Disability, Retirement

Now That You Have Your First Job, Labor Day Has a Deeper Meaning

September 4, 2018 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: September 4, 2018

woman holding phone and smiling Labor Day is usually associated with cookouts, the end of summer, and going back to school. Now that you have your first job, you’re learning the true meaning behind this holiday. From today on, when Labor Day rolls around, you’ll think of the hard work you put in during the year. What you should also think of is how the fruit of that labor will one day translate into Social Security benefits for you and your family.

Social Security is here with benefits, tools, and information to help you secure today and tomorrow. Here’s some things you should know:

  1. When you work, two types of federal taxes are deducted from your wages: 6.2% of your gross wages goes toward Social Security taxes and 1.45% goes to Medicare taxes. These are FICA taxes. FICA stands for “Federal Insurance Contributions Act.” This is the law that funds both Social Security and Medicare through payroll taxes. Employees share this cost with their employer.
  2. Your FICA contributions earn Social Security credits. You can earn up to four credits a year. Most of today’s workers need at least 40 credits to be eligible for retirement benefits. That’s about ten years of work.
  3. These mandatory contributions are there to protect you. Disability could happen at any moment in our lives. If it does, Social Security is there for you, and your family, or future family.

Social Security is much more than a retirement program. We pay benefits to workers who become severely disabled, and to certain surviving family members when a worker dies. The number of credits you need to qualify for these benefits depends on your age when you become disabled or die.

Do you have a personal my Social Security account? If not, open yours today. With a personal my Social Security account, you can get your Social Security Statement to review estimates of your future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits; review your earnings to verify the amounts posted are correct; and see estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid. You’ll find it’s easy, convenient, and secure.

Your contributions help to provide benefits that improve the quality of life for generations to come. Visit our website and learn how Social Security is with you throughout life’s journey.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Robert G.

    I am 70, so who will hire a person in their 70’s?

  2. Ronnie D.

    I am completely confused by this correspondence . It starts out , “Now that you have your first job”. Fact is , I took my first paper route at age 8 in 1952. I’ve worked all my life and except for several months when I was burned over 55% of my body and was hospitalized for months , I have always worked. My S.S. check for the past several years has been $1.002.00 per month. The state of Texas just this month started paying my Medicare pymt. of $130.00 due to the extremely small amount of my S.S. check. I remember when I signed up for S.S. , they told me I would be paid a “living wage” upon retirement. I’m pretty sure I’m being paid far below the “poverty Line” which is no where close to a “living wage”! In closing , I’ve had dozens of jobs in my 74 years of life , so I don’t have a clue what you’re referring to as , “my first jo

  3. MD W.

    This is nonsense. I am not working my first job. I am concerned that someone in their first job is sending out this garbage.


    is this a joke… this is not my first job… does someone have my s.s. number?

  5. Robert

    As I have been retired for several years now and am not starting a new job or career, I am wondering why I got this email..

  6. Jose E.

    I do not have a job, I was told I could apply for jobs on line!

  7. Rudy Q.

    I believe SSA is a necessary and vital program for every legal citizen. It should never be used for anything else. Also no other pension program should be allowed for any other citizen. There should be no limit on gross Receipts earned by any citizen subject to SSA earnings. The current 401K system a privately funded supplemental program for a greater retirement should continue. No disability or support payments should be provided to non-citizens. No citizen should receive benefits without pledge and supporting actions in support of our Flag, Constitution. No Congressional member should ever receive salaries or benefits past term of service including President.

    • AKA

      So you think SS benefits should not be invested and gain interest? And no limits on taxes on wages? That means there’d be no limits on retirement pay outs either. How’s that helping? Disability does not go to non citizens now. Research the subject before you wave the flag.

      • Julia

        The biggest problem is that when someone is on disability they can work but they are limited as to how much they make or they loose their benefits. There are people that can’t afford their medications without the insurance. If a person is blind they can make more money then a person that has a mental disability which is totally wrong. The people that are on disability should not have to pay for their Medicare part B just because they are working. Especially when they qualify for other programs that reduce the price of prescriptions. The Government is so messed up especially with this program.

  8. Laurence S.

    I’m 71 and certainly not on my first job!

    • Snarky

      Good for you!

  9. claire

    There won’t be anything left for them. It’s already been acknowledged by ss that the fund’s done in 2039

    • AKA

      Not so, SSA will still be able to pay out benefits with incoming revenue but with a 23% reduction by 2034.

  10. angel

    i do not have a job…..???

    • AKA

      No deeper meaning for you.

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