i-Connect

We have and will continue to see in the near future a rapid and significant increase in the number and type of different fund employers.

At the same time there are more complex demands on accurate and regular data updates as a result of the new career average scheme and increasing scrutiny on the accuracy of data by the pensions regulator. As a result we have taken the decision that all employers should submit monthly member data through a data portal known as i-Connect.

For any non-participating employers, there will be an administrative charge for the resources needed to administer active members of the fund outside of the i-Connect process. The cost is likely to be in the range £1,932.00 pa to £32,908.00 pa, depending upon the number of members involved. 

i-Connect is part of Aquila Heywood group who provide the pensions administration system 'Altair' currently used by the fund to administer the Local Government Pension Scheme.

5 steps to using i-Connect

Employers will be required to progress through the 5 main stages involved in the i-Connect implementation journey. Before embarking on the journey, employers should consider the timescale and resource required for completing each stage as it will not be possible to progress to the next stage until the current stage has been completed.

The 5 main stages are as follows:

  1. Contact with SPF
     
    Telephone or email details so that the Technical team can provide the correct specification documents and templates required.
     
  2. Payroll Extract
     
    Liaise with your payroll provider to produce a csv payroll extract in line with the I-Connect specification document (see below).
     
    Please note: You will not be able to proceed to stage 3 until a working test extract has been received.
     
  3. Send extract to SPF
     
    Once SPF receive payroll extract we can perform necessary validation and formatting checks to ensure any potential errors are highlighted back to you.
     
    Please note: - This process is repeated and you will not be able to proceed to stage 4 until the extract contains no errors.

  4. Member match records and create links
     
    SPF will create links between the data submitted and records held in Altair. Records are matched using 5 primary fields:

    NI Number
    Payroll Reference
    Surname
    DOB
    Gender

  5. Go Live
     
    Staffordshire Pension Fund to provide any necessary online or on-site training.

    SPF to create roles for employers to transmit their own data.

At this stage it may be necessary to liaise with you over any matching queries that arise. It may be possible for Staffordshire Pension Services to assist with the completion of this stage.

Product information

Information leaflets on the i-Connect system are provided below:

i-Connect requires employers to provide a payroll .csv extract file every month to be uploaded to the i-Connect data portal. The technical specification for this file is provided below.

Multiple employer payroll site

We recommend this file is used as it allows for the future addition of new payrolls:

Staffordshire Pension Fund will require data to be submitted in the fields identified in the following file layout:

Single employer payroll site:

Staffordshire Pension Fund will require data to be submitted in the fields identified in the following file layout:

Clarification on data that should be captured for each relevant field can be found in the Local Government Association (LGA) payroll guide below.

Payroll Software currently used by our employers to submit i-Connect files
 Payroll Software                         Type of submission                    
 Midland HR I-Trent  Payroll extract CSV
 SAP  Payroll extract CSV
 Origin  MPP Payroll extract CSV
 Mitrefinch Flexipay  MPP Payroll extract CSV

If you use any of this payroll software, we will be happy to put you in touch with another employer within the Fund who uses it as well.

Frequently asked questions

The link below provides access to a list of frequently asked questions together with our responses, raised by employers/payroll providers in relation to the i-Connect 'on-boarding' process.