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NEST Pension Submission Errors

If you receive an error message for a NEST pension submission in Payroll you can check what the error message is and then follow the steps below to resolve the issue and successfully submit.

To check what the error is go to the summary screen, then in he Auto Enrolment/Pensions section, locate the failed submission and click View Submission Details.

Within this screen the error message will give you the reason for the failed submission.

Listed below are the most common error messages that can occur when submitting to NEST.

If you do not see the error you are experiencing in here, visit the NEST website to view a further list of errors.

An error occurred while creating the submission files. Please try again later. If the problem persists, please contact customer support

This error is due to the NEST credentials being entered incorrectly. Things to check:

  • 1. Test the details you entered by logging into NEST with those same credentials, if it fails then you will need to speak to NEST.
  • 2. If they work, then just retry entering in the details again by clicking Submit Online within the pension contribution screen.
  • 3. If the above steps do not fix the problem, or if you have changed your login email address recently, please Contact Us

The account credentials were not accepted by the provider. Please check them and try again

This error is due to the NEST credentials being entered incorrectly. Things to check:

  • 1. Test the details you entered by logging into NEST with those same credentials, if it fails then you will need to speak to NEST.
  • 2. If they work, then just retry entering in the details again by clicking Submit Online within the pension contribution screen.

You must provide a valid header or trailer record

“You must provide a valid header or trailer record. Please ensure the payment source and frequency are correct, and that the payment due date is in the correct format – it should match an existing contribution schedule on the system. Please check your data and try again.”

This error refers to multiple areas that could be incorrect.

  • 1. First thing to check is the payment source on Payroll matches identically to the payment source you created on the NEST Portal. If they don’t match then please change the source on Payroll.
    To check this, we would recommend logging into NEST. Go to the open for Manage Payment Sources. The name of the source should be located on the next screen.
  • 2. Next, check the group name for your pension scheme in Payroll and ensure that this matches exactly with the group name in NEST. If you have multiple groups set up in Payroll, you should also check each employee to make sure they are assigned to the correct group.
  • 3. If the above two solutions are correct, the final solution is that the contribution schedule on NEST doesn’t match the schedule that Payroll is submitting. You will need to speak to NEST to get them to set up a new schedule to match the dates Payroll is submitting.

There were no schemes retrieved from your pension provider. Check the details and try again

This error can be often related to some setup details on Payroll not matching NEST. It would mainly be the Employer Reference entered on Payroll doesn’t match NEST.

  • 1. Go to the Pensions tab
  • 2. Click Edit Pension on the NEST pension.
  • 3. Employer Reference is the top box, make sure this matches identically to the reference from NEST.

Group Name” was not included because the associated pay period is set up incorrectly

“Group Name” was not included because the associated pay period is set up incorrectly. Pay periods must align to tax periods. Please update the group information in your provider portal."

This error occurs when the frequency select on the group on NEST doesn’t match the pay frequency you are using within Payroll. This would mean that the periods of which Payroll is submitting, doesn’t match what NEST are expecting. The solution is as follows:

  • 1. You will need to set up a new group on NEST with the correct frequency to match the Payroll. To set up a new group, please log into your NEST portal and select the Manage Groups option.
  • 2. If you are weekly:
    Please make sure you select the Tax Weekly pay frequency on NEST.

If you are monthly:
Please make sure you select the Tax Monthly pay frequency on NEST.

If you are 2-Weekly:
Please select the Fortnightly pay frequency on NEST (Note: You also need to make sure that you have the contribution schedule set up on NEST to match the dates that Payroll is trying to submit. To see what Payroll is submitting, go into the Payrun in question and View Pension Submission)

If you are 4-Weekly:
Please select the Four Weekly pay frequency on NEST (Note: You also need to make sure that you have the contribution schedule set up on NEST to match the dates that Payroll is trying to submit. To see what Payroll is submitting, go into the Payrun in question and View Pension Submission)

  • 3. Once you have set up the new group on NEST with the right pay frequency, then you will need to go into Payroll and change the group name to match the new group you have set up.
    Within Payroll, go to the Pensions Tab and click Edit Pension.
    On the next screen, you should see the group you have set up. To the right of the name, you should see View/Edit. Click this and a new screen will pop up.
  • 4. When the new screen appears, please change the name here to match identically to the new group you set up on NEST. (Please make sure you put the same capital letters, lowercase letters, spaces, special characters as you have on NEST).


You’ve already enrolled this member using this enrolment type

“You’ve already enrolled this member using this enrolment type. If you enrolled this member before and their enrolment status has changed then please choose the appropriate enrolment type and try again.”

This error occurs when the submission you are sending through from Payroll to NEST includes an enrolment file which includes an employee who has already been enrolled on NEST. NEST will not allow this submission to go through as it is trying to duplicate something that has already been done. To resolve this, you will need to manually submit that payruns contributions to NEST. Please follow these steps to complete this:

  • 1. Within Payroll, go into the Payrun in question that the submission has failed for.
  • 2. Click on the View Submission Error or View Submission Details.
  • 3. Within this next screen, you will see an option on the right-hand side of the screen to Manage Pension File. If you hover over this, you will see three options.
  • 4. You will need to select the option to Regenerate CSV File. This will download a zipped folder onto your computer.
  • 5. Once downloaded, you will need to unzip the folder so you can access the two CSV files within the folder.
  • 6. There will be two files, one will be the enrolment file and the other will be the contribution file.
  • 7. You will only need to upload the Contribution File to NEST. To do this, you can hover over the Manage Pension File again and select Open NEST Portal.
  • 8. Once you are on NEST, you will select the option for Manage Contribution Schedule. Within here you will upload the file for the necessary period.
  • 9. Once you have successfully uploaded the file to NEST. You will need to come back into Payroll, hover over Manage Pension File once more, but this time you will select the option Confirm CSV Upload. This will mark the submission within Payroll that it was done manually and will clear the error message.


