your employer portal. The two files are called the Generic Input File and the Generic Output File.
How the Generic Input File and Generic Output File are used
Below is a description of how you will use these files at each pay period but the first thing you will need to do is upload the Generic Input File following the first payroll run after your staging date even if you decide to postpone.
Then at each pay period you will need to:
1. Download the Generic Output File from your employer portal at the next payroll run and update your payroll system.
2. Download the Generic Input File from your payroll software and upload it into the employer portal.
3. Repeat steps for every payroll cycle.
Checking the Generic Input File for mistakes is crucial to ensure the smooth running of the auto enrolment process. Full details on how you can check your files with the NOW: Pensions File Validation Tool can be found in this Help Centre article.
So, let’s take a look at the Generic Input File and Generic Output File.
Generic Input File
Generic Output File
Column F OPT IN DATE
This column will confirm when you will need to start making contributions for employees in the next available pay period.
Column G OPT OUT DATE and Column H OO LASTDAY
Relate to employees who have opted out. If the date in column G is before the date in column H the member has successfully opted out within their statutory opt out window. You should refund all contributions that have been taken for this member. This will need to be processed and refunded through your payroll.
If the date in column G is AFTER the date in column H you will need to assume that the member has not opted out within their statuary window and the member is therefore not entitled to a refund.
Please note, the dates that show on this report should never be altered and should be entered correctly into your payroll software.
Column O AVC RATE
Relates to Additional Voluntary Contribution rates for any members who have increased their contribution rates. If they are showing an additional amount in this column, you will have to deduct more money from their pay.
It is very important that you check the contributions input into this file as whatever is put on this file will be what is collected.