More detailed pay stub shows financial value of benefits

Iowa State employees know the university provides a strong benefit package, but one of the unheralded advantages of Workday is a more detailed pay breakdown that makes the financial value of ISU benefits clear.

More on pay slips

Payroll staff are offering departmental presentations on how to understand and manage pay slip information. The payroll office also welcomes feedback on improving how deductions are identified and presented in Workday. To request a presentation or suggest improvements, email

There's a section called "Employer Paid Benefits" on each payslip, which employees can access by clicking on the "Pay" app on the Workday home screen. The cost of the university's share of benefits and mandatory deductions is listed and itemized, on both a per-pay-period and year-to-date basis.

With the year-to-date totals, every employee's payslip for the Dec. 31 payroll shows how much Iowa State spent on their benefits that year, said Ed Holland, director of benefits for university human resources. While situations differ widely, the annual tally for ISU-paid benefits can be a sizable sum.

"It's one thing to say what we're offering. It's another to show it in black and white in a pay stub," he said.

The prior format for sharing pay information, in AccessPlus, didn't have a line-item rundown for employer contributions. Adding those details was a choice when planning for Workday's launch last summer, Holland said. 

"We really wanted a straightforward representation of what the employee was paying and what the employer was paying for benefits," he said.

Seeing indirect compensation outlined in an easy-to-understand manner also can help raise awareness about benefits, he said. Employees may notice that Iowa State, like all employers, matches employee tax contributions for Medicare and Social Security, the latter listed in Workday as OASDI (old age, survivors and disability insurance). Or they could see a benefit they weren't aware of, such as the retirement replacement insurance that comes with long-term disability coverage and maintains TIAA contributions if an employee is disabled.  

"This is about educating employees," Holland said.