Pay Statement Explained

Most NYC government employees are paid every other Friday. Along with your pay, you also get a pay statement, which provides details about current pay and year-to-date pay sections. Pay statements provide valuable details about accrued vacation and sick leave, earnings, withholdings, and deductions.

City of New York EStubs - Screen capture of sample paystub

Pay Period

The money you receive eachpay day is for work you did during a two-week period starting on a Sunday and ending on a Saturday. Normally, you will work ten days during this two-week pay period. This means there are ten work days and fourteen calendar days in the pay period. The Pay Period field on your pay statement shows the first and last days of this two-week pay period.

Pay Date

If you have direct deposit, this is the date your pay arrives at your bank account. If you receive a paper check, this is the date that is printed on the check.

If you are paid an annual salary, your pay period ends on the Saturday immediately before the pay day.

If you are paid on an hourly or per diem basis, your pay period ends on the next to last Saturday before the pay day.

Check Number

Check number or Check Num, is the number of the payment to you, either by direct deposit or with a paper check. If you are paid by direct deposit, a "Z" will appear before the check number on your pay statement. If you receive a paper check, there will be no "Z" on your pay statement, but the check number will be printed on both your check and your statement.

Payroll #

The payroll number is a three-digit number that identifies your agency

Work Unit

Work unit is a number belonging to the part of your agency where you work. The Work Unit number indicates where you work at your agency and is used for timekeeping.

Distribution #

Agencies may give out their pay checks and statements at more than one location. The distribution number on your statement belongs to the location your agency uses for you.

Pension #

Your pension number is shown if you are a member of a New York City pension system. If you are not a member of a pension system, it should be blank. If you think the information in this box is not correct, you should contact your benefits office.

Employee Name

This is your name as it appears in the Payroll Management System (PMS). If it is not correct, or your name has changed, you should contact your Personnel Office.

Employee Number

Employee number or Employee Num, also called Employee Reference Number (ERN), is a 7-digit ID number given to you by the City. By using it on all your records, the City makes sure that your pay and leave records are correct.


JSN is your job sequence number. If you have one job in your agency, your JSN is 1. The JSN is 1 for most City workers.

Federal MS/Exempt and State MS/Exempt

The City is required by law to take money from your pay to make sure that you will not owe large amounts of income tax at the end of the year. The information in these fields (withholding status) tells the City how much to take from your pay for this purpose. The City uses what you told it on the W-4 for Federal taxes and on the IT-2104 for state and local taxes.

The following codes are used for marriage status:

  • A – single
  • B – married
  • C – unspecified

Electronic Fund Transfer Information

Your bank's ABA number appears here. This number is used to direct electronic payments to your bank. The ABA number also appears in the lower left corner of checks from your bank.


This Period – This section shows you the total amount of gross pay you earned, the total amount of money deducted from your gross pay (deductions), and the total net pay you will receive.

Year to Date – The year to date amount shows you the total amount of gross pay your earned, the total amount of deductions and the total amount of net pay for this calendar year, from the first pay date in January up to the current pay check date.

Gross Pay

Gross Pay includes both the money paid to you by the City for your work and the money taken from your pay for taxes and other purposes. 


This is the total amount of money taken from your gross pay. In addition to taxes, it may include health insurance, union dues, pension contributions, and other.

Net Pay

If you start with your total earnings (gross pay) and subtract all the money taken from your pay (deductions), this will give your net pay. Net pay is the amount of your electronic funds transfer (ETR) payment or paper pay check.


Federal Tax, Social Security, Medicare, State Tax, and City Tax

These are the amounts taken from your pay as required by law. In order to figure the correct amounts, the City uses the information you gave on the W-4 and IT-2104 forms. In general, as your total earnings increase, so does the money taken from your pay.

City Waiver

Under Section 1127 of the New York City Charter, some people who work for the City but do not live in the City must pay this.


The Description section tells you what kind of payment you are receiving. In addition to your earnings it may also include other payments to you, such as meal allowance, longevity payments, and other.

The Units/Hours and the Amount Earned sections tell how many hours you worked and how much money you earned in this pay period. It may also show the same information for the prior pay period.

The Description section lists the deductions taken from your pay for reasons other than taxes. Examples of deductions that might appear here include:

  • Union dues
  • Pension plan contributions and loan repayments
  • Health insurance rider premiums
  • Commuter Benefits Program contributions
  • Family court payments

There is room for up to nine deductions on most pay statements. If you have more than nine deductions, you will see the full information for eight of them, and the total dollar amount for the rest under "Other". If you are not sure what your "Other" deductions are, you should contact your Payroll Office.

Other itemized deductions specifies the following:

  • The reason for the deductions
  • The amounts deducted
  • The goal amounts if applicable
  • The number of installments remaining

The Amount this Period tells how much money is taken for each listed item in this pay period.

The Goal Amount or # Installments tells how much money you committed to spend in this calendar year for each listed item or how many payments it takes to pay off the entire amount.

The Balance Due or Installments left shows how much money or how many payments remains to be paid to reach the entire goal amount.

Leave Balances

People who work for the City of New York also earn leave time. The Description and Balance Available (Balance Avail) sections shows how much you have of the various types of leave at a date that is printed here.


The Message section may show messages from the City to the employees.