I have never seen a paystub or been told what a paystub is.

For each wage payment, I got an "Earning Statement" on https://my.adp.com. Is an earning statement a paystub?


Yes, your earning statement is your paystub.

Back in the olden days*, before direct deposit, your employer would give you a physical check that you had to take to the bank. Your earning statement would be attached to the check, and when you would tear off the paycheck, the earning statement would be left. That's where the name "paystub" comes from.

The earning statement is important, as it shows you how much was withheld in taxes and how much was deducted for other expenses, such as health benefits or retirement savings. When you get your W-2 statement at the end of the year, you can confirm the amounts with the numbers from your earning statements.

* I still get a physical paycheck and stub.

  • "I still get a physical paycheck and stub" How are things in the arbalest manufacturing sector this millennium? – gef05 Mar 7 '17 at 10:08
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    Back in the olden days, I got a pay packet: an envelope on which the company accountant had carefully inked in all the pay and withholding figures, as well as numbers indicating to the clerk who would fill the packet exactly how many of each bill and coin needed to be inserted in the envelope to equal my net pay. Paystubs? – user4556274 Mar 7 '17 at 13:59
  • @user4556274 When I was in high school, we had a section in business class on preparing a payroll, that talked about figuring out exactly how many of each bill and coin were needed to pay each employee, and then totaling these up so you could go to the bank and say, "I need 87 $100 bills, 43 $50 bills ..." etc. I wonder if they still teach that. – Jay Mar 7 '17 at 18:18
  • @benmiller I moved 10 years ago, and my checks still have the old address. I keep saying I need to order new checks, but in the meantime, for the couple of times a year that I write a paper check, I cross out the old address and write in my new address. Mostly I pay with electronic transactions, and when I need a paper check, I usually use the bank's web site to direct them to print and mail a check. – Jay Mar 7 '17 at 18:22

Yes, an earnings statement is a paystub, or pay advice.

It gives an accounting of your pay from the payroll department including salary, vacation, holiday, or sick days. For hourly employees it might include hours at regular pay, overtime at different rates, shift differentials, and tips. It can include bonuses, commissions, and meal allotments. It can include reimbursements for expenses submitted by the employees, and it often includes an accounting of accrued time off that has not yet been paid.

It should list also list money withheld for payroll and income taxes, for medical and other insurance and benefits, for savings plans (as well as a note of matching funds from the employer). It may include deductions for additional PTO purchases. It may include deductions for repayment of loans made by your employer or rent for housing provided by the employer. It may have dues withheld for unions or trade associations. It may have charitable contributions voluntarily withheld to take advantage of charity matching programs.

The detailed account of the monies for that pay period allow employees to verify that their payments were properly processed by the payroll department, and should be carefully examined each pay period.

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