Your Contributions Make Our Nation Stronger

man & woman reading on the couchAt first, seeing taxes taken out of your paycheck can be a little disappointing. However, you can take pride in knowing you’re making an important impact each week when you contribute to Social Security. Understanding how important your contribution is takes some of the sting away because your taxes are helping millions of Americans — and protecting you and your family for life — as well as wounded warriors, the chronically ill, and disabled.

By law, employers must withhold Social Security taxes from a worker’s paycheck. While usually referred to as “Social Security taxes” on an employee’s pay statement, sometimes the deduction is labeled as “FICA” which stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act, a reference to the original Social Security Act. In some cases, you will see “OASDI” which stands for Old Age Survivors Disability Insurance.

The taxes you pay now translate to 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 as well.

Because you may be a long way from retirement, you might have a tough time seeing the value of benefit payments that could be many decades in the future. But keep in mind that the Social Security taxes you’re paying can provide valuable disability or survivors benefits now in the event 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.

Be warned: if an employer offers to pay you “under the table,” you should refuse. It’s against the law. They may try to sell it as a benefit to you since you get a few extra dollars in your pay. But you’re really only allowing the employer to cheat you out of your Social Security credits.

If you’d like to learn a little more about Social Security and exactly what you’re building up 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.

If you have a friend who lost a parent when they were a child, they probably got Social Security survivors benefits. Social Security helps by providing income for the families of workers who die. In fact, 98 of every 100 children could get benefits if a working parent dies. And Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program. You can learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov/survivors.

Do you prefer videos to reading? Check out webinar, “Social Security 101: What’s in it for me?” The webinar explains what you need to know about Social Security. You can find it at www.socialsecurity.gov/multimedia/webinars/social_security_101.html as well as on YouTube at  www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hkLaBiavqQ.

You can also learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov.

 

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48 thoughts on “Your Contributions Make Our Nation Stronger

  1. I think it is downright awful, that i have to pay additional amounts from my S.S. retirement monthly stipend and on top of that, Social Security charges me more because of my income.
    I paid into the system for decades and feel that I am getting ripped off.
    I feel that i should not have to pay anymore than what i did when i was working. that is the way the system was supposed to work. I should not be charged AFTER i retired. I retired in 2010

    • Hi Judy, I am trying to find out what form my husband needs to fill out to pay the taxes monthly from his son sec check. He just started getting it last October. Do you know? Thanks!

  2. People who work with ITIN numbers do not pay towards Social Security, unfortunately. Consult with a tax preparer about your options of paying Social Security Taxes.

  3. Why do some people feel it necessary to use vulgar language when commenting on another person’s post? It just shows the ignorance and lack of respect of some people, and if they think it’s “cute” or appropriate, they are sadly mistaken.

  4. I look at what I have paid in over my lifetime over 148K and my employer matched it 296K if I had that amount and the interest over a lifetime even with market fluctuations I would have an amazing retirement. When I hear politicians say they need to decrease “entitlements”. What does that even mean? The money the government withheld without my agreement and is supposedly holding for my retirement.

  5. I had served 1957 – 1960 I had not asked for any service before until last year and then was told that I could not receive and ways for extra connection. This true or has all general person now some how received a way to change life??

  6. My 25 year career was outsourced to INDIA and I lost my home, custody of my son’s, ….. I was determined disabled, when I received my first check I was told it was reduced “due to Obama’s cut for refuges” – I started working at 16 and I didn’t do it for them.
    I have to pay child support out of my disability, it makes me feel I was robbed for those refugees.

    • I have a similar story. I also feel robbed! 6 years of harassment and having become homeless, at one point, because they suddenly decided I had to pay back $12,000. I lost my job at a large corporation that looked at tax returns. First, you wouldn’t believe the corporate write-offs and how they can get to a zero taxable income. Next, though, there was a woman in her late 50s, disabled, kids still at home and husband had passed away that year. Suddenly, she was also asked to “pay back” several thousand, tell me how that is going to happen, They really don’t care though.
      When visiting the local office recently, I saw a big screen where it bragged about having collected so many billions in SS.
      Mine, when being figured, does not come out to 12, 000, as they billed me. I worked more than the “allowed time” for a couple of months in an office that was just getting started with foster care. No matter, I worked really hard, and went over for a little bit. Low and behold, they now had a liscence to “take back” thousands! This was after Obama was elected into office also.

