How to get started

Smart Pension Platform Demonstration

The videos below demonstrate how the Smart Pension platform deals with day to day auto enrolment tasks

Video Demonstrations

On this page, you will find short yet comprehensive videos on how the Smart Pension platform works, from calculating your employee's pensions contributions to learning how to prepare and upload a PAPDIS file. These videos demonstrate just how quick and easy it is to use the Smart Pension platform to carry out your auto enrolment duties.

1. How To Sign Up To The Smart Pension Platform

Signing Up Your Company For Auto Enrolment With Smart Pension Transcript

This video details how to sign up to the pension scheme, including signing the Participation Agreement.

If you are an advisor, you will have already created your advisor account, and will add a new client from your home screen.

As an employer, you simply need to click here to create your pension scheme.

Firstly, enter your email address. All communications from the portal to you will be sent to this email address.

In the next screen, enter your personal details. These details will be used to set up the Smart Pension account for your company, with you as the main signatory. You can add other administrators later.

If your company is a limited company registered with Companies House, you can type in the name here and select your company details, and this will populate the employer details form on the next page. If you are not a limited company registered with companies house, you can add your company details manually here.

Complete the company information and confirm that you are authorised to sign on behalf of the company. If you require a second signatory for your company, please add the details here, and finally, confirm that you wish to sign up.

You will be taken to the summary screen that will display the information that you have entered, and you can amend details as necessary from here. Once you are sure your details are correct, submit the form.

You will now be directed to your pension account, and the Participation Agreement will be generated for your signature in a matter of seconds. Click to sign this, and type your name in the field.

Once you have signed the Participation Agreement, you will be directed back to the home page of your Smart Pension portal, and you can begin to set up your company auto enrolment pension. Our other video guides can help you with this process should you require further asisstance.

2. Prepare Your PAPDIS 1.0 CSV File For Upload

Prepare Your PAPDIS 1.0 CSV File For Upload Video Transcript

To upload pension contributions that have been calculated by your payroll software, we use the PAPDIS standard file. You can submit contributions and employee details to us in this way using a CSV file from a report generated within your payroll application. PAPDIS is a standard that was developed by a group of payroll and pension providers so it is likely that your payroll application can already produce the PAPDIS 1.0 csv file. If not you can download an example PAPDIS file here and use this to create your own PAPDIS file. Even if your payroll does produce the PAPDIS file, it may be worth checking all the fields generated correctly. Full help details are given in the knowledge bank area.

  • Ensure that you have copied the header names exactly.
  • The pension provider ID is 'smartpension' all one word and lowercase.
  • Employer ID is your Smart Pension company ID - just the number do not include the word 'smart'. You can find this number by looking in your account under your company and key information.
  • Group is a required field. You can create different contribution groups e.g. manager and sales e.t.c. within your Smart Pension account but if you don't want to use groups then just add the word default in lower case to this field for each employee.
  • If you have existing employees set up in your Smart Pension account - update their employee profile with the payroll reference before you upload the PAPDIS file.
  • Employee ID is your unique internal reference for your employees usually known as a payroll or staff number. This has to be unique to avoid creating duplicate records.
  • Set your pay period start and end date.
  • Include assessment results and employee letters will be generated and you could submit opt-out or employee leave date as part of the same file.

Assessment codes and event codes are numeric values that are produced by a payroll application. If your payroll application does not provide these codes they may have to be added manually. A blank field will not be accepted if there are contributions for the employee:

  • 1 is for an eligible jobholder.
  • 2 for eligible jobholder.
  • 3 is entitled worker.
  • And for the event code:
  • 1 for auto-enrolment
  • 2 for an opt-in
  • 3 for a voluntary joiner
  • 4 for a contracted enrolment
  • 0 for a non enrolment event

For the employer and employee contributions field this must either be blank or it must be a positive percentage value. A 0 in this field will cause this record to be rejected. For the standard pension this will be 1 and 1 but could be blank for the employee and 2 for the employer, or it could also a higher figure for each. Once uploaded you can edit or delete records if you have made a mistake. Pension contributions are locked on the fifth of the month so this is the deadline for making any changes.

3. Pension Contribution Calculations In The Smart Pension Platform

Pension Contribution Calculations Video Transcript

This video will guide you through the process of setting up your employees, and uploading the file for the portal to calculate the pension contributions due for auto enrolment.

The action of uploading files will lock your staging date, so please check this before you start. You will also need to set your automatic postponement before uploading an employee file, otherwise you will have to set the postponement for each employee, or for bulk employees separately. Please refer to our guide on postponement for this process.