The scheme joined date cannot be in the future.


This error occurs when an employee is enrolling in a pension scheme and the enrolment date is in the future. An example would be if the date in real time is 28th April 2018 but the employees’ enrolment date is 1st May. This will stop the submission from going through as it is a future date.

To resolve this, you need to wait until the date specified by the error and then submit the pension.


The opt out ref number is missing.

This error message can occur when you have opted an employee out of the pension within Payroll, but not provided a reference number. If your employee opts out online with NEST, it doesn’t provide a reference number so there is no need to enter it within Payroll. However, the submission still expects a reference number unfortunately. To clear this error, you can follow the steps below:

  • 1. If you have a reference, you can edit the payrun and add in the reference. Click into the payruns tab, then select the relevant payrun on the right.
  • 2. Then click Edit Pay Run on the right-hand side.
  • 3. Once you are in the Payrun, select the employee in question, hover over Manage Enrolment and choose Edit Opt Out/Leave.
  • 4. On the new screen that opens, for the question that says, “Did the employee opt-out using a NEST paper Form?”, change this to Yes and fill in the opt out reference.
  • 5. Once added, you can then resubmit the pension file via the Submit Online button. This should then go through to NEST.
  • 6. If you do not have an opt out reference, you will not be able to submit the file via Payroll. You will have to manually download the CSV file from Payroll and submit via the NEST portal.
  • 7. To download the file, within the Submission Details screen, hover over the Manage Pension File option, then select Regenerate CSV file.
  • 8. This will download the CSV File. To upload to NEST, you hover over Manage Pension File again and select open NEST portal. You will need to speak to NEST on how to upload that file.


The Additional Data Group Name is missing.

This is a refresh issue within the payrun. This error happens when the assignment of the pension scheme to the employees during the payrun. To resolve this, follow the steps below:

  • 1. Go into the payruns tab and select the relevant Payrun. Then click Edit Pay Run.
  • 2. Within the payrun, for everyone that is assigned to the pension, you will hover over Manage Enrolment and in the drop-down menu select Change Pension Scheme.
  • 3. When the new screen opens, you will need to change the Pension Scheme, Pension Plan and Payment source from Default to the exact Pension Scheme, Plan and Payment source that the employee is assigned to. Then click Save.
  • 4. Once that is done for all employees on the pension plan within the Payrun, you will need to click Next and then View Summary.
  • 5. Then you can resubmit the pension through to NEST.


This member doesn’t belong on this schedule

“This member doesn’t belong on this schedule. Please check that they’ve been enrolled and are still an active member. Also check if they’re in a different group or payment source to the workers on this schedule.”

This error can occur if you have an employee on your payroll that is assigned to a specific group but on NEST, they are assigned to a completely different group.

  • 1. To resolve this, you will need to make sure that the employee is assigned to the correct group.
  • 2. If it is on Payroll:
    Go into the Payrun and Edit Payrun. Select that employee, hover over Manage Enrolment and choose Change Pension Scheme and Save.
  • 3. If it is on NEST:
    You will need to speak to NEST regarding moving an employee from one group to another on the NEST portal.
  • 4. Once the employee has been moved to the correct group, you can resubmit the pension within Payroll.


An error occurred while generating the pension submission

“An error occurred while generating the pension submission. The names of the pension groups attached to your employees do not match the groups set up with NEST. Please ensure that the group details are recorded correctly and are attached to the employees in this pay run before attempting to resubmit.”

This error can be down to the naming of the groups both on NEST and on Payroll. The group name on Payroll are showing different to the groups set up on the NEST portal. To resolve we would need to make sure that the groups on Payroll match identically to the ones on NEST.

  • 1. Firstly, check that the group names on the Pensions Tab in Payroll match the group names on NEST. Once they match, follow the steps below:
  • 2. Go into the payruns tab and select the relevant Pay run. Then click Edit Pay Run.
  • 3. Within the payrun, for everyone that is assigned to the pension, you will hover over Manage Enrolment and in the drop-down menu select Change Pension Scheme.
  • 4. When the new screen opens, you will need to change the Pension Scheme, Pension Plan and Payment source from Default to the exact Pension Scheme, Plan and Payment source that the employee is assigned to. Then click Save.
  • 5. Once that is done for all employees on the pension plan within the Payrun, you will need to click Next and then View Summary. Then you can resubmit the pension through to NEST.


Internal Server Error

This error message may be due to a refresh issue in the system, please follow the below steps to create a manual refresh:

  • 1. Click the Pay Runs tab and select the relevant pay run.
  • 2. Then click Edit Pay Run.
  • 3. Within the pay run, for everyone that is assigned to the pension, hover over Manage Enrolment and in the drop-down menu select Change Pension Scheme.
  • 4. When the new screen opens, change the Pension Scheme, Pension Plan and Payment source from Default to the exact Pension Scheme, Plan and Payment source that the employee is assigned to.
  • 5. Then click Save.
  • 6. Then try resubmitting the pension.

If you are still receiving this error message, please contact the support team for further assistance.

Read more about automatic enrolment >>

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