What do all of the acronyms on my payslip mean?

03 November 2018 by National Bank

When starting a new job, particularly a FIRST job, we always look forward to discovering just how much will be deposited in our account every two weeks. The only important number is the amount of the deposit…or is it?

It is recommended to check all of the boxes on a payslip carefully in order to ensure that there are no errors and to understand the difference between your salary and what you actually receive.

Do you understand all of the acronyms that appear on your payslip?

To help you understand all of the acronyms, here is a list of amounts that you will find on your payslip:


    • Hours: Simply the number of hours worked;



    • Hourly rate: What you receive for each hour worked. By multiplying this rate by the number of hours worked, you will obtain your gross salary amount, before deductions;



    • Federal income tax: Amount paid in federal taxes;



    • Provincial tax: Amount paid in provincial taxes;



    • QPP (RRQ in French): This acronym stands for Quebec Pension Plan, which is a mandatory provincial pension plan to which all workers must contribute. The amount of your contribution is determined based on your income. The contribution amounts to 10.35% of your taxable wages, which is the portion between the basic exemption and a maximum allowable income of $52,500. However, you pay only half of that percentage, or 5.175%, while your employer pays the rest;



    • CSST: Contribution to the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail, which is an insurance premium that protects you in the event of an accident at work;



    • QPIP (RQAP in French): This acronym refers to the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) and is a mandatory fee to help fund the parental and maternity leave of Quebecers;



    • EI (AE in French): Employment Insurance, or EI, is an amount contributed to the employment insurance plan which used to be known as unemployment insurance. Employment insurance allows you to receive benefits under certain conditions, such as losing your job;



    • RRSP (REER in French): If you contribute to a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP), your paycheck may indicate the amount deducted automatically from your salary;



    • RPP (RPA in French): A registered pension plan is a pension plan whose contributions are also deducted automatically when you pay into your salary retirement savings program. The acronym may differ, depending on the type of pension to you contribute to;



    • DPSP (RPDB in French): A Deferred Profit Sharing Plan (DPSP) is a benefit program that your employer may offer in the form of a pension;



    • Group Insurance (Assurances Collectives in French): If you have access to a group insurance plan, your premium amounts will typically appear on your payslip.


    Ask questions!

    Pay stubs will often differ from one employer to another so, if there are any acronyms or deductions that you don’t understand, speak with the company’s Human Resources Manager.

    Additionally, payslips usually indicate cumulative amounts for each deduction. Therefore, your last payslip of the calendar year will give you a good idea of how much tax and deductions you have paid.

    You can use these amounts to effectively manage your year-end financial planning. This will allow you to decide things such as whether or not it would be useful to contribute additional amounts to your RRSP before the beginning of March.

    It is important to regularly check your payslip for any errors which your employer must correct. It is always possible to correct an error in the same tax year.

    If you have children, you can also adjust the amount of tax deducted based on tax credits to which you are entitled. Speak with your Human Resources Manager!

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