To set up your employees - from the main Menu, select Scheme Setup, and Employees. Action, and you can choose whether to add an employee manually by completing their details on the form, or if you have multiple employees to create, you can click on Import Employees, and download the template file.

Complete the file with the relevant details for your employees and Save.

Select the file, and upload this back into the portal to create your employee records.

From the main Menu, select Contribution & Payroll, and select the option for the portal to calculate contributions. Action, and then Import contributions….download either the csv file or the excel file as you prefer.

The file will be prepopulated with the current employee details (leavers and opt outs will not be shown on this file.) Complete the gross pay and the payroll frequency columns, and Save.

In the portal, enter the start and end date of your payroll period, select the file, and upload.

The status of your file will be shown, and this will say Ignition while the file upload is pending, which will take a few seconds, and you can either return to your screen later, or refresh your screen until the results of the upload is shown.

Please always check the status of your file to ensure that it has been accepted without error.

The Contributions area of the portal will show all contributions that are due, and you can download the export file for input into your payroll from here.

The amount shown below are the totals, per page, of the contributions that will be taken via direct debit after the 5th of the month.

Please therefore note if you need to delete a file and re-upload, this will have to be done before the 5th of the month before your contribution amount is locked.

4. How To Upload A PAPDIS 1.0 CSV File To The Smart Pension Platform

Upload A PAPDIS 1.0 CSV File Video Transcript

This guide is on how to upload your first PAPDIS file. This is for employers who have already assessed their employees in the payroll and simply wish to upload this information to the portal. If you are wanting the portal to assess your employees and make the calculations for you, you will not be using this process, and will need to refer to a different guide.

The purpose of the PAPDIS file is to create employees records and upload contributions. Please note that the action of uploading the PAPDIS file will also lock your staging date, so before you start, please ensure the staging date on the portal is correct. You don’t need to have already set up employees on your portal before uploading your PAPDIS file, but if you have, please ensure that that they all have their correct payroll numbers (known as external ID/employee ID) according to the payroll that you are using.

If they do not have these identifiers, please edit and amend the employee records so the external ID matches the PAPDIS file that you will be uploading.

If you are using postponement from your staging date we recommend that you upload a file with the postponement end dates for each employee in the first pay period after the staging date – this will allow the welcome letters to be generated, and will give the employee the opportunity to log onto their portal.

If you do not complete the postponement area, email communications will be generated as soon as your staging date has passed, telling you to upload your first contribution file.

To upload the file, from the main page ‘To Do’ List, select to upload contributions, or, go to the Menu screen and select Contribution & Payroll. Select that your payroll has already calculated the contributions, the Actions button, and Import pre-assessed contributions.

Select your prepared PAPDIS file (please refer to our guide to ensure your PAPDIS file has been formatted correctly) and click upload.

The status of your file will be shown; this will say Ignition while the file upload is pending, which will take a few seconds, and you can either return to the screen later, or refresh your screen until the result of the upload is shown. Please always check the status of the file to ensure your complete file has been accepted.

In this case, the uploaded has failed, as the employee post code is not correct. Correct the file, upload again, until you have a status of Success. Please note that a status of Partial success will need further investigation as some or all of the contributions have not uploaded, and the file format may need correction.

Once you have a successful file, the following fields will be generated.

From the help Menu, go to the Contributions area. All files uploaded within the period will add to the amount due and will be displayed on each page. On the 5th of the month, the amounts shown will be processed and this amount will be taken via direct debit. Please therefore note that if you need to delete a file and re-upload, this will have to be done before the 5th of the month before your contribution amount is locked.

5. Postponement In The Smart Pension Platform

Postponement Video Transcript

This is a guide to using postponement in the Smart portal. If you are calculating contributions in your payroll and uploading the results in a PAPDIS file, you can simply enter the postponement end date in your PAPDIS file, and the employee will be postponed until then.

If you are not managing postponement via your PAPDIS file, or are using the portal to calculate your postponement, you will have to set up the postponement in the portal. From the main Menu, select Scheme Setup, and choose the type of postponement you want to set up.

Automatic postponement needs to be set before you upload your employee data. Select the postponement period of your choice; this will be applied to all employees - both existing employees at your staging date and to new starters who will be postponed from their starting date.

If you have either already entered employee data, or wish to apply separate postponement rules for individual employees, you will enter this area: Actions button, and then select Bulk create postponements. From this screen, you can choose individual employees, or apply the rule to all employees.

