Pay Stub Abbreviations in Canada

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Regardless of when and how you get your paycheck, your pay stub is essential as it keeps you updated on your earnings. It also comes in handy when applying for loans, credit cards, or mortgages. Knowing how to interpret pay stub abbreviations is a good financial skill.

When it comes to wages in Canada, most employees get paid via a bi-weekly or bi-monthly paycheque. While others get paid irregularly – this includes people who are into contracting, consulting, odd or seasonal jobs.

Both employers and employees must retain their pay stubs as it contains vital tax and financial details. Employees can use this information to verify their income, pay taxes, and validate all payments and bonuses. Let’s take a look at what pay stub is and its abbreviations in Canada.

What is a Pay Stub?

Also referred to as a paycheck stub or payslip, a pay stub is a document that states the amount an employee earns. Employees get their pay stubs every payday; it carries that totals earning for the pay duration, tax deductions, and annual pay after deductions.

These details inform employees on how their wages are calculated. Generally, a pay stub is either attached to their paychecks or issued in digital format – this depends on your provincial laws.

What is Included in a Pay Stub?

Below are the details a pay stub will carry:

  • Gross wage – this is the total earnings before deductions.
  • Tax deductions – this includes federal, state, and provincial taxes, etc.
  • Other deductions – health and life insurance, 401k, etc
  • Annual wage – total earning after deductions

Most pay stubs are attached to the paycheck. It could also be available online if the employees are paid via direct deposit to their bank account.

Common Pay Stub Terminologies in Canada

Below are some common terminologies you’ll find in a pay stub:

  • Adjusted Cost Base (ACB)

The CRA uses an ACB to evaluate whether they’ll be a capital gain or property sale loss.

  • Benefits – Employment

Benefits when it comes to employment are services provided by an employer. This can be in the form of insurance plans, social services, etc. An employer can pay benefits in whole or in parts; these payments may be taxable.

  • Advance on earnings

This special payment may require a company to deduct Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, or income tax from earnings.

  • Benefit entitlement

Amount of pension deemed to be earned under a defined benefit pension plan for a particular year used to calculate the pension adjustment.

  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

The CPP provides pensions and benefits to taxpayers who contribute towards this plan before they retire, die, or are disabled. Most Canadians contribute to this plan.

  • Pay period

This is the recurring period over which every earnings are calculated and paid.

  • Compensation

Compensation is usually in the form of a bonus; it can be monetary, non-monetary, or both. Compensation is the overall amount an employee gets from an employer for work done.

  • Deductible

Deductibles are money every individual has to pay for expenses. This sum is usually out-of-pocket, and it is paid before the insurance company covers the remaining costs.

Pay Stub Abbreviations in Canada

The content of a pay stub has a lot of abbreviations. These abbreviations can be quite difficult to decode if you’re a new employee. The abbreviations are a way to save time and space on your pay stub.

These abbreviations can be seen in different sections of your pay stub. Let’s take a look at the different abbreviations that can be found in a pay stub.

Pay Stub Header Abbreviations

Your pay stub header contains your name, payment duration, check date, and other personal data. Below are few abbreviations you’ll find in this section:

  • Cheque No. – Cheque number
  • SIN – Social insurance number
  • EIN – Employee identification number

Pay Stub Earning Abbreviations

Your pay stub earning abbreviation carried the data of your payer (employer). This section includes your wage, vacation pay, bonuses, etc. Each payment in this section has its abbreviation on your pay stub.

Note that not all financial institutions have the same abbreviations, some are slightly different. Below are some of the general abbreviations you’ll see on the earning section of your pay stub:

