45+ Pay Stub Abbreviations and Acronyms Decoding Tips (2024)

Whether you’re an expert or a beginner at paychecks, there’s a lot of jargon and technical terms you need to decipher. A paycheck stub abbreviation is a term or a code written in a payroll. Pay stub abbreviations and acronyms provide employees with a clean and easy-to-read format for their paychecks.

Although plenty of companies have adapted paperless paychecks, some employees still expect pay stubs for recordkeeping and double-checking their earnings. Checks come with acronyms and codes, and some employees might not immediately understand those abbreviated terminologies.

If you have ever read your paycheck and didn’t understand some of the terms, keep reading for a breakdown of what they stand for.

Header Abbreviations and Acronyms

The header of your pay stub contains most of your basic information. However, you might come across some uncommon terms and acronyms. You can learn them below.

  • Check No.: Employees use the check number as a security measure for identifying each payment and for recordkeeping.
  • SSN: SSN stands for Social Security number, and it is a nine-digit number given by the Social Security Administration to applicants. It serves many purposes to employees including tracking income and benefits.
  • EIN: EIN is the acronym for Employee Identification Number, which is a tax code issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Individual state tax systems use EIN for identification and administration purposes.

45+ Pay Stub Abbreviations and Acronyms Decoding Tips (1)

Earning Abbreviations and Acronyms

You will frequently find earning-related abbreviations throughout your pay stub. Although different companies use different abbreviations, you can commonly find the terms below on most paychecks.

  • Add Pay: The pay stub abbreviation for additional pay.
  • BRVMT: Bereavement pay is the payment an employee receives from their company when taking bereavement leave.
  • Cmp Pyot: Compensatory time off is when employers compensate their employees with time off instead of overtime pay. Compensatory time payout is the payment an employee receives when they don't consume their earned compensatory time off.
  • CNT Pay: The pay stub abbreviation for contract payment.
  • FMLA: FMLA is the pay stub acronym of The Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows qualified employees to take an unpaid leave of up to 12 workweeks with health benefits.
  • Gross: Gross pay is the total salary of an employee before the employer subtracts any deductions from the earnings.
  • Hol: Holiday pay is the salary an employer gives to their employees for days taken off work during government-declared holidays.
  • Jury: Jury duty pay is the compensation an employee receives from their employer when they take leave to attend jury service.
  • Misc: Misc is the pay stub abbreviation of miscellaneous pay. It is any earning received by an employee outside of regular wages.
  • Move Rem: Move Rem stands for move reimbursem*nt. When an employee pays for moving expenses from their pocket, their company compensates those expenses with a move reimbursem*nt pay.
  • Net: Net is the pay stub abbreviation for net pay. It is the total amount an employee receives after deductions and contributions are subtracted from the gross pay.

You may be interested: Gross Pay vs Net Pay On Pay Stub - What's The Difference?

45+ Pay Stub Abbreviations and Acronyms Decoding Tips (2)

  • OnCall: On-call pay is the compensation for the time employees spend being available for work outside of regular business hours.
  • [emailprotected]: OT is the pay stub abbreviation for overtime, which is subject to additional overtime pay. The overtime pay is 1.5 times an employee’s hourly pay rate.
  • PTO: PTO is the pay stub acronym for personal time off or paid time off. The employer-provided paid time off pay compensates employees for their sick days, vacations, and other personal leave.
  • Reg Pay: Reg Pay is the abbreviation for regular pay. It is the employee’s wage per hour or the base salary.
  • Severance: When employers remove an employee from a position, the employee will receive severance pay. Severance pay is the pay and benefits employees get as compensation for the termination of their employment.
  • Sick: An employee will receive sick pay from their employer if they are taking time off from work due to a health concern.
  • SignOn: SignOn is the pay stub abbreviation for sign-on bonus pay. It is the one-time payment that employers give to newly signed employees as an incentive.
  • TuiReimb: Tuition reimbursem*nt is a work benefit in which the employer helps in paying for an employee’s education credit through tuition assistance.
  • Vac: Vac is the pay stub abbreviation for vacation pay. It is the compensation an employee receives when taking a paid vacation.
  • YTD: YTD is the pay stub acronym for year-to-date earnings. Year-to-date earning is the accumulative balance an employee has earned throughout the fiscal year.

