Format of a Payslip: All You Need to Know


All of us work for monetary and non-monetary benefits and there is no denying the fact that the former is more important for many (if not all) than the latter. Therefore, employees in organizations need to understand the components of the Payslip as this determines how much they are earning (gross and net) as well as a peep into the various sub-headings in which their salary and other benefits/perks are divided.

For those starting their careers and those aspiring to a career in the corporate world (and even the government and public sector), it is very important that they know how much each component adds up to and how much tax they have to pay.

This article is intended to walk you through the format of a Payslip and the format that is explained here is a generic one and can vary from organization to organization.

However, care has been taken to ensure that a proper representation of the components is provided and it can be said that the format listed here is followed by many reputed organizations like IBM, Fidelity, and Microsoft.


As the name implies, this is the base component or the basic that employees are entitled to and this component is used to calculate the other benefits as a percentage of the basic. For instance, it is common to calculate the PF (Provident Fund) deduction based on the basic in Asian countries and this component of the Payslip in the West is similar except that the social security component is known as 401(k) in the United States.

Variable Pay/Bonuses

In recent years, many Asian companies have introduced the component of variable pay, which indicates the extent to which individual; team, group, and organizational performance are reflected in the amount of money paid to the employees.

For instance, if you have achieved the highest rating possible, then your individual variable pay would reflect your superlative performance. Similarly, if your team/group/division has done well, then you are entitled to monetary benefits that are a percentage of the total amount at the disposal of these entities.

Next, if your organization has done well, then there are chances that you might be rewarded for your contribution to its success in the same way in which you have been rewarded for your team/group/divisions’ performance.


HRA or House Rental Allowance is calculated on the basis of the category of the city in which your organization is located. For instance, Metropolises have a higher payout for HRA when compared to Tier II and Tier III cities and towns.

It is important to note that HRA is both a statutory requirement meaning that it is mandatory according to the labor laws and it is dependent on your role and rank in the hierarchy of the organization.

To explain this further, a basic amount of HRA is mandated by the government, this is compulsory, and organizations can “top it up” according to how they perceive your value to the organization.


This component reflects the amount of money that your company pays out for your conveyance. Though there are some governmental undertakings, which pay more if you have a car and compensate the others who do not have a car by providing for a car loan if possible, the private sector in general pays the conveyance allowance according to the employees’ place in the hierarchy and his or her role in the organization.

Medical Reimbursement

In recent years, many organizations have converted this component from reimbursement based on actual money spent on receipt of bills to a fixed component, which is again dependent on the parameters laid down and explained previously.

Further, there are many organizations that have done away with this component and instead, they have insured their employees under group medical insurance for them and their families (immediate dependants) subject to certain limits, which are again based on the seniority and value of the employee.

EPF/VPF Contribution

As mentioned in the section related to Basic, the EPF (Employee Provident Fund) contribution is a two-tiered component wherein the employee’s contribution is calculated as a certain percentage of the basic, which is mandated by the government. The amount thus deducted would be matched by the organization, which means that the employee can expect the double of what is deducted from his or her salary to be put away in social security.

However, many multinationals also deduct a few percentage points more than the mandated figure and also contribute a matching amount. As for VPF (Voluntary Provident Fund) component, as the name implies, it is purely voluntary on part of the employee to set aside a portion of their monthly salary and which the organization also contributes though not the exact amount like EPF and subject to governmental regulations.

Income Tax/Professional Taxes

For many employees, this is the component that does not sound like music as compared to the other components as this salary head indicates the amount that the employee has to pay to the government as Income and other taxes. After TDS or Tax Deduction at Source was introduced, organizations have been calculating the gross Income tax based on the salary of the employee and then apportioning it over the twelve months so that there is a monthly component, which the employee has to pay.

Arrears and other Deductions

This head usually encompasses some arrears that the organization owes to the employee carried over from previous months and similarly, any deductions that have been not done earlier. This component is usually not part of the Payslip each month unless there are arrears and deductions pending.


This is an umbrella component, which indicates any other deductions/payouts that the employee pays or receives, and usually this head indicates reimbursement for official lunches and other perks.

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