Pensions Guide - NOW: Pensions

NOW: Pensions is one of the workplace pension schemes you can use for auto enrolment.

Setting up NOW: Pensions

When you sign up for NOW: Pensions on their website, please remember to:

  • Note down the 'Employer Code', 'Pay Code' and 'Scheme Code', as you will need them later.
  • Set the pay periods to align to tax periods. For example, if you pay your employees monthly, the tax period runs from the 6th of one month to the 5th of the next.

NOW: Pensions uses a kind of tax relief called the Net Pay Arrangement. This reduces the taxable pay, leading to a slightly lower tax deduction on the payslip. Our system does this automatically if you choose the right contribution type, as explained below.

Setting up The Payroll Site to Work with NOW: Pensions

Ensure there is a 'Start Date' on the Tax Details tab of every employee, otherwise NOW: Pensions may reject the file.

Then, add the pension scheme:

  1. Click on the 'Workplace Pensions' option.
  2. Click the 'Pension Schemes' tab.
  3. Click 'Add Pension Scheme'.
  4. Click 'Edit Details'.
    • Name: choose any name for your pension scheme.
    • Type of Pension Interface: 'NOW: Pensions'.
    • Provider Reference: leave blank.
    • Employer Reference: enter your Employer Code given by NOW: Pensions.
    • Payment Source: leave blank.
  5. Click 'Save Changes'.

Next, add starting contributions for the pension scheme. These pension contributions will be used for each new member.

  1. Click the 'Starting Contributions' tab.
  2. Set up the employer contribution:
    • Choose 'Employer Contribution' from the dropdown list.
    • Click 'Add Pension Contribution'.
    • Set the 'Pensionable Pay' and 'Contribution' columns.
    • Click 'Save Changes'.
  3. Set up the employee contribution:
    • Choose 'Employee Contribution (NPA)'.
    • Click 'Add Pension Contribution'.
    • Set the 'Pensionable Pay' and 'Contribution' columns.
    • Click 'Save Changes'.

Alternatively, if you are using the minimum allowable pension contributions, you can choose 'Minimum Pension for Auto Enrolment (NPA)', which will work out both the employee contribution and the employer contribution.

Note: Don't choose any of the RAS options as they have the wrong type of tax relief for NOW: Pensions.

Enrolling Your Staff

Once you have set up the pension scheme, you need to know whom to enrol. Ensure that your duties start date is set on the 'Employer' page and then, during every pay run, the system will prompt you if you need to enrol anyone. For more information, see our guide on How to Assess Your Staff.

Note: When you are prompted to enrol your staff, put the 'Pay Code' for NOW: Pensions in the 'Group' box and put the 'Scheme Code' in the 'Subgroup' box.

Sending Data to NOW: Pensions

Your pension file is available to download once you have completed a pay run. Please follow these steps:

  1. Complete your pay run and click the 'Confirm Payments' button.
  2. Click the 'Pensions' tab. If there are enrolments or contributions to transfer, you will see the option to create a file.
  3. Click 'Create'.
  4. To view the contents, tick 'Show File' and then 'View Data'.
  5. Click 'Download'.
  6. If you see an option to open the file in Microsoft Office Excel, beware! It can change the file and cause upload errors. Choose the 'Save' option instead.
  7. Upload the file to NOW: Pensions using their instructions.
  8. If anyone joins or leaves the pension, the 'Pensions' tab has a 'Mark as Done' button. Click it after you have successfully uploaded the file to NOW: Pensions.