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 and is shown in the table below.
  • 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 $128,700. 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.

Social Security Wage Base

YearAnnual Wage BaseTax RateMaximum Social Security Tax

2018

$128,700

6.2%

$7,979.40

2017

$127,200

6.2%

$7,886.40

2016

$118,500

6.2%

$7,347.00

2015

$118,500

6.2%

$7,347.00

2014

$117,000

6.2%

$7,254.00

2013

$113,700

6.2%

$7,049.40

2012

$110,100

6.2%

$6,826.20

2011

$106,800

4.2%

$4,485.60

2010

$106,800

6.2%

$6,621.60

2009

$106,800

6.2%

$6,621.60

2008

$102,000

6.2%

$6,324.00

2007

$97,500

6.2%

$6,045.00

Exemption from Social Security and/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

In October 1999, the Social Security Administration began mailing Social Security Statements to workers age 25 or older who are not receiving Social Security benefits. Employees can expect to receive statements each year about three months before their birthdays outlining:

  • How much employees can expect to receive in retirement benefits
  • How much they and their families can expect to receive in disability benefits if they become disabled
  • How much their survivors would receive if they die.