How to send pension data to NEST - Online submissions

For automatic enrolment, you must inform your pension provider of certain information, such as your employees’ details, their pension status and what contributions they’re making.

If your pension provider is NEST, you can easily set up a pension scheme in Sage One and send your pension submissions directly to NEST. You no longer need to create and upload CSV files to the NEST website.

Preparation

Before you can start using the NEST online submission feature, you must complete a few preparation steps to ensure the pension information in Sage One matches the pension details you’ve set up on your NEST online account.

Step 1: Check your employees’ national insurance (NI) numbers are correct

For each employee that enrols in to or joins a NEST pension group, you must record their correct NI number in Sage One. Your employees can then claim any tax relief on their pension contributions.

NEST will only apply tax relief to employees with a valid NI number. If you don’t have the NI number for an employee, NEST recommend that you postpone enrolling the relevant employee in to the pension scheme until you get their NI number. For more information, please refer to this NEST article.

Step 2: Check your staging date is recorded correctly in Sage One

Your staging date is the date when automatic enrolment applies to your company. You can find out your company’s staging date online, from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) website.
You must ensure that your staging date is recorded correctly in Sage One Payroll, so that your employees are assessed and their contributions begin on the expected date.

NEST won’t allow submissions if your staging date is greater than the current date. For example, if you process your monthly December pay run on 30/12/2016, but your staging date is 01/01/2017. In this scenario, you must wait until at least 01/01/2017 before you can make any submissions to NEST, or else the submission fails.

Step 3: Check your NEST pension information is correct in Sage One

You must check the NEST groups and payment sources you set up in Sage One, and make sure they are identical to the corresponding information held in your NEST online account. This includes capital letters and spaces in the names of your groups and payment sources.

If this information is not the same, your NEST pension submissions may fail.

Here’s a list of the NEST pension information you need to check in Sage One Payroll:

Employer Reference Number This is your unique reference beginning with EMP. For example, EMP123456789. You can find this at the top-right of the letter you receive from NEST when you set up your scheme with them.
Group Name This is the name you specified with NEST for each of the pension groups that have been set up for your business. The group names on NEST must match the corresponding names on Sage One Payroll, and they are case sensitive.
Pay Period Details Sage One Payroll aligns the NEST pay periods (referred to as pay reference periods) with the HMRC tax periods. For example, pay period 1 for a business that pays weekly corresponds to 6 April → 12 April.

If you have a business with a weekly pay cycle on Sage One Payroll, you must select Tax Weekly as the payment frequency for the corresponding group on your NEST online account. Similarly, if you pay employees using a monthly pay cycle, you must select Tax Monthly as the payment frequency for the corresponding NEST group.

A simple way to check if you are set up as Tax Weekly or Tax Monthly, is to log in to your NEST online account and go to ‘Manage Groups’. From here, you can identify the payment frequency for each of your groups.

If your group simply says ‘Weekly’ or ‘Monthly’ as the frequency, the group is not set up correctly and you must amend it. If you need help doing this, you must contact NEST pensions. For more information, please refer to this NEST article.
Contribution Rates The contribution rates that were selected for any groups on your NEST online account must correspond exactly to the respective groups on Sage One Payroll. The specific values in this area that must correspond are:

* Earnings basis – For example, are you using the qualifying earnings or pensionable earnings?

* Employer contribution.

* Employee contribution.
Payment Source This is the name you specified with NEST for each of the payment sources that have been set up for your business. The payment source names on NEST must match the corresponding names on Sage One Payroll, and they are case sensitive.

Step 4: Enter your NEST username and password in Sage One

In order to make your online pension submissions to NEST, you must enter your NEST username and password in Sage One Payroll.

Once you make your first pension submission to NEST, Sage One Payroll automatically stores your NEST username and password for each subsequent pension submissions you make.

If you change any information on your NEST online account, you must make the corresponding changes on Sage One Payroll, otherwise your pension submissions will fail.

Step 5: If required, complete a member enrolment submission for new employees

When new employees join your NEST pension scheme, you are obliged to send their enrolment information to NEST. You must do this using a separate Member Enrolment submission.

Before NEST will accept pension contribution information for an employee, they must receive the relevant employee’s Member Enrolment submission. If you‘re using the Submit Online option, Sage One Payroll automatically makes the submissions in the correct sequence.

NEST advise that online enrolment submissions will take over an hour before the corresponding contributions submission will be accepted.

If you’re using the Manually upload CSV file option, then you must ensure that you make the enrolment and contribution submissions in the correct sequence.

The submissions

There are two types of submissions – member enrolment and contribution schedule files.

  • Member enrolment – These submissions contain any new enrolments for the relevant pay reference period and include your employees’ personal information that NEST requires to enrol them onto the scheme. These submissions are most commonly generated at your staging date, or if you have new employees eligible to enrol.
  • Contribution schedule – These submissions contain information on the contributions your employees’ make from their pay and you need to upload these each pay period.

When pension data is ready to submit to NEST, a warning message appears in the Completed Pay Run summary > Pension submissions.

Enter Sage login details

Before you can send pension submissions directly to NEST for the first time, you must enter your Sage login details. For security reasons, you’re prompted for this every five months.

If you signed up to Sage One directly, this is normally the email address and password you use to log into Sage One. If you’re an accountant, you must enter your client’s log in details.

If you don’t have a Sage login, for example, if you signed up to Sage One with Google or Facebook, you must create one.

To enter your Sage login details

  • 1. In the Completed Pay Run summary > Pension submissions > click Enter Sage Login Details.
  • 2. Enter your email address and password > Sign In.

If you haven’t previously verified their Sage One business, a verification code is sent to the email address you enter.

  • 3. If prompted, enter the verification code from the email > Continue.
  • 4. To give permission > click Allow.

You can now send your pension submissions directly to NEST. For more information, please refer to the following section.

To send your pension submissions directly to NEST

  • 1. In the Completed Pay Run summary > Pension submissions > click View Submission Details.

A summary of your employees’ pension details and contributions appears for you to review.

If you’re sending online pension submissions for the first time, you must enter your Sage login details first. For more information, please refer to the previous section To enter your Sage login details.

  • 2. Click Submit online.
  • 3. When prompted, click Submit.
  • 4. Once your online submission is successfully sent to NEST, the following message appears in the Pension submissions section:

‘The NEST pension values were successfully submitted’

Warning messages

If any employee records don’t meet the necessary validation, you receive the following warning in the Completed Pay Run summary > Pension submissions.

You must click Edit Employee.

If more than one employee requires attention, your employee list opens and the status identifies the employees you need to update. If only one employee needs attention, the individual employee record opens ready for you to update. You must correct the highlighted details before you can create a submission file.

For example, if you have any missing address details, you receive the following warnings:

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