Materials for Payroll Providers

Payroll Provider Guide

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

Acceptable file formats:

File formats for Adding employees Sending contributions

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

Sending files to Illinois Secure Choice

Employers who have registered with Illinois Secure Choice and who plan to add you as their payroll provider can do so in one of two ways, 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.

1. Submit files via FTP

Once your employer 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 employer 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.


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


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.


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


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.


Have questions? Contact us:

For additional assistance, you can contact us via email at or by phone at 1-855-321-9555 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET.