Canada Savings Bonds

CSBOS Contribution Update File

Find information about using the CSBOS Contribution Update File. Watch a quick video on the CSBOS Contribution Update File to learn more about the contents of the file, how to download it from PRC, and when to update your pay records.

Record Layouts

The file has your employees’ transaction data, and is available in two different record layouts. Each file contains the same information but is displayed differently. These are:

CSBOS Contribution Update File – Split Layout:

  • Each employee’s total contribution amount (CSBs and RSPs) is divided on two lines: one for CSBs and one for RSPs.
  • If your organization is participating in The Canada RSP option and are using two transmission codes for regular CSB plan and RSP plans (30/40), the ASCII and Excel files will hold an extra field indicating whether an employee’s contribution is going towards regular CSB plan or an RSP plan, bringing the total number of fields inside the text file to 12.
  • If one of your employees participates in both plans, there will be two records (lines) for that specific employee, one record indicating the CSB contribution, the other indicating the RSP contribution.

CSBOS Contribution Update File – Combined Layout:

  • Use this file if your organization does not offer the RSP option.
  • Each employee’s total contribution amount (CSBs in non-registered accounts and CSBs in The Canada RSP (if applicable) are combined in one field.
  • The ASCII and Excel files have one line (record) for each employee (i.e., carriage return and line feed combination denotes end of a record).
  • Each employee record contains 11 fields (pieces of information).
  • In the ASCII file a tab character separates each field, (i.e., a tab denotes the end of a field).
  • If a field is blank, the file will contain only a tab to represent that field.
  • The fields are not fixed length, have no padding, and do not contain leading spaces or trailing blanks.

You must download only ONE of these two files to synchronize employees’ transactions after the last pay in November and update your organization’s payroll system so that the correct amounts are deducted from the employee’s pay. It is the only secure way to transfer this sensitive information. For security reasons, you can attempt to download your file only five times. After five attempts, you must contact the Payroll Savings Program Customer Service.

It is essential that you have these updates in time to implement them before the first pay in December.

The fields of each record (in order from left to right) are as indicated below:

Field Name


Employee ID

The unique identifier provided by the employer (often the employee’s payroll number) – maximum of 20 characters

First Name

Maximum of 15 characters

Middle Name

Maximum of 15 characters

Last Name

Maximum of 30 characters


9 numeric characters – no separators

Date of Birth

10 characters in the format “yyyy-mm-dd”

Home Phone #

10 numeric characters – no separators

Office Phone #

10 numeric characters – no separators

Language Preference

Single character – “E” for English or “F” for French


The amount to be deducted from each pay. The amount will always be positive, contain a decimal point and two digits to its right. No separators.  


This field will contain the word “Add” to denote an employee participating in the program for the first time, or “Change” to denote that a participating employee has a revised deduction amount.


This field will contain the word “CSB” to denote a contribution towards a regular CSB plan, or “RSP” to denote a contribution towards an RSP plan.

This field is present in the text file only if:

  • you downloaded the split file format; and
  • if your organization is participating in the RSP option and would like to differentiate between regular CSB plan contributions and RSP plan contributions.

Registration Type

The action words “ADD” or “CHANGE” appearing in the CSBOS Contribution Update File refer to the employee’s registration type. For example, if the employee is registered as:

  • a “new” participant to the Payroll Savings Program, then the file will show the employee’s total deduction amount for confirmed transactions as “ADD”; or a
  • an “existing” participant to the Payroll Savings Program, then the file will show the employee’s total deduction amount for confirmed transactions as “CHANGE”.

If an employee has registered more than once under your Organization ID, then your file will contain a record line for each of the employee’s individual contributions.

File Format

Employers may use the CSBOS Contribution Update File to load the payroll deduction data to the employer’s payroll system (ASCII format to use for automated payroll processing), either by writing a small program to read each field of each record in the file and update the payroll system, or by printing the file and manually entering the data. It is the responsibility of each employer to ensure that the correct deductions are made.

Each CSBOS Contribution Update File (Combined or Split) is provided in your choice of:  a)  ASCII tab delimited text file (zipped archive); or b) Microsoft Excel format available for downloading from the secure website. The filename will be: YYYY_OrgID.txt, YYYY_OrgID.xls where YYYY is the year and OrgID is the Organization Identification number allocated to each participating employer (e.g., 2015_99999.txt). Both files are plain text and not encrypted. Use Microsoft Excel to print the spreadsheet file (e.g., for manual input to a payroll system). However, the formatting is best preserved by using a simple text editor such as Microsoft Notepad for the text file (found in the “Accessories” folder in most operating systems).

Employers with large numbers of participating employees may wish to write a small program to import the data in the text file to their payroll systems. It is the responsibility of each participating employer to test and otherwise ensure the accuracy of any software import program used.

Download Requirements

  • Prior to the campaign, you should test your system’s ability to download the file by clicking on Test the Download Function for your CSBOS Contribution Update File. Make sure that the settings on your computer allow you to:
    • Received compressed (ZIP) files;
    • Allow pop-up windows;
    • Recognize the Payroll Resource Centre (PRC) as a trusted site.

    Remember: your file contains new contributions as well as contribution changes to existing plans.

  • If you are responsible for more than one organization, download the file for each one.