Pensions Guide - PAPDIS

PAPDIS is short for the Payroll and Pension Data Interface Standard. It is a free and open standard designed to help payroll systems to transfer information to pension providers. Some pension providers accept data in this format, including Smart Pension.

The Payroll Site can create PAPDIS CSV files for you to upload to your pension provider. There is also an XML version of PAPDIS, which we don't support.

Information about Your Pension Scheme

It is up to you as an employer to choose your pension provider. When you sign up with them, they will normally give you a reference number or ID, which you will need to enter into The Payroll Site. If you set up worker groups with the pension company, you'll need to know the group names when you start automatically enrolling people.

There are two types of tax relief that can be applied to pensions and you need to know which one your pension uses.

Tax Relief Type Effect
Net Pay Arrangement (NPA) The taxable pay is reduced so less tax is taken from the employee's wages.
Relief at Source (RAS) You deduct a smaller pension contribution, which you pay to the pension company. They then claim the difference from HMRC.

You also need to know your chosen levels of employee contributions and employer contributions and which definition of pensionable pay you are using. For example, contributions can be a percentage of gross pay or a percentage of pay that falls within the qualifying earnings band.

Setting up The Payroll Site to Create PAPDIS Files

Ensure there is a 'Start Date' on the Tax Details tab of every employee, otherwise your pension provider 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: 'PAPDIS CSV'.
    • Provider Reference: leave blank unless your pension provider tells you to fill it in.
    • Employer Reference: enter the employer ID your pension provider gave you.
  5. Click 'Save Changes'.

Next, add starting contributions for the pension scheme. These pension contributions will be used for each new member. You'll be able to adjust the contributions for each employee later.

  1. Click the 'Starting Contributions' tab.
  2. Choose the contribution type relevant to your pension scheme. For more information, please see our Overview.
  3. For anything other than the minimum option, you must set the 'Pensionable Pay' and 'Contribution' columns and click 'Save Changes'.
  4. Add more contribution types if needed.

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.

Sending Data to Your Pension Provider

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 document in Microsoft Office Excel, beware! It can change the file and cause upload errors. Choose the 'Save' option instead.
  7. Upload the file to your pension company 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 your pension provider.