We’re Working Together to Secure Today and Tomorrow

man and woman at tableYour first job is a landmark occasion. You’re meeting new people, making professional connections, and probably cashing that first paycheck. You might be a little surprised when you see a portion of your earnings go to a tax called “FICA” for the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. This deduction goes to Social Security and is your way of helping us secure your today and tomorrow. It’s our job to keep the safety net of Social Security strong through your incremental contributions.

Understanding how important your contribution is takes some of the sting away because your taxes are helping millions of Americans. By law, employers must withhold Social Security taxes from workers’ paychecks. While referred to as “Social Security taxes” on an employee’s pay statement, sometimes the deduction is labeled as “FICA.” This stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act, a reference to the original Social Security Act. Sometimes, you will see “OASDI,” which stands for Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance, the official name for the Social Security Insurance program.

The taxes you pay now mean a lifetime of protection — for retirement in old age or in the event of disability. And when you die, your family (or future family) may be able to receive survivors benefits based on your work.

You probably have family members — grandparents, for example — who already enjoy benefits that your Social Security taxes help provide. Social Security is completely solvent through 2033. At that point, retirement benefits will be reduced to 75 percent, unless changes are made to the law. In the past, Social Security has evolved to meet the needs of a changing population — and you can count on Social security in the future.

Because you’re a long way from retirement, you may have a tough time seeing the value of benefit payments that could be many decades in the future. But keep in mind the Social Security taxes you’re paying can provide valuable disability or survivors benefits, if the unexpected happens. Studies show that of today’s 20-year-olds, about one in four will become disabled, and about one in eight will die before reaching retirement.

To learn more about Social Security and exactly what you’re earning for yourself by paying Social Security taxes, take a look at our online booklet, How You Earn Credits, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10072.html.

We’re doing this job together. The small amount you contribute with every paycheck allows us to help millions of retired workers, disabled people, and veterans. You can learn more about how we’re with you through life’s journey at www.socialsecurity.gov.


44 thoughts on “We’re Working Together to Secure Today and Tomorrow

  1. seems he gov. spend more than taking in. no mater
    how much we give – seems never enough for the
    gov. also the return on ss is based on payroll.
    then reaching age to receive ss they don’t pay the
    amount that should be received – if one continues
    to work past 80.

    • well if obama didn’t cut the number of people working ie the obamacare requirement of less than 50 ppl and less than 40 hrs of work there would not be less taxes collected.


  2. I have a question how is it that people come from other countries and they are already retired how are they able to received SS benefits when they have not paid a dime into the system?

  3. The SSA provides more services and assistance in many areas than are listed here. Go to their new web site on how to make complicated issues simple. It is a need to know.

  4. The 800 phone number, this web site, and my local SSA office has been very helpful to me when I needed to transition from my spouse’s health plan when she retired to Medicare……each transaction was very pleasant and a credit to the SSA employees…..and, I thank you………..

    • Thank you Mr. Stack! We’re pleased we can help. We will continue our efforts to meet your requirements and expectations in the years to come.

  5. I can not get into my SS account , I have called and had even gone into the office and still can not get into my account. Please help.

  6. you need to have article for people who have their own business & no employees … paying taxes, etc.

    then when they apply, find out they are illegible; it’s complicated.

    please address this important issue..thanks!

    have SS ever been repaid for all the people “robbing paul to pay others”?
    iowa recipient

  7. There may not be anything soon if they don’t make that Asshole Paul Ryan keep his damn hands off of it. He is a repub that someone needs to put some cement overshoes on.

  8. Oh, by the way, Medicare got a good raise this year as Social Security gave everyone a generous .03 % raise this year to donate to Medicare. that adds up to a good raise for Medicare when you count all the people on SS. The USA has become one sorry rip off country. I have paid into both of those programs most of my life and now the united states criminal congress is trying to steal that. The reason SS is going broke now is the us criminal congress has stolen from SS over and over again in the past. If congress paid back what they have stolen from SS the SS program would be in good shape today.

    • Hi Jerry. Any funds that have been “borrowed” from the Social Security Trust Funds have always been paid back in full, plus interest. Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. Social Security taxes collected from today’s workers pay the benefits of today’s retirees. Any funds in excess of what is needed to pay today’s benefits are invested in special issue, U.S. Government, interest-bearing securities. This investment – the purchase of U.S. Government securities – is what constitutes the “borrowing” that people are sometimes concerned about. Investing in (i.e., purchasing of) bonds (including these special issue securities) is always a loan to the party that floats the bond – in this case, the U.S. Treasury. In 2014, the Trust Fund asset reserves earned $98 billion in interest at an effective annual rate of 3.6 percent through investment in these special issue U.S. Government securities. Please check out our Trust Fund Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

  9. I am an Indian national having worked in USA on L1visa and contributed to SS for 24 quarters.I am neither getting any SSbenefits nor any other assistance nor has my contribution been returned.can you pl enlighten of the exact position as per existing laws.

    • Thank you for your question Vinod. Generally, individuals will need to have 40 credits, or 10 years of work paying Social Security taxes, to qualify for any type of Social Security benefit. In the United States, you can earn credits only by working in a job or your own business that is covered under Social Security. If you stop working before you have enough credits to qualify for benefits, your credits will stay on your record. If you return to work later on, you can add more credits so that you can qualify. No benefits can be paid if you do not have enough credits. We hope this information helps.

  10. Ye yeah in God I trust in my God the father only one who know all my need and for every thank I believe on him for my needs

    • @Lesly Franvois: Does this “God” you trust so fervently in for “all your needs” write a check to your landlord every month? How about at the grocery store, the utility company, etc? Yeah, I thought not.

  11. How come today’s retirees receive their full benefits from Social Security and the future retirees will not receive their full benefits? It should be equal that today’s and the future retirees’ receive full benefits from Social Security. How come you don’t cut the current retirees’ benefits to 75%? This is not fair since I pay 100% taxes into Social Security today. You need to fix the future payout to 100% benefits because today’s retirees are receiving their full benefits. You need to cut back on other government expenses to preserve Social Security.

  12. I am disable and be 63 years old and I am an disability benefits tomorrow morning will be March first I not getting any penny’s and I have to pay my bills wow ssi checks will stop start March first I not going well with God

  13. That’s wrong we shouldn’t be paying 75%tax out of our social security we work hard for our money …The government is wrong an the President should stay out of our Social Security. I work hard for my money. It’s not much but it mind Social Security ….

  14. i don’t get why i paid into social security all of my working life then when i reached 66 i retired and got a job. Now because of the tax structure created by obama i now have to pay taxes on my ss benefits. How can the govt tax a tax. It is not earned income, it’s like a savings contribution over the years that i am reimbursed. It seems illegal and abusive and just plain wrong! and don’t give me all the crap about how much i earn…i am happy to pay taxes on my EARNINGS.

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