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Social Security Tax Rates

OASDI & Medicare tax rates

Maximum taxable earnings

Tax rates for Social Security's two trust funds, the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund and the Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund, are shown in the table below.

The rates shown reflect the amounts received by the trust funds. In certain years, the effective rate paid by employees, employers, and/or self-employed workers was less than the rate received by the trust funds, with the difference covered by general revenue. See the footnotes for details.

Calendar years Tax rates as a percent of taxable earnings
Tax rate for employees and employers, each Tax rate for self-employed workers
OASI DI Total OASI DI Total
1937-49 1.000 -- 1.000 -- -- --
1950 1.500 -- 1.500 -- -- --
1951-53 1.500 -- 1.500 2.250 -- 2.250
1954-56 2.000 -- 2.000 3.000 -- 3.000
1957-58 2.000 0.250 2.250 3.0000 0.3750 3.375
1959 2.250 0.250 2.500 3.3750 0.3750 3.750
1960-61 2.750 0.250 3.000 4.1250 0.3750 4.500
1962 2.875 0.250 3.125 4.3250 0.3750 4.700
1963-65 3.375 0.250 3.625 5.0250 0.3750 5.400
1966 3.500 0.350 3.850 5.2750 0.5250 5.800
1967 3.550 0.350 3.900 5.3750 0.5250 5.900
1968 3.325 0.475 3.800 5.0875 0.7125 5.800
1969 3.725 0.475 4.200 5.5875 0.7125 6.300
1970 3.650 0.550 4.200 5.4750 0.8250 6.300
1971-72 4.050 0.550 4.600 6.0750 0.8250 6.900
1973 4.300 0.550 4.850 6.2050 0.7950 7.000
1974-77 4.375 0.575 4.950 6.1850 0.8150 7.000
1978 4.275 0.775 5.050 6.0100 1.0900 7.100
1979 4.330 0.750 5.080 6.0100 1.0400 7.050
1980 4.520 0.560 5.080 6.2725 0.7775 7.050
1981 4.700 0.650 5.350 7.0250 0.9750 8.000
1982 4.575 0.825 5.400 6.8125 1.2375 8.050
1983 4.775 0.625 5.400 7.1125 0.9375 8.050
1984-87 a 5.200 0.500 5.700 10.4000 1.0000 11.400
1988-89 a 5.530 0.530 6.060 11.0600 1.0600 12.120
1990-93 b 5.600 0.600 6.200 11.2000 1.2000 12.400
1994-96 b 5.260 0.940 6.200 10.5200 1.8800 12.400
1997-99 b 5.350 0.850 6.200 10.7000 1.7000 12.400
2000 and later b, c 5.300 0.900 6.200 10.6000 1.8000 12.400
a In 1984 only, an immediate credit of 0.3 percent of taxable wages was allowed against the OASDI taxes paid by employees, resulting in an effective employee tax rate of 5.4 percent. The OASI and DI trust funds, however, received general revenue equivalent to 0.3 percent of taxable wages for 1984. Similar credits of 2.7 percent, 2.3 percent, and 2.0 percent were allowed against the combined OASDI and HI taxes on net earnings from self-employment in 1984, 1985, and 1986-89, respectively.
b Beginning in 1990, self-employed workers are allowed a deduction, for purposes of computing their net earnings, equal to half of the combined OASDI and HI contributions that would be payable without regard to the contribution and benefit base. The OASDI contribution rate is then applied to net earnings after this deduction, but subject to the OASDI base.
c For 2010, most employers were exempt from paying the employer share of OASDI tax on wages paid to certain qualified individuals hired after February 3. For 2011 and 2012, the OASDI tax rate is reduced by 2 percentage points for employees and for self-employed workers, resulting in a 4.2 percent effective tax rate for employees and a 10.4 percent effective tax rate for self-employed workers. These reductions in tax revenue due to lower tax rates will be made up by transfers from the general fund of the Treasury to the OASI and DI trust funds.
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Last reviewed or modified March 8, 2012
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