How Do I Submit a Year-End Census?
To submit the year-end census to Vestwell, you will have two choices:
Option 1 - Review & Approve Pre-populated Census
When you click Submit Year-End Census, you will automatically be brought to the pre-populated census grid. The grid will be pre-populated with your current active employees, plus any employee who has terminated in the current plan year. Make sure to scroll to the right to see all the pre-populated columns. Within this grid, you can review the census information, add any missing information, and edit existing information.
- You will not be able to remove any employees that are already on the census grid
- The Eligible Compensation column is intentionally left blank; please see the Year-End Census - Data Guide to see what this means and if it applies to your plan
- The census grid is based on the payroll records submitted to Vestwell throughout the year. Our information is only as good as the information provided to us, it is important that you review it thoroughly!
- Once you click, Send & Validate, you may be asked to validate any missing or conflicting information
Option 2 - Upload Your Own Census
If you prefer to upload your own year-end census, click "I prefer to upload my own census" in the lower right-hand corner of the pre-populated census grid page. You will be brought to the "Upload Year-End Census page;" from here, you will be able to upload a year-end census. You can either use the Template census provided on the "Upload Year-End Census" page or upload your own. If you choose to upload your own, please ensure it contains all column headers noted in the Year-End Census - Data Guide.
- Where do I get a year-end census?
- The report from my payroll system does not include all of the required data items; what should I do?
- I'm not sure what data to put into each column or what format to put it in?
- What time period should the data on the year-end census cover?
- Who should be included in the year-end census?
- Which compensation should I use?
- I have a payroll that spans two plan years; what should I do?
- I uploaded my year-end census, but I cannot submit it. What is the problem?
Where do I get a year-end census?
You should be able to export a year-end census report from your payroll provider. Alternatively, you can use the template provided on the "Upload Year-End Census" page.
- Please note, if you converted to Vestwell during the year, you must upload your own census.
- In most cases, you should be able to export all or most of the required data as a report from your payroll system. The right-hand side of the census upload page shows all required data items. Check out the Year-End Census - Data Guide for more information on the required data items.
The report from my payroll system does not include all of the required data items; what should I do?
In that situation, you may have to add the data to the report yourself, either copying and pasting it from a separate file or report or by typing it in manually.
I'm not sure what data to put into each column or what format to put it in?
Check out the Year-End Census - Data Guide in the Help Center. It has a list of all the possible data items you may be asked to include, an explanation of what they are, and the format they are required to be in.
What time period should the data on the year-end census cover?
For the 2021 plan year, you should provide data for 1/1/21-12/31/21. The exception is for the "Prior Year Gross Compensation" column, which should cover the total gross salary earned from 1/1/20-12/31/20. If your plan is an off-calendar year or not a December 31 year-end, the data should still be in the same 12-month range (for example, 6/1/21-5/31/21.)
Who should be included on the year-end census?
All employees that received wages during the plan year must be included.
Which compensation should I use?
Generally, provide the compensation found in Box 1 of the W-2, adding back any deferrals of pay (pre-tax 401(k), cafeteria plan deductions, etc.). However, your plan document defines the type of compensation and if there are any exclusions to account for. You may refer to your plan document for this or email us at email@example.com.
I have a payroll that spans two plan years; what should I do?
Only include compensation that was actually paid during the plan year and is on the W-2 for that year. For example, if you have a payroll period that spans 2 years (12/27/21-1/07/22), only the compensation paid in the 2021 year should be included.
I uploaded my year-end census, but I cannot submit it. What is the problem?
The most likely issue is that the required data item either was not included or was not recognized. There are three things you can do to troubleshoot this:
- Double-check that the required data item is included in your year-end census in the correct format. Missing data items will have an error indicator next to them on the census upload page.
- If the data item is in your file, we might not be able to recognize it. Instead, try changing the name of the column in your file so that it exactly matches the data item that appears as missing in the list of data items on the right side of the census upload page. For example, if your file includes a column titled "Social," where you have included your employees' social security numbers, try changing it to "SSN" and uploading your census again.
- If this does not resolve the issue, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for support.