The role of Application Programme Interfaces - APIs

20 March 2019

For many years payroll and pensions have co-existed but without any significant integration – simply because there was no need.

The introduction of auto-enrolment in 2012 changed this, with millions of workers being brought into the pension system for the very first time.

Payroll professionals play a huge role in delivering accurate pension contribution data, ensuring that both employers and employees pay the right contributions every pay period. The only way to do this effectively initially was via CSV data transfer files, which required the employer or their agent to make manual uploads to the pension provider’s portal.

Then APIs came along. These can be built into payroll software so that the transfer of pensions data happens in the background as part of the process of running the payroll.

The advantages of using APIs

You can use APIs to send information to the pension provider, such as new member and contribution data. You can also use them to collect data from the pension provider, such as details of opt-outs, cessations and the status of contribution schedules.

Engaging fully with this process will mean that new member and contribution data is transferred directly from payroll, helping to ensure that the pension records are accurate. As a result, the process will often be much faster and easier for the employer, meaning you spend less time managing the pension scheme data.

Do you currently use APIs to send data to the pension providers your clients have chosen? If not start by asking your payroll software provider if they support APIs, and if so for which pension providers.

APIs at Nest

Nest has nine different APIs that payroll software developers can build access to in their software. Nest don’t charge to make use of this facility.

For more on this topic, listen to Nest’s John Hale discuss the benefits of using APIs in this recent webinar.