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Social Security and Medicare Tax Rates

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at ssa.gov.

1405. Social Security and Medicare Tax Rates

1405.1 What rates do employers and employees pay on Social Security and Medicare taxes?

Employers and employees pay Social Security and Medicare taxes at the same rate on wages up to the maximum amounts creditable for each program for the year. (See §1301.)

1405.2 Are tips included in determining wages?

Yes. Tips are included in determining the maximum wages on which the employer's tax is payable. (See §1329.) See §1408 for allocated tips.

1405.3 How is the tax rate calculated?

The Social Security tax rate is the sum of the retirement, survivors, and disability insurance tax rate and the hospital insurance tax rate on the wages. The following chart shows the rates that apply to both employers and employees:


Tax Rate

Calendar year

Retirement, survivors, and disability insurance rate

Hospital insurance rate

Combined rate

1985

5.70%

1.35%

7.05%

1986-1987

5.70%

1.45%

7.15%

1988-1989

6.06%

1.45%

7.51%

1990 and later

6.20%

1.45%

7.65%

Last Revised: March, 2001


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If the mount over the social security maximum is lower than the social security maximum what happens

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