The importance of accurate communication between financial advisors and payroll


In this hypothetical scenario, a financial advisor is setting up a NEST pension scheme and then handing over day to day administration to the payroll team.

When the advisor is consulting with the employer they will make a number of decisions such as what basis of earnings will be used to calculate pension contributions, what percentage the employer will contribute and whether the employer will delay entry into the scheme. It is obviously crucial that this is clearly communicated to the person running the payroll so that they can deduct the correct contributions at the correct time.

There is however some less obvious information that needs to be communicated, when the advisor sets up a payment method they will assign a name to that method within the scheme set up. Let’s say for example that they name it “Bank Current”, When the person running the payroll needs to generate the csv file to send to the pension provider, they will need to enter this reference exactly as it was entered when the scheme was set up or the upload will fail. The same is also true of employee groups.

Whilst this example is NEST specific, these extra field types are common in most schemes. You can see therefore that for Auto-enrolment to run smoothly, advisors must be a good understanding of the whole process and not just the section they are advising on.


About Author

Matt Portt

Matt Portt is a chartered certified accountant and the owner of Portt Payroll & Bookkeeping. He started preparing his client’s for auto-enrolment in 2013 and has been working with it ever since. Matt’s particular area of expertise lies in the assessment and data exchange areas of auto-enrolment but he also has a very good knowledge of all factors affecting small businesses. Matt can be contacted on or visit

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