Input your chosen deferral date, and select create.

Once you have created your postponement, the details for each employee will be show in the postponement area.

6. How To Upload Proof Of ID

Uploading Proof of ID Transcript

Your proof of ID can only be a valid, current British driver's licence or passport.

If you do not possess either of these items, please contact the support team who will try to assist you in using other documentation as proof of ID.

Please have a copy of your ID ready to upload. This must be a jpeg, png, or GIF format and must contain the ID without any extra white spaces. A photocopy or pdf of your ID will not be accepted.

Perhaps the easiest way to ensure the format is correct is to take a photograph of your ID with a smart phone, crop it to remove extra white spaces and email this to your computer.

You can of course also access the website from your smart phone and upload directly this way.

Once you have your proof of ID in the correct format, to upload your proof of ID, from the main page go proof of ID, click on the blue New button, and select the type of ID.

Click on Document to select the ID document, then select Update.

Crop and rotate if necessary so the ID sits within the correct area and Update.

Enter your details onto the form exactly as they appear on the passport or driver's licence and Update again.

The verification process will take a few minutes to update so you might want to move away from the screen and complete other tasks during this time.

If an error has been detected, you will see the following message.

In this case the proof of ID has been rejected as all the fields are unreadable but it could be a discrepancy between the details on th ID and the details manually entered.

Fix the errors and repeat the process again.

Once your proof of ID has been successful, this will be indicated and the tick box on your To Do List will turn green.

This task has now been completed.

7. How To Submit Your Declaration Of Compliance

Submitting Your Declaration Of Compliance Transcript

The Pensions Regulator requires that you complete a Declaration of Compliance, to ensure that you are fulfilling your duties as an employer, for your workers. You can start your declaration as soon as you like, but it cannot be completed until you have assessed your employees and know how many have been enrolled into the pension scheme. Therefore, if you are using postponement, you cannot complete the declaration until you are out of your postponement period. If you have not used postponement, you can complete the declaration as soon as you have uploaded the first file after your staging date. The declaration MUST be done within 5 months of your original staging date, and you can access The Pension Regulator website here.

Before you start, you will need to collect the necessary information. The Pensions Regulator provides a checklist of all the information that they require for your declaration, and this checklist can be downloaded here.

The first area of the checklist details how to set up a government gateway User ID if you don’t already have one. You will also need your unique 10-digit number shown at the top of each automatic enrolment letter you have received from The Pensions Regulator.

Complete the first areas of the form with your company details.

The Type of Scheme is - Occupational Pension, and the Scheme Category is - Defined Contribution Scheme. Your EPSR and the PSR can be found on the main page of your Smart Pension portal here.

If you have used postponement, you will need to enter the last day of the postponement period. You will now need to gather the employee information.

The total number* of staff employed on your staging date – this is everyone on your payroll on the date, regardless of whether they have been enrolled into the pension scheme or not. As is it possible to upload a file into the pension portal that contains only eligible employees, you should get this figure from your payroll, as it must include every employee.

The number* of staff you had to put into a pension scheme – this is everyone who was enrolled on the staging date, or in other words, all the employees who have had a contribution taken. You can get this information either from a payroll report, or by going to the contributions area of the portal , and downloading the relevant report. In this case, all six employees details have been uploaded into the portal, but only five employees have been enrolled and have a contribution, so we need to enter the figure 5 here.

Enter the number* of staff who were already members of a pension scheme (on your staging date), and for the next question, ‘Are you using the defined benefit transitional period?’ – this is unlikely to apply to you, but if it does apply, you should know about it already.

The number* of staff who do not fall into the above categories– Our example figures are for a payroll of 6 people. 5 were enrolled into the pension scheme on the staging date, no employees were already in a pension scheme, so the number of staff who do not fall into the above categories is one.

Once you have all your information to hand, you can enter The Pensions Regulator site here and complete the form. Once you have submitted the form, you will receive within a few days, confirmation from The Pensions Regulator that your declaration has been done.

Request A Video Or Book A Demo

Can't find the demonstration video you are looking for? Or would you rather have a member of our friendly support team contact you at a convenient time and go through the demonstration with you step by step? If so, please let us know simply by completing the short form below.

In the meantime, we will continue to add new and updated demonstration videos to this page. Please be sure to come back for more helpful videos that will assist you in your day to day auto enrolment duties.

Get Started Now

Get compliant in minutes.