  7. How can refugees collect anything from Social Security, when we are told you have to pay inat least 40 quarters before you qualify to collect anything??? the politicians need to live by the same rules they require us to live by and things would be much MUCH different.

    • Refugees get over 5,000 when they land! Senior’s lost their ,03% COLA stipend raise in 2017, having gone 3 years without a raise; medicare part B premium ate it up! Seniors are having to work to make ends meet, pay for drugs, etc. Employers still take out Social Security from every paycheck, and no longer refund it while they are “choosing” to work past 65/66. Why, you can guess why and where it is going… entitlements for non-paying SS participants got it all I would love to get my hands on SS’s budget and just where the money is going! I worked since age 16, and my SS check is earned, not an entitlement to me! Life isn’t fair!

    • Something to realize is that politicians and government who/that are/is being called out are citizens: relatives,
      neighbors, friends. Nope, they are not from outer space. I often question their decisions, but still ask myself if I could do better deciding what is best for everyone else and my Country. For sure, their logic is often not mine.

  8. In a decent and peaceful democracy our neighbors would not ask the government to do anything that would be wrong if they did the same thing to their neighbors. Now, imagine if I stole money from my neighbor to cover my medical bills. I would go to jail. The people who lobbied for SS are violent criminals, and so are those who passed it, signed it into law. As well as those who refuse to repeal it.

  9. This web cite tries to paint a nice face on a criminal institution. It does not work. We The People can see right through all the BS.

  10. I don’t want to donate my money at this time because I don’t earn enough, I worked 13 years so I need my money that gets taken out!!!
    The millionaires can help !! They spend money on things not needed— I buy basics. Food-pay bills. Medicines. Mtge. gasoline for my 2004 Nissan, etc ,, all I need is what l had monthly – $3000. A month,,,! Even that didn’t leave me much.

  11. I have been paying into SS since I was 14 years old and now I am 52. I have multiple disabilities and unable to work. I hired a lawyer (one of my doctors recommended so, I would not add additional stress on my body) and it has been 2 years and I am still not receiving my money. I have used all savings and all mine and my spouses 401k. My lawyer said he has seen clients go homeless before they hear on their SS benefit. I cannot believe we have a government that will allow this to happen. I have a 4 year degree and made good salaries and my lawyer said they hold people like me back also because they do not want to pay that much to me each month. We have a problem with the system. Please let me know has this can be resolved before I lose my home!!!!

  12. I retired from GE when I was 59 1/2 years young and lived on my own funds and drew SS early when I became 62 so I could receive it for a few years before a good share of it was gone to people who never paid into the program and it went default. It is not an entitlement as I paid into it since 11 years of age delivering newspapers. Also, in our small town of Wapello, Iowa, there are plenty of people who draw SS disability since high school and are still doing so but still work for cash under the table all these decades. How’s that for having your cake and eating it too? If I had the funds I and my employer paid in, I could live my remaining years so much better. Just another program the LAZY moochers are milking and no one does anything about or don’t care to because it’s not politically correct. Most of us retirement people will die before we receive all the funds us and our employers paid in. What a sham.

    • Incorrect!

      MOST will receive MORE than what they and their employer(s) paid into the system.

      That is a FACT! Not baseless nonsense and ramblings……

  13. Pres. Johnson (a Dem) took all the excess money that had been built up in SS and put into the general fund and then spent it to make his admin look good. VP Al Gore cast the deciding vote to tax our SS. (a Dem). Now we are at the point where SS is going broke. Why didn’t Pres. Obama (a Dem) fix the program while he was in office? We all know it needs fixing. Now money is coming out of the Fed Gov. to pay for the short falls. So we are actually paying for our own SS check twice. We paid into it, our employer paid into on our behalf and we are paying into it again. Guess that’s three times. Ah yes, our wonderful government at work.

  14. ” But keep in mind that the Social Security taxes you’re paying can provide valuable disability or survivors benefits now in the event the unexpected happens. Studies show that of today’s 20-year-olds, about one in four will become disabled”
    Really? 25% of the 20 year olds will become disabled before retirement? Do men or women still lose their limbs while building railroads or when their working in a cotton mill? They should have a separate fund for disability. This money shouldn’t be drawn from the general fund. Me thinks they also need to tighten the requirements for disability.

