Help Centre for Payroll bureaux

Setting up your NOW: Pensions employer portal

This help centre article will guide you through the initial set-up of your employer portal.

Your employer portal is where you will upload your payroll data to support the administration of your scheme but ahead of this there are a few steps you will need to follow. You should set aside approximately 30-45 minutes to set up your portal.

When you have completed the set up you will be ready to upload your payroll data.

Step 1
Payroll set up

The key to the scheme running smoothly is the quality of the data that is provided to NOW: Pensions. All of the data will be produced directly from your payroll system.

First contact your payroll provider in advance of your staging date to let them know you have chosen NOW: Pensions as your auto enrolment provider.

Then, check that your payroll provider can produce the NOW: Pensions data file. If not, you may need to work with them to ensure the data can be produced in the correct format.

A few points to remember:

  • NOW: Pensions run an Occupational pension scheme
  • Contributions are deducted from Gross Salary
  • Remember to add postponement rules – if you are using postponement

You will also need to enter the following key information into your payroll software:

  • Employer code

    This is a four digit code provided by NOW: Pensions and is unique to each client. You can find the employer code in your participation agreement.

  • Pay Codes

    If you signed up with NOW: Pensions after the 31st July 2015 your payroll codes will have been created through the online sign up.

    If you signed up prior to the 31st July 2015 or if you need to add any additional payrolls you will need to create them in your employer portal. Step 5 explains this in more detail.

    Once you have created your pay codes, they need to be input into your payroll system so that when you produce the data files the relevant codes are displayed in the correct column of the file.

Step 2
Logging In

Around 2 working days after NOW: Pensions approves your application, three emails will be sent to the person who was appointed as the payroll contact when filling in the application.

One with a unique link to your employer portal followed by a separate email with your password. Another email will be sent which will guide you through the tasks that you need to complete, such as initial set up of your portal, preparing your payroll data, uploading payroll data, making payments for scheme members and keeping the portal up to date.


First, log in to your Employer Portal using the login name and password details in the emails that you received.

Upon first login you will be asked to change the password. Please only click the save button once, as double clicking invalidates the new password.

  • What is my login name?

    This will be the email address of the primary contact.

  • What is my password?

    This will be the password provided in a separate email.

    Upon first login you will be asked to change the password. Please only click the save button once, as double clicking invalidates the new password.

Step 3
Verify Your Company Details


When you have logged in, click on 'Company Details' on the left hand menu, and check that all your details are correct.

The data populated on this page is the data you provided during the application process.


Next, you can select if you would like NOW: Pensions to send out statutory communications for your company by ticking the box.

Statutory communications can be sent to your employees free of charge but to do this we will need email addresses for all of your employees. If you don’t have email addresses for your employees, then we can send the communication to a generic business email address for you to print and distribute to your employees. Simply enter a generic business address in the ‘mail box address for emailed PDFs’ free text box. The other option is for us to send the communication by post but you will incur printing and posting charges.

Then, make sure you add your Pension Regulator Reference (also known as a letter code). This is a 10-digit number beginning with a ‘1’ that’s unique to every employer. It can be found on the top right hand corner of your staging letter from The Pensions Regulator, and all other correspondence from The Pensions Regulator.

Once you have checked all the details, select the save button.

  • I can't find my Pensions Regulator Reference / Letter Code

    If you don’t know yours or never received it, please contact TPR on 0845 600 1011 or email providing the following:

    • employer name
    • PAYE scheme reference(s)
    • employer address
    • your contact details (telephone number, email address, job role)

Step 4
Create Additional Logins


If you need other members of staff to access your portal, add them now. Click on 'Admin Login' on the left hand menu, and fill out the fields.

Please note that you should only select ‘Employer’ as the User Role.

You can add further users later if you wish.

Step 5
Set Up Your Payroll Codes (“Reference Data”)

When filling in the online sign up, the information you entered for your payroll details (name and frequency) will be transferred into your employer portal under ‘Reference Data’. Check this information is still correct.


If you need to add a new payroll in the system you can do this by clicking 'Reference Data' from the left hand menu, then 'Payrolls'. Then click 'Add' to add a payroll. When adding new payrolls you will need to complete a Direct Debit instruction for pension contributions.

1. Add a Payroll Code. This allows you to identify one payroll file from another. Your pay code is a 4 digit alphanumeric in the format P00x. If you need to add a payroll, then set the pay code to the next number in the sequence e.g. P001 would be followed by P002, P003, P004 etc for each additional payroll respectively. The pay codes that you create should be entered into your payroll system so that when you produce the data files to upload your employee data the pay code will be displayed in the relevant columns within the file.You may need to speak to your payroll provider to confirm how to do this.

2. Select a Payroll Type from the drop down menu. Click save.

Repeat this step until you have entered a payroll code for each payroll type that you have.

Step 6
Setting up the payroll calendar


To view the payroll code (or codes) that you have just set up please select the Payrolls List option and the code you have just created will appear in the list.

You must now enter the pay periods for the relevant payroll so that we can build up a payroll calendar in the system. You can either do this manually (one pay period at a time), or by uploading a CSV file that contains many pay periods.

The manual method is described below. Please click here for a Help Centre article that explains how to upload multiple pay periods (this is the faster method if you are familiar with spreadsheets).

Now select ‘Payrolls List’. The payroll code you have just created will appear in the list.


Now input the payroll calendar details for this payroll code by selecting the Add button below the heading Payroll Details. An explanation of each field is provided at the bottom of this step.

Repeat this step as many times as necessary to create at least 3 months of data (and a maximum of 12 months) for every payroll code that you have.

Please note, a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 12 months future pay periods should be added in the site at any one time.


Once you have entered the pay periods the Payrolls List will look like this.


A completed monthly payroll setup might look like this.

  • Pay Period field

    This will usually be the tax period in the payroll (e.g. 1 – 12 for monthly payroll or 1 – 52 for weekly payroll)

  • Processing Date field

    This is the last date you would expect to upload a file for any given pay period. If a file has been uploaded it is also the date the system will lock the pay period and process the data. No changes will be allowed to the data once the pay period has been locked.

  • Pay Period Start Date field

    This will be the start date of the pay period in question

  • Pay Year field

    To enable us to identify which tax year the pay period relates to please enter the starting year of the tax year in this field. For example the pay year for any pay period in the 2015/2016 tax year would be 2015.

  • Processed and Processed Date field

    Do not input anything here.

  • Pay Date field

    The date your employees get paid into their bank account

Step 6
Ongoing maintenance of your portal

Remember to keep your details up to date, updating contact information, keeping at least 3 months of future payrolls in the site and making sure employee information is updated as it changes and in the files uploaded for each payroll period.


Recorded webinar: More detail can be found in the "Setting up your NOW: Pensions 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,