Using the Default Contributions Upload Template

This guide will describe how to use the default contributions upload template to submit contributions to your retirement plan.

What is the default contributions upload template?

The default contributions upload template is a spreadsheet-based template that allows you to upload your contribution information into the contributions tool for processing.  Essentially, it is a set of standard column headings that our system will automatically recognize when you upload your file.  The order in which the columns appear is not important, only that you use the recommended column headings.

What column headings should I be using?

The following column headings should be used for proper processing.

  • SSN -  is the social security number of each employee.  Required.

  • First Name - the first name of the employee.

  • Last Name - last name of the employee.

  • Date of Birth - birth date of the employee.
  • Pre-Tax Contribution - the amount withheld from the employee’s paycheck for pre-tax retirement contributions.

  • Roth Contribution - the amount withheld from the employee’s paycheck for Roth retirement contributions.

    • Catch-Up Contributions - Although there is no column for catch-up pre-tax nor catch-up Roth contributions, Vestwell can accept catch-up contributions as part of existing Roth and pre-tax brackets.
  • Employer Mandatory Contribution (Safe Harbor) - an employer contribution in either a mandatory matching amount or a mandatory non-elective amount based on a predetermined formula within the plan’s rules.

  • Profit-Sharing Contribution - used if your company contributes profit-sharing funds to your employees’ retirement accounts. This column will be included in your template and Grid view if your plan has Profit-sharing.

  • Loan Repayment - the amount an employee contributes to repay an outstanding loan from their retirement account. (If the employee has multiple loans, this should be the aggregate of all loan payments) If your plan has loan payments, this column will be included on your template and Grid view.

  • Period Hours Worked - number of hours worked by the employee in this pay cycle.

  • Period Gross Pay - the gross amount of pay earned by the employee in this pay cycle.  (For off-cycle payments, please only include the supplemental payment amount)
  • Date of Hire - the date the employee was initially hired. (If the Date of Hire is later than the Date of Termination, we will treat this as a rehire. However, if your payroll system allows, it is best to report the Date of Rehire separately so that we will have both the original hire date and the rehire date)

  • Date of Termination - date that the employee was terminated. (If an employee has been rehired and subsequently terminated again, provide the most recent Date of Termination)

  • Date of Rehire - the date the employee was hired if they were employed by the company previously. (If an employee is rehired and subsequently terminated, the Date of Rehire should be left blank. If an employee has been rehired multiple times, provide the most recent Date of Rehire).

  • Phone Number - phone number of the employee.

  • Address Line 1 - Employee's street address.

  • Address Line 2 - additional street address data for the employee.

  • City - city of the employee’s address.

  • State - state of the employee’s address.

  • Postal Code - Use the postal code for the employee’s address.

  • Work Email - the work email of the employee.
  • External Payroll ID - If used by your payroll provider. 

Formatting Tips:

  • Social Security Numbers - the tool will accept the number with or without dashes.

  • Numbers - the tool will accept commas and $, so there is no need to remove them

  • Dates - are accepted in almost any format, such as mm/dd/yyyy, m/d/yyyy, m/d/yy, yyyymmdd, etc.

  • Phone Numbers  - the tool will accept values with or without parentheses and dashes

  • Names - first name and last name must be in separate columns

So that seems like a lot of columns; how do we go about creating this file?

To streamline the creation of this file, we have included a template under the main contributions page, you can access this by selecting the 'Download' option, the template will already include the column headings in row 1 of the spreadsheet and all employees you have registered in our Vestwell system will populate. Once you have revised and added the necessary data you can save the template as an Excel (*.xls and *xlsx) or CSV (*.csv) file. 



  1. The file should include 1 row for every employee at your company who has been paid in the current year.  You can remove terminated employees, but make sure you submitted them with a Date of Termination at least once, so we know they have been terminated.

  2. To save yourself some time for your next submission, we recommend saving the file on your computer/shared drive in an easily accessible place.  This way, you can simply open it up during your next submission, make any changes/additions, and upload it.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at