Tax Deduction Abbreviations and Acronyms

Plenty of withholding tax abbreviations are present on your pay stub. These withholdings usually involve federal, state, and other added taxes. Sometimes you might get confused after encountering unfamiliar terms on your paycheck. Down below, you can find out what is FICA tax and other tax deduction-related terms.

  • FICA–Med & FICA–SS: FICA is the acronym for Federal Insurance Contributions Act, and employees are subject to FICA tax withholding. Through the withholding tax, FICA provides employees with funding and benefits from the Medicare (Med) and Social Security (SS) programs.
  • FED / FWT / FIT / FITW: These pay stub acronyms stand for federal withholding tax or federal income tax. Federal income tax is the tax an employee pays to the IRS.
  • ST / SWT / SIT / SITW: These pay stub acronyms stand for state withholding tax or state income tax. State income tax is the tax an employee directly pays to the state.
  • Local Tax: Local tax is the tax an employee pays to a local government.

45+ Pay Stub Abbreviations and Acronyms Decoding Tips (3)

Before-Tax Deduction Abbreviations and Acronyms

Before-tax deductions are an employee’s payments for the benefits they receive, subtracted directly from their pay stub before the government withholds taxes. The benefits cover dental, health, and other life insurance. Continue reading if you are asking questions regarding before-tax deductions terms such as: what does IRA stand for? Or what are FSA and HSA? Here are some of the before-tax deduction terms you will encounter.

  • 401(k) / Ret & IRA: A 401(k) is a retirement plan that companies typically provide for their employees. On the other hand, IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account. An IRA is a retirement plan set up by employees on their own. Both the 401(k) and the IRA offer tax benefits, and employees can deposit savings to both at the same time.
  • DCR: DCR is the pay stub acronym for dependent care reimbursem*nt. DCR is the reimbursem*nt employees receive from the company for the dependent care expenses they pay for out-of-pocket.
  • Den / Dental: Den is the pay stub abbreviation for dental premium. Dental premium is the rate an employee pays for their dental benefit coverage.
  • FSA: FSA stands for flexible spending account. An FSA is a savings account set up by employers for their employees. FSA grants help in medical expenses as well as other tax advantages to employees.
  • HSA: HSA stands for health saving account. An HSA is a savings account created by the company, and employees use it for healthcare expenses. HSA takes care of the costs the insurance plan doesn’t cover.
  • HCR: HCR is the pay stub acronym for healthcare reimbursem*nt. HCR is a company-funded benefit where employees receive compensation from their employers for their medical-related expenses.
  • INS / MED: INS is the pay stub acronym for insurance or medical insurance deductions. Medical insurance pays for an employee’s medical, surgical, drug, and other health fees.
  • LTD & STD: LTD stands for long-term disability insurance, while STD stands for short-term disability insurance. LTD and STD are insurance policies that aid employees when they are temporarily unavailable to work due to illness or injury. These policies ensure that employees still receive a percentage of their earnings throughout the time they are out of work.
  • VIS / Vision: VIS is the pay stub abbreviation for vision premium. Vision premium is the rate an employee pays for their vision care insurance.

After-Tax Deduction Abbreviations and Acronyms

An after-tax deduction is a payment automatically subtracted to an employee’s pay stub after the government withholds taxes. After-tax deductions include medical expenses, interests, and other losses to casualties. Written below are some abbreviations you might find on your pay stub.

  • Bankrpty: The pay stub abbreviation for bankruptcy.
  • CHD SU: CHD SU stands for child support. Most employees pay for child support through income withholding or deducting a percentage from their paychecks.
  • Garn & Garn%: Garn and Garn% are the abbreviations for garnishment flat rate and garnishment percentage, respectively. Garnishment is when creditors take a specific amount from an employee’s paycheck until their debt to an institution is paid off.
  • StdnLoan: StdnLoan is the pay stub abbreviation for student loans. Employees repay their student loans by having their employer deduct the loan payment from their salary.
  • TX Levy / IRS Levy: TX Levy stands for tax levy. The tax levy is the deduction made by the IRS to an employee’s income for the payment of unpaid taxes.

