I would like to ask about the generic term for money that an employer pays but is not contractually required to pay. For example, they can give a motivational payment or a payment for expenditure reimbursement. I found the word "allowance," but it seems like you have to get money regularly to call it that. I'm looking for a more general word for money that isn't mentioned in the contract.

  • 2
    What's wrong with salary bonuses? Nov 24, 2022 at 13:49
  • 6
    Travel reimbursements are not by any stretch of the word a salary bonus.
    – Robusto
    Nov 24, 2022 at 14:06
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    I really don't think there is a single word that covers both travel reimbursements and salary bonuses (i.e., extra money that you get paid on top of your salary for doing a good job). Nov 24, 2022 at 14:09
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    Employers are normally required to pay expense reimbursements, at least if contractually specified. In the question you should list the sort of payments you want to include, and the sorts you want to exclude.
    – Stuart F
    Nov 24, 2022 at 14:13
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    Taxables and nontaxables are not usually lumped together. Nov 24, 2022 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


Any time you pay someone funds, you are making a disbursement.

funds paid out

This includes incentive bonuses, retention bonuses, paychecks, reimbursements, or any other reason you give funds to an employee, non-employee or any entity. It covers contractually obligated payments as well. To remove that from the definition, you can qualify these as non-contractual disbursements.

FYI, reimbursing someone for expenses is typically contractual.


  • 1
    It is puzzling that the OP has accepted this answer, because the word, as the answer makes clear, covers the payments, such as regular paychecks, that the question explicitly sought to exclude.
    – jsw29
    Nov 24, 2022 at 16:42
  • @jsw29 I have accepted this answer due to "non-contractual disbursements." The discussion below the question made it clear that there is no one-word term for this; therefore, I accepted an answer that consists of several words. Thank you all for the discussion.
    – Vash
    Nov 24, 2022 at 17:39
  • @Vash, note that non-contractual implies that the payment is entirely gratuitous, which is relatively rare in employment settings. You seem to be missing that something can be contractual in nature even though it is not, as you put it in the question 'mentioned in the contract', by which you presumably mean the contract creating the employment relationship. If your boss sends you somewhere and tells you 'To get there faster, take a taxi; we'll reimburse you' that is a contract, even though it is not a part of the contract that made you an employee of that business.
    – jsw29
    Nov 25, 2022 at 23:51

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