Entering Contributions - File Upload

When submitting your employee payroll contributions, you have three options for entering that information: 

This article will review how to submit contributions by uploading a file to the Employer Contributions Portal. 

If you have many employees OR are downloading a contribution file from your payroll system, uploading a file may be the best approach. 

When submitting your contributions, you may choose to upload your own Excel file from your computer OR download the pre-populated default template in the upper right-hand corner of the grid to populate contributions and loan payments. 



Sample Download

The below template will download to your computer after selecting "Download" in the upper right corner of the grid. The Template already includes the proper headers and formatting required to upload and process contributions easily. 


Formatting Your Contribution File:

If you use the Download feature, you will receive a Microsoft Excel file formatted with all the required and optional column headers. It will be pre-populated with participant names, social security numbers, and other demographic information.

Then, update the file with the other contribution details before uploading it into the portal.  

If you are using your own contribution Excel file from some other source, please consider these requirements for the best experience: 

  • Your file must be in Excel or CSV format.
  •  Your file is required to have columns that contain:
    • Social Security Number (SSN) - Formatted with or without dashes.
    • First Name - First and Last must be in two separate columns.
    • Last Name - First and Last must be in two separate columns.
    • Include the appropriate contribution columns for your plan (Pre-Tax, After-Tax, Safe Harbor, Employer Discretionary, etc.)
  • If the saver(employee) contributes or repays a loan, this amount must also be in its column. Please take a look at this article for more information about what column headers to use.
  • Column header names don't need to be an exact match.  Vestwell will recognize a wide variety of nomenclature.  If your column heading is not identified, you'll be asked to map it during uploading.
  • If you have other columns on your payroll file, that’s okay; those will be ignored in the upload process.  Just be sure to include the required columns noted above.
  • Missing information or other errors will restrict you from continuing until all are corrected.  You'll be prompted to make corrections in the contribution grid in the portal. 

Once your file is formatted correctly, you are ready to begin:

  • Click on “Upload Payroll File.”
  • Select the appropriate file from your device’s File Manager or Finder.


  • If all required columns aren't recognized, you will be asked to map a column from your file to Vestwell's required headers.
  • Click the drop-down to select from the available columns.  
  • Click on the link to see how all columns were matched.


  • Uploading can take several seconds; please be patient.
  • Once uploaded, the system will verify that all required data was included in the file.  
  • You can sort any column on the contribution grid by clicking on that column header (please see the image below). After you enter the contribution values, click on the column header, and you will see an arrow up or down. Click again on the same column header to change the direction of the sorting. This feature applies to all column headers. 


  • The columns will be sorted by:
    • Greatest value to least value.
    • Least value to greatest value.

Once complete, review the contribution totals summarized at the bottom of the screen

  • To continue, please click on the blue “Send & Validate” button. 
  • Please Note: if the button is still gray, there may be missing or invalid information.


  • If errors exist in the uploaded data, the problematic fields will be highlighted in red. During this step, errors are based on missing or poorly formatted data and unrecognized participants. 
  • If your file contains any unrecognized participants, you will have the option to add them during this step. Click here to learn how to add new participants during the contribution process. 
  • You can only proceed to the next step once all red boxes are resolved. Click on each red box to learn how to proceed. You will have the option to resolve the issue or exclude the row in order to proceed. Note the error counter next to the download button. Make sure your error count is at 0 to proceed. 


Review Submission

On the Review Submission page, you will have the opportunity to take several actions.

  1. "Edit Submission" = Go back and make further edits to the submission.
  2. "Cancel" = Delete the submission and start over.
  3. "Complete Submission" = Fully submit the contributions.


If you do not need to make any edits to the contributions and are ready to submit, select 'Complete Submission.' The following screen will pop up to confirm that you have successfully submitted the contributions for further processing.


Click the "Back to Transaction" button, and you will be returned to the Contribution Dashboard.

Additional Formatting Tips for your File Upload:

  1. The file should include one row for every employee at your company who has been paid in the current year. You can remove terminated employees, but make sure you submit them with a 'Date of Termination' at least once so we may update our records accordingly.
  2. To save time on the next submission, save the file on your computer in an easily accessible place. You can simply open it up during your next submission, make any necessary changes, and upload it.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at clientsuccess@vestwell.com.