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Manage contributions

How do I fix errors in my contribution file?

If you're submitting contribution details by SFTP you'll get a message telling you your file has errors after we've processed it.

The easiest way to fix a small numbers of errors is to fix them manually online. You can also correct these errors by correcting the error file we send you or by fixing your original file. You can then send these files to us by file transfer or by file upload.

If there were problems with the contribution schedule file you sent to us we'll send a message to your secure NEST inbox. If you've chosen to receive return files we'll also tell you what the errors are by sending you two types of file. You'll need to log into the NEST file gateway using your SFTP client to collect them. The return files will be in the 'CS mailbox folder'.

  • Unsuccessful contributions file – this contains the records that failed member recognition or member data validation; they'll be in the same format you sent them. This covers file transfer, file upload and manual entry online.
  • Contributions error log file – this explains why any member records in a specific file sent by SFTP were invalid or resulted in an error. This includes entries that failed member recognition or member data validation.

The files can either be XML or CSV, depending on your preference. These will be ready to collect the day after processing is complete. The files are only produced if you chose the option of collecting return files in your NEST online account in the 'Manage secure file transfer' area. If you haven't chosen to collect return files you'll need to take the next steps using the secure area of our website.

The unsuccessful contributions file allows you to correct errors and invalid records then resubmit the file to NEST. Please see the Employer payroll guide (PDF) and NEST file tester (ZIP) for more detail on file formats.

The file only contains records for members that failed member recognition or member data validation following the submission of a contribution schedule file. It will also contain errors of any member records you’ve uploaded in a file to the secure area of our website. The details won't have been altered in any way from the original file or files you submitted.

As an alternative to correcting and uploading the unsuccessful contributions file, you can choose to submit a new file containing your corrections.

You can also choose to fix the errors by manually entering the changes online or by uploading a file through the secure area of our website. You'll need to fix errors in this way if you haven't chosen to collect return files.

The contributions error log is found in the 'file upload history' section of the Manage your contribution schedules area of your NEST home page. It lists all the errors for each member in files submitted on the previous day. You can use it to help you correct the member records you sent.

Go to 'Manage contributions' from your NEST home page. Click 'File upload history'.


This list will show you all the successful or unsuccessful contributions files you've uploaded or transferred. You'll be able to download the error log and file and view the errors online to help you correct the file before uploading it again.

Only unsuccessful files will give you the options to view the errors.

The unsuccessful contributions file could give you a quick way to correct the records with errors.

Alternatively you can correct the errors by updating the records online, one member at a time or you could fix your original file and upload it again. The system will recognise this and won't create duplicate entries. You can find more information on using 'File upload history' to correct any errors in How do I use ‘File upload history’ to correct errors?

Once you've made your corrections and we've validated them you're then ready to approve your contribution schedule for payment. You can submit your schedule for payment using your SFTP client or by manually clicking 'Make payment' online.

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