What Are Some of the Abbreviations on a Paycheck?

Common abbreviations on a typical paycheck in the United States include abbreviations for withheld funds, such as FICA, SWT, LT and INS, as well as abbreviations for hours worked, such as REG, YTD and OT. Paycheck abbreviations are not standard, however, and many employers have their own sets of abbreviations.

FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act. This is a piece of legislation passed by the federal government that applies a fraction of every worker's income toward the Social Security and Medicare programs. Some paychecks use a single "FICA" abbreviation for both programs, while others specify Medicare deductions with FICA-MED.

SWT and LT both refer to withheld taxes. SWT refers to state and federal taxes. LT refers to local taxes in areas that use withholding to collect income taxes.

INS is an abbreviation for insurance, and usually refers only to the worker's health insurance policy. The check may include separate DENT and LIFE abbreviations for dental and life insurance, respectively.

REG refers to the number of regular hours that an employee worked for the pay period. OT denotes the amount of overtime hours on that paycheck. YTD means year-to-date and describes the number of total hours, both regular and overtime, which the employee has worked in the entire calendar year. Some paychecks include VAC and SICK abbreviations for paid hours of vacation or sick leave.