Social Security and FICA

Most employees and employers each pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on Social Security and Medicare covered wages. These taxes comprise FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act).

  • The wage base for Social Security is adjusted each year
  • There is no cap on earnings for the Medicare portion of FICA.

For tax year 2018:
The Social Security portion of FICA is 6.2% of your covered wages, up to a maximum wage base of $128,400. If you reach the maximum payment, you do not pay any more Social Security tax until the next calendar year.

The Medicare portion is 1.45% for all wages.

For tax year 2017:
The Social Security portion of FICA is 6.2% of your covered wages, up to a maximum wage base of $127,200. If you reach the maximum payment, you do not pay any more Social Security tax until the next calendar year.

The Medicare portion is 1.45% for all wages.

Learn more about your Social Security Contribution and Benefit Base.


Exemption from Social Security or Medicare Taxes

Under certain circumstances, New York City employees may be exempt from Social Security and/or Medicare taxes. If you fall into one of the following categories, you may be exempt from Social Security or Medicare taxes:

  • Not a pension member and contribute 7.5% or more to a 401(k), ROTH 401(k), 403(b) or 457 Deferred Compensation Plan/Tax Deferred Annuity (DCP/TDA).  Get more information about Social Security & Medicare Tax Exemptions for Non-Members of Pension Plans.
  • City pension plan member in 1957 electing not to have Social Security
  • Half time CUNY student working at CUNY
  • Non-resident student or teacher admitted to the US under certain visas
  • Foster Grandparent working for the Department of Aging
  • Election Inspector/Worker earning less than $1,600 from the Board of Elections
  • Beneficiary of a deceased employee receiving payment after the calendar year of the employee's death
  • Temporary emergency relief employee.

Learn more about Social Security & Medicare Tax Exemptions for Other NYC Employees.

The Social Security Protection Act of 2004 requires newly hired public employees to sign a "Statement Concerning Your Employment in a Job Not Covered by Social Security". Form SSA-1495 explains the potential effects of two provisions in the Social Security law on workers whose earnings are not covered under Social Security.

For more information, Social Security publications, and additional information about exceptions to each provision, are available from Social Security Administration. You may also call toll free 800-772-1213 or contact your local Social Security office.

Social Security Statements

Find out more about your personal Social Security Statment and learn how to access it.