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Population Profiles

  1. Child Beneficiaries
    & Poverty
  2. Marital Status
    & Poverty
  3. Never
    Beneficiaries
  4. Taxable Maximum
    Earners
  5. Veteran
    Beneficiaries

Taxable Maximum Earners

Released: April 2012
Next expected update: Winter 2015
  • Since the late 1980s, each year roughly 6 percent of covered workers have earned over the taxable maximum.
  • A larger percentage of workers earn over the taxable maximum at some point during their working careers because some workers exceed the threshold in some years, but not in others.
  • Nearly half of workers projected to ever earn over the taxable maximum are in the top 20 percent of lifetime earners.
Covered Workers with Earnings Over the Taxable Maximum in a Given Year
Line chart linked to data in table format.
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Annual Statistical Supplement 2011, Table 4.B1.
Covered Workers Projected to Ever Earn Over the Taxable Maximum
Line chart linked to data in table format.
Distribution of the Population Aged 60 or Older Ever Earning Over the Taxable Maximum, 2050
Percentage by lifetime shared earnings
Pie chart showing 48.9% in highest quintile, 25.9% in second highest quintile, 13.9% in middle quintile, 7.7% in second lowest quintile, and 3.7% in lowest quintile.
NOTES: Lifetime shared earnings are the wage-indexed value of shared lifetime total earnings. Shared earnings are the same as individual earnings except that the earnings for married couples are "shared," that is the sum of the married couple's earnings are divided in half and each half is attributed to one of the spouses.