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Materials for Payroll Providers

Sending files to Illinois Secure Choice

When your clients registers with Illinois Secure Choice and adds you as their payroll provider, they’ll choose one of two options, depending on how you plan to submit files to the program. As a first step, it is important to discuss with your client how you will process their files before they add you to their Illinois Secure Choice payroll provider portal.

Use this Payroll Provider Guide as a reference to your roles and responsibilities.

1. Submit files via FTP

Once your client adds you as an FTP payroll provider, you will receive your FTP login and connection instructions via email. You will be asked to create and send payroll files to Illinois Secure Choice program on behalf of that employer.

2. Submit files online at

Once your client adds you as a payroll provider, you will receive an access code to allow you to enter the payroll provider portal at Once inside the portal, you will be prompted to upload payroll files through the portal.

Acceptable file formats

Use our payroll file naming standards to help ensure a successful upload.

File formats for Adding Employees Sending Contributions
Microsoft® Excel®

AscensusX Resources

A simple file format that eliminates the combination (concatenation) of fields and offers some optional extra data fields such as status.

Adding Employees Sending Contributions


A CSV (comma-separated values) file that can be created from an Excel spreadsheet

Adding Employees Sending Contributions

A8 Resources

A simple file format the requires adding together (concatenating) fields such as first name and last name so they appear together. An example of this is Smith, John in one field rather than two separate fields.

Adding Employees Sending Contributions


A more complex industry standard format that is typically only used by employers and payroll providers who are already familiar with it and using it for other purposes.

Sending Contributions

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1The Employee Information Template for FTP and the Employee Contribution Information Template for FTP referenced above are independent templates and are not affiliated with, nor have they been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation.