For Your Records: How to Get a Copy of Paycheck Stubs

Pay stubs help you keep an actual record of your monthly and annual income. If you lose one, here’s how to get a copy of paycheck stubs.

What do you do with your paycheck stubs? Some people hang on to theirs for years, even after they leave a company. Others toss them in the recycling bin the second they get them.

Most experts recommend keeping stubs for about a year. They can be useful at tax time since they provide a record of your earnings and deductions. There are a few other cases when they’re useful too.

What happens if you misplace a stub or lose one? In most cases, you should be able to get a copy of paycheck stubs from your employer.


Take Care and Store Pay Stubs Securely

In most states, your employer must supply you with paycheck stubs. These provide excellent records about what you’ve earned. They also provide information on deductions for income tax, Social Security, and more.

Depending on where you live, your employer may not need to give you a paper copy of your paycheck stub. Instead, you may receive an electronic copy. You should take steps to make sure these documents don’t end up in your spam folder or get accidentally deleted.

Creating a back-up or storing your paycheck stubs in a secure cloud server is a good idea. It can help you keep these documents safe.

There are a few states where employers must provide paper copies. A paper copy of a pay stub is easier to lose. They can also be damaged or destroyed, such as by a flood or fire.

Many people also misplace or throw out their pay stubs. You may not think the document is all that important until you actually need it.

You should take care to store paper copies of your paycheck stubs securely. When it is time to dispose of paycheck stubs, whether paper or electronic, you should take precautions to make sure they’re destroyed the right way. Paycheck stubs contain sensitive information, so you should shred them.


How to Get a Copy of Paycheck Stubs

You’ve lost or misplaced some of your pay stubs. Maybe electronic pay stubs ended up in your spam folder or were lost when you wiped your hard drive. Paper copies may have been misplaced during a move or a burst pipe flooded your basement and destroyed records.

Whatever the reason, you need a copy of these missing paycheck stubs. Now you’re wondering how to get pay stubs.

Most employers will supply a copy of paycheck stubs if you request them. You can even request old pay stubs from former employers.

In some cases, you’ll be able to ask for copies of the missing check stubs. In other cases, your employer will have a more formal procedure. You may need to fill out a form and submit it to accounting, payroll, or even HR.

You’ll likely need to supply the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your Social Security number or employee identification number
  • Dates for which you need paycheck stubs

You should also provide a current mailing address. If you’ve moved, make sure to provide the previous address as well, as that is what will be on the stubs you’re requesting.

You’ll then submit the request. Some employers will accept emailed forms. Some might ask you to drop it off in person.

Occasionally, there will be a fee associated with getting old payroll records. Make sure to pay this if there is one. Then confirm receipt of your request and the payment.


What Happens if the Employer Can’t Supply Records?

In some cases, your employer may not be able to provide you with the records you need. This might happen if they’ve experienced a natural disaster, for example, that destroyed their records.

Many employers today use third-party services. An employer that uses a free pay stub generator service can usually provide records. Some third-party services supply wage information in a different format.

Keep in mind that older records may not exist any longer either. Employers may be required to keep payroll records and pay stubs for only a certain length of time. If you’re request documents from ten years ago, those records may not exist any longer.


Employers Should Keep Payroll Records

As mentioned, most states require employers to hand out pay stubs. There are a handful of states where employers don’t need to supply pay stubs to their employees.

You might be wondering, “How do I get my pay stub?” in a state like Georgia or Alabama. Employers in these states don’t need to supply paycheck stubs.

Most of them will still have payroll records. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers must keep good records. You can request access to these records, although there’s nothing saying your employer has to grant it.

If your employer refuses your request, get in touch with your state department of wage and labor. Your employer may be required by state law to supply the information.

You can also check with your bank to see if they have records or copies of deposited checks. Many government agencies and businesses will accept bank records as proof of income. You may be able to use these instead of your paycheck stubs if your employer can’t supply those records.

Keep in mind that banks may charge for copies of these records.


Stay Organized with Great Advice

There are many reasons you might need a copy of paycheck stubs. The good news is that, in most cases, your employer should be able to supply them without much trouble. If you’re unsure, you can check in with the employer or a state agency to discover your options.

Pay stubs can be important documents, so it’s best to hang on to them. If you can’t get replacements, you likely still have options.

Looking for more tips and tricks about personal finance and record-keeping? You’re in the right spot. Check out the archives and discover the advice you need to stay organized and in the black.

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