  • CNV – Conversion
  • Comp – Compensation
  • (H) – Hourly
  • (S) – Salaried
  • Ad Earn – Additional Earnings
  • Add – Additional
  • ADI – Alternate Delivery Initiative
  • Adj – Adjustment
  • Adj-Comp – Adjustment Compensatory
  • Alter LS – alternative lump sum
  • Bas – Basic
  • Comm Diff – Commission Differential
  • Comp for Pen Reduc – Eli – Compensation for Pension Reduction
  • DI/DB – Disability Insurance/Death Benefits
  • Diff – Differential
  • E Sep Ben Adj Not Elig – Equity Separation Benefits Adjustment Non-Eligible
  • Earn – Earnings
  • Adm – Administrative
  • All/Allow – Allowance
  • Edu – Education
  • Edu All – Educational Allowance
  • Equ Sal Adj – Non-Pen – Equity Salary Adjustment-Non-pensionable
  • Exp – Expenses
  • CSN – Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
  • CX – Correctional Services
  • LWOP – Leave without pay
  • ENR – National Energy Board
  • Non Eli/Elig – Non-eligible/Eligible
  • Subs – Subsequent
  • HOC – House of Commons
  • SO – Ship’s Officer
  • LS – Lump sum
  • Prem – Premium
  • Sup BC – Supplementary – British Columbia
  • Pen – Pensionable
  • RCA – Retirement Compensation Arrangement
  • Sec – Second
  • Med Rem Supp Prev Year – BC – Medicare Remunerations Supplements Previous Year – British Columbia
  • PSSA – Public Service Superannuation Act
  • Sep Ben – Separation benefit
  • FY-1-N Pen – Fiscal Year 1 Non-pensionable
  • Hi – Higher
  • Infl – Inflatable
  • Ter EE – Term Employees
  • TR – Translation Group
  • IOG – Indian Oil and Gas Canada
  • LIA – Leave with income averaging
  • MP – Members of Parliament
  • NBC – National Battlefield Commission
  • NT – Non-taxable
  • OT – Overtime
  • PE – Personnel Administration
  • Pr Ngt – Premium Night
  • Quart – Quarters
  • Reg – Regular
  • ROC – Return of Contribution
  • SC – Ships Crew
  • TSM – Transition Support Measure
  • Vac – Vacation
  • MPRA – Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances
  • Retro – Retroactivity
  • Non-Pen N-Pen – Non-pensionable
  • Vol – Volunteer

Pay Stub Deductions Abbreviations

This section of your payslip shows the totals deductions received since the beginning of the current calendar year. It is advisable to go through the abbreviations in this section carefully to ensure all deductions are correct.

The abbreviations in this section are:

  • Acc – Accountable
  • Arr – Arrears
  • Can Assn of Prof Empl (CAPE) – Canadian Association of Professional Employees
  • CU – Credit Union
  • Can Union of Pub Emp (CUPE) – Canadian Union of Public Employees
  • TuiReimb – Tuition reimbursement
  • CEP – Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada
  • Curr – Current
  • CMCFA – Canadian Military Colleges Faculty Association
  • AD/D – Accidental Death/Dismemberment
  • Adv – Advance
  • TCTI – Transport Canada Training Institute
  • EE – Employee or Employee Paid
  • Dep – Department
  • CFY – Current Fiscal Year
  • BEN/Ben – Benefits
  • Ener – Energy
  • GCWCC – Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign
  • Can Forces – Canadian Forces
  • Deficienc – Deficiencies
  • DSSA – Diplomatic Services (Special) Superannuation Act
  • EI – Employment Insurance
  • ER – Employer Paid
  • FY – Fiscal Year
  • WP – Winnipeg
  • LTD – Long Term Disability
  • MPRA – Member of Parliament Retiring Allowance
  • NFB – National Film Board
  • LWOP – Leave Without Pay
  • MPRCA – Members of Parliament Retirement Compensation Arrangement
  • ID – Identification
  • MPRAA – Members of Parliament Retiring Allowance Act
  • PFY – Previous Fiscal Year
  • P/Y – Previous Year
  • NRC – National Research Council of Canada
  • PSHCP – Public Services Health Care Plan
  • Ops – Ontario Public Service
  • PSAC – Public Service Alliance of Canada
  • QIT – Quebec Income Tax
  • PSMIP – Public Service Management Insurance Plan
  • RCA – Retirement Compensation Arrangements
  • ROC – Return of Contribution
  • QC – Quebec
  • Senate Pro Serv Sta Assn – Senate Protection Services Staff Association
  • RCMP – Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • SUPP/Suppl – Supplementary
  • Retro – Retroactive or Retroactivity

How to Access Your Pay Stub in Canada

Several factors can warrant you needing your payslip. It could be for a credit application, to verify information, secure a loan/mortgage, or verify your employment. Whatever the reason may be, you can view and print out your pay stubs from your employee section. This section is available on your company’s website.

You can also check with the Payroll or Human Resources department of your company. Alternatively, you can get it from the payroll provider your employer uses.

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.