Pensions Guide - Smart Pension

Smart Pension, with website address, is one of the pension providers you can choose to meet your workplace pension duties.

The easiest way to send information to Smart Pension is using their API, as explained below. You can also upload PAPDIS CSV files to Smart Pension if you prefer. We don't charge extra for this or any other pension features.

Signing up with Smart Pension

When you sign up for Smart Pension on their website, please remember to:

  1. Note down the 'Company ID' as you will need it later.
  2. Find the 'API key'. This is like a long password, so be careful who sees it.

You don't need to type employee details into Smart Pension as they can be added through the API. If you do add them, ensure the external IDs do not start with zeros, as this can cause Smart Pension to reject your data.

Smart Pension 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 Smart Pension

Ensure every employee has a 'Start Date' on their 'Tax Details' tab and check they have an address and a unique 'Employee Ref No' on their 'Personal Details' tab.

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: 'Smart Pension API'.
    • Provider Reference: leave blank.
    • Employer Reference: enter your 'Company ID', as given by Smart Pension.
    • Payment Source: leave blank.
    • User Name: leave blank.
    • API Key: the key given by Smart Pension.
  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 'Occupational Pension Contribution (Net Pay Arrangement)'.
    • Click 'Add Pension Contribution'.
    • Set the 'Pensionable Pay' and 'Contribution' columns.
    • Click 'Save Changes'.

Note: Don't choose 'Minimum Pension for Automatic Enrolment' as it has the wrong type of tax relief for Smart Pension.

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, 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 Smart Pension

To send your data directly to the Smart Pension API:

  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 'Send'.
  6. After some time, Smart Pension should accept the data.
  7. If anyone joins or leaves the pension, you will see a 'Mark as Done' button, which you should click to update the membership information.

Note: You can also transfer data to Smart Pension by downloading a PAPDIS CSV file.