Help Centre for Payroll bureaux

How to upload data into the employer portal

Once you have completed the initial set-up of your employer portal, you are ready to upload payroll data.

You will need to provide us with information about employees and the contributions they want us to invest. We will use this information to set up each member’s record and to then communicate directly with them using the contact information you provide. This data will need to be imported for each pay period, to ensure that we have up to date information.

Your employee data will come from your payroll software. This data should be in the required format for the portal to recognise during a data import.

Please note that data should not be uploaded until after the first pay run following your staging date, otherwise communications might be issued at the wrong time.

Step 1
Validating your data

It is important that when you set up your Generic Input File the correct information is captured in the right format ahead of uploading it to your portal. If you don’t, this could cause a knock on effect of errors and problems down the line.

Something as simple as a letter missed or a comma incorrectly inserted/omitted can cause files to fail. We have produced a secure server called the File Validation Tool which will help test your file before you attempt to upload your data.

Only when all of your data is correct and there are no errors should you start uploading files.

Step 2
Importing Employee Data

Once your data has been validated and updated, you are ready to upload the Generic Input File to your employer portal.

Simply, login and click on the Import Data option from the home page.


Then select the ‘import name’ from the drop down box which is usually the Generic Input File, unless NOW: Pensions have specifically said otherwise and locate the file you produced from your payroll system and enter the email address that you want any data error notifications to be sent to. If the file is a complete success then no email will be received.


A pop up notification will appear – select OK.


You will now be presented with the Importer Options Screen. Please ensure the ‘Add’ and ‘Update’ options are ticked as this will allow the system to import additional (new) records, as well as update existing records.


Click 'Begin Loading Data into the Database'

Step 3
Importing Progress

Once the file is being uploaded you will see a progress so far bar, at this time:

  • - The file is being uploaded
  • - The portal is processing the data
  • - The database is being updated
  • - Communications will then be prepared for issue

The time taken to process the file will depend on how large the file is and how many changes or new employees are on each file. The first file you import will probably take the longest time.


At the end of the upload you will receive a notification on the screen showing the number of records imported into the database. Please check the contents of the results.

There will be some occasions when the records that have been imported have been rejected and therefore you will need to resolve these data errors. You can see these error results by scrolling further down the screen to the results section.

To fix these data errors you need to access the error file and to do this you need to click on the CSV button next to Error Log heading, this will then download the relevant error file.

Please note, you cannot continue with the upload until all errors have been resolved.

The file that has been downloaded will just contain data for employees where errors have been highlighted.

Step 4
Resolving common errors and warnings

If you receive notification that an import or part of an import has failed, you will need to resolve the errors for each employee, within your payroll system, re-produce the complete payroll data file and upload the file using the same process as you did for the initial file upload.


You will know that a failure has occurred because the system will display a results screen, which lists any records which have failed to import. Click on the icon to the left to see an example.

To find out what caused the error click on the CSV button. This action will call up the error file.


The error message will appear in the last column of the file. In this example the PAY CODE for one of the records does not follow the expected format. This may be due to an error in data entry, or due to that particular pay code not being present in the system.

You will need to correct the field(s) in the file that you originally uploaded. Once that has been completed you will then need to upload the complete file again.

The Guide to common errors and warnings document will assist you with this process as the document confirms what the error message is and how to fix it.

Please note, you will need to update the source data (payroll software) where applicable. By fixing the errors within your payroll software and then re-uploading the complete payroll file it will mean that the data within payroll and your NOW: Pensions portal is identical and prevents errors occurring due to data being amended in a spreadsheet.

Step 5
Reviewing previous error reports


At any time you can see the Error Report by logging in to your employer portal, going to the Import Data Section and clicking Progress Report.

You will also be able to check historical files you have submitted.


From the Progress report screen you will scroll down until you reach the file that you have imported.


When you reach the required record, you click on the green button that says Open.


This will take you back to the Error report where you can see the errors by clicking on the CSV button next to the Error log heading.


Recorded webinar: More detail can be found in the “How to upload data to the employer portal” webinar. Watch it here .

Live webinar: Alternatively, you can attend the live webinar delivered by our support team who will be on hand to answer your questions. Sign up here .

NOW: Pensions has a good technical infrastructure combined with a pension product suitable for our team. We couldn’t be happier with NOW: Pensions.
Martin Woods,