  15. First of all, I think people with disabilities and those who have never paid into SS should be getting help from states Medicaid programs instead of a program they never contributed to even through no fault of their own. There needs to be a separate fund for these citizens and not for immigrants who aren’t supposed to here in the first place. No wonder, they all want to come here. And what really pisses me off is the feds will give refuges a low interest loan to start a business and forget about the American citizen and it takes away from American citizens getting jobs because they hire their own people to work whether they are supposed to be here or not. I was one of these people.

    • Not happy here either, and I agree, it should be a different fund that it is paid from, if they never paid in.
      I have paid in to SS since I was about 12, helping a neighbor measure lawns and delivering statements, and a Sun paper route. I am now 52. A Dr messed up with a pacemaker, and I had such heart failure for a few years that I slept 20 hours a day! I qualified to get a SS payment, based on what I had earned until I had the surgery (nobody would admit wrong doing, of course, and because docs stick together, nobody would file a suit either.)
      But, my point is that not everyone who gets disability hasn’t paid in. I would guess most of us have. I understand that if you are below a certain rate, and of the poorest, there is an additional amount sent (SSI?) I’m not exactly sure where that one comes from.

    • Never

      If you still work in a job that is covered under Social Security, at ANY age you will still pay into SSA.

      Your benefits are based on your best 35 years. If you are working at say 94 years old, you will still pay into SSA.

      If that year of work figures into your best 35 years, Social Security will automatically adjust your benefit to the higher amount in March or October of the next year following the year in which you worked. This is called the AERO.

      If your prior year of earnings does not figure into your best 35 years, then your payment stays the same. The AERO can never make your payment go down, only up.

      So if you are working there is NEVER an age in which S.S. would stop taking FICA tax out of your check.

    • Thank you for your question Ricky. Everyone working in covered employment or self-employment regardless of age or eligibility for benefits must pay Social Security taxes.

  16. How did Americans become so utterly ignorant? Most of these comments are just this side of completely insane! How is it that you people are able to post comments so full of false, incorrect, ridiculous, and literally impossible, made-up statements, which you clearly believe to be true?! You’re on the actual, official website of the Social Security Administration, yet you make all these idiotic, inane statements that prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that you’ve never read one page on the site, and many of you appear not to have even read the article you’re commenting on…Instead you simply get to the end and start posting all your personal vitriol, ranting against a government agency that you know absolutely nothing – NOTHING AT ALL – about. Again, this is glaringly obvious from the ludicrous and sometimes even downright stupid things you say.

    One poster on another article stated, ” Social Security only hires immigrants who can’t speak English.” Seriously? And not a day goes by where at least one person (but more often, it’s dozens of posters) rails against people who are “too lazy to work so they fake disability to get my hard-earned tax dollars.” And always those who rant about “illegals” getting Social Security, welfare, etc., and complaining how they don’t feel their withheld dollars should go to anyone who “doesn’t deserve it,” which is everyone but them. Oddly though, every one of these people demands they receive their “Fair share,” complains about not getting enough, or not getting a “raise,” then proceed to blame Obama, the “liberals,” and/or the Democrats.

    Again, all of these people are proving, by their own posts and these astonishingly ignorant statements and beliefs, that they know absolutely nothing about Social Security, Meficare, Medicaid, disability, or even the most basic facts about how THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT works! Yet they feel perfectly comfortable attacking that same government for things that aren’t even possible, much less true, and, ironically, still feel entitled to all kinds of benefits and services that only government can provide to citizens – which, by the way, is the REASON and SOLE FUNCTION of government in the first place. You can read (comprehend what you read, not so sure, but you can read enough to post), so why not try to EDUCATE yourselves by READING some of the vast amount of useful information the government provides for your understanding of your own country.

    Everyone is always demanding their “rights” – but recognize that rights always, always, always come with RESPONSIBILITIES. It’s your responsibility as a citizen of the United States of America to be aware of what your country is, at the very leadt. And you will never, ever know if you rely on news, neighbors, talk show hosts, and politicians whose only interest is in keeping their cushy jobs instead of getting the ACTUAL information about your government from the source- the official government websotes, publucations, and information they make available to every one of us.

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