You get your pay stub and what you expected to get is just not matching up. What do all these pay stub abbreviations mean? To get rid of confusion, break down what each abbreviation and acronym stands for. Not only will you find out what “SSN” is, but you can also decode your earning and deduction abbreviations on your pay stub.
What Your Pay Stub Abbreviations Mean
Decoding Pay Stub Abbreviations
You are going to see several abbreviations on your paycheck. This is just a way to save time and space on your pay stub. But, when you are trying to decipher it all, it can look pretty intimidating.
On your pay stub, you’ll see some common payroll abbreviations and some that aren’t so common. For simplicity, you can break them down by pay stub abbreviations found in the header, earnings and deductions sections.
Paycheck Abbreviations in the Header
In the header of your pay stub, you’re going to see your name, pay period, check date, and other identifying information. Those are all pretty easy to figure out. There are a few abbreviations that you might not know. These will include:
Check No. - Check number
SSN - Social security number
EIN - Employee identification number (similar to your social security number)
Pay Stub Earning Abbreviations
Earning abbreviations show where your money is coming from. This includes not just regular pay, but possibly also vacation pay or even administrative leave. Every kind of pay will have an abbreviation on your pay stub. It is important to note that different financial institutions might have slightly different abbreviations; however, some form of these common codes are typical in the earnings section.
Add Pay - Additional pay
BRVMT - Bereavement pay
Cmp Pyot - Compensatory time payout
CNT Pay - Contract pay - salary
FMLA - Family and Medical Leave Act
Gross - Earnings before taxes and deductions
Hol - Holiday pay
Jury - Jury duty pay
Misc - Miscellaneous pay (pay they don’t have a code for)
Move Rem - Move reimbursement
Net - Earnings after taxes and deductions
OT@1.5 - Overtime pay (at 1.5 times your regular pay rate)
OnCall - On-call pay
PTO - Personal time off or paid time off
Reg Pay - Regular pay - hourly
Sick - Sick pay
SignOn - Sign-on bonus pay
Severanc - Severance pay
TuiReimb - Tuition reimbursement
Vac - Vacation pay
YTD - Year-to-date earnings
Tax Deduction Abbreviations
There can be a lot of withholdings on your pay stub too. Your tax deductions are typically the first deductions that you will encounter. These are going to cover your state and federal taxes along with any other additional taxes.
FICA - Med - FICA stands for the “Federal Insurance Contributions Act” and Med stands for “Medicare.” This is the Medicare contribution that you pay at 1.45%.
FICA - SS - This stands for “Federal Insurance Contributions Act - Social Security.” It is the mandatory social security that you’ll pay. It varies by year.
Fed/FWT/FIT/FITW - These are abbreviations used for “federal tax withholding.”
St Tax/SWT/SIT/SITW - These abbreviations are used for the “state tax withholding.”
Local Tax - Here is where you’ll find local or city tax withholdings.
Common Before-Tax Deduction Abbreviations
Some deductions can happen before the government gets its cut. These include health coverage, dependent care, and life insurance. Take a look at some of the different codes that you might encounter for these deductions.
401k/Ret - 401k or retirement withholdings
DCR - Dependent care reimbursement
Den/Dental - Dental premium
INS/MED - Insurance or medical insurance deductions
FSA - Flexible spending account
HCR - Health care reimbursement
HSA - Health saving account
LTD - Long-term disability withholding
STD - Short-term disability withholding
VIS/Vision - Vision premium
Common After-Tax Deduction Abbreviations
While some deductions can come out before taxes are paid, like insurance, other deductions come out after taxes. These deductions are typically penalties that you have incurred from garnishment or bankruptcy. Common after-tax deductions that you might see abbreviated on your pay stub are found here.
Bankrpty - Bankruptcy
CHD SU - Child support
Garn - Garnishment flat rate
Garn % - Garnishment percentage
StdnLoan - Student loan
TX Levy - Tax levy
IRS Levy - Internal Revenue Service levy
Dissecting Your Pay Stub
There can be a lot to decode on your pay stub, especially when you are trying to figure out where all your money went. Understanding these abbreviations will give you a better idea of why your income went from $1,000 to $600 in a flash. Now that you know some common pay stub abbreviations, check out the difference between an abbreviation and an acronym. You might not realize it, but acronyms are everywhere!