45+ Pay Stub Abbreviations and Acronyms Decoding Tips (4)


Pay stub abbreviations and acronyms sum up the details of your payroll. Although there are lots of terminologies to decode on your pay stub, understanding them gives you a better idea of where your income goes.

Common pay stub abbreviations can help you in determining the amount of your income, as well as understanding the general contents of your pay stub. Sorting out the meaning of each abbreviation and acronym on your paycheck will save you from confusion and help you catch errors.

We help businesses and individuals create well-organized pay stubs. If you’re interested in creating your own pay stubs, check out our templates here.

45+ Pay Stub Abbreviations and Acronyms Decoding Tips (2024)


What do the abbreviations on my paystub mean? ›

FED, FIT or FITW: Federal income taxes. STATE, SIT or SITW: State income taxes. OASDI, FICA, SS or SOCSEC: Social Security payments. MED: Medicare taxes. FSA or HAS: Flexible spending account or health savings account.

How do you read and interpret pay stubs? ›

Your pay stub contains three main sections: how much you are being paid, the taxes you are paying, and any other deductions that are being made. Pay attention to your gross, year-to-date, and net earnings. The deductions that relate to taxes are generally the most confusing, particularly those related to FICA.

What are the codes on my paystub? ›

Paycheck Stub Deduction Codes – What Do They Mean?
FED / FIT / FITWFederal Income Tax Withheld
STATE / SIT / SITWState in which you earned money
OASDI / FICA / SS / SOCSECSocial security tax
MEDMedicare tax
7 more rows

What is wOT on a paycheck? ›

Capitalization can help with the naming convention. For example, one client named their vacation pay codes “VACATION wOT” and “VACATION nOT” to represent whether the pay code counted toward overtime (wOT = with Overtime) or not (nOT = no Overtime).

What is payroll terminology? ›

Payroll terminology includes information related to compensation, deductions, taxes, benefits, and compliance.

What are pay codes in payroll? ›

Pay codes are the types of pay you are earning (work, on-call, stand-by) or using (vacation, sick, comp) for the hours entered on the timesheet.

What are employee codes? ›

An employee ID number code is a unique code assigned by employers to individual employees. This identification code can also simply be called an employee number, employee code, employee ID or any other similar term.

What does SWT mean on a paycheck? ›

Additional Amount. The additional SWT (State Withholding Tax) taxes indicated on the employee's state tax form (IT-2104).

What does FTW mean on my paystub? ›

FTW stands for "federal taxes withheld" - though you should not use your last paycheck stub when filing taxes. Your Form W2 will contain this information in box 2 and you should use that number.

What does SOC mean on a pay stub? ›

WELCOME. Welcome to the State Controller's Office (SCO), Paycheck Tutorial, presented by the Personnel and Payroll Services Statewide Training Program. This tutorial is intended for all California state civil service and California State University employees.

What do the abbreviation codes ADP mean in payroll? ›

ADP® Automatic Data Processing. (NYSE-ADP). ADP Check An ADP service that enables employers to pay their employees with checks drawn on a bank account maintained and reconciled by ADP.

What does "fica" mean on my paycheck? ›

What is FICA? FICA is a U.S. federal payroll tax. It stands for the Federal Insurance Contributions Act and is deducted from each paycheck. Your nine-digit number helps Social Security accurately record your covered wages or self-employment. As you work and pay FICA taxes, you earn credits for Social Security benefits.

What are the ADP codes? ›

The ADP code identifies the following: insuring section of the National Housing Act, FHA insurance fund, and whether upfront mortgage insurance is required.

What does YTD mean on a pay stub? ›

Your company's year-to-date payroll (YTD) is the amount of money your company has spent on the payroll since the beginning of the calendar or fiscal year, up to the current payroll date. To calculate YTD, you must consider your employees' gross incomes, which an employee earns before subtracting taxes and deductions.

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