Automatic Determinations

Cost-of-Living Adjustment

Tax data

Wage-indexed amounts

Social Security's Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program limits the amount of earnings subject to taxation for a given year. The same annual limit also applies when those earnings are used in a benefit computation. This limit changes each year with changes in the national average wage index. We call this annual limit the contribution and benefit base. For earnings in 2015, this base is $118,500.

The OASDI tax rate for wages paid in 2015 is set by statute at 6.2 percent for employees and employers, each. Thus, an individual with wages equal to or larger than $118,500 would contribute $7,347.00 to the OASDI program in 2015, and his or her employer would contribute the same amount. The OASDI tax rate for self-employment income in 2015 is 12.4 percent.

For Medicare's Hospital Insurance (HI) program, the taxable maximum was the same as that for the OASDI program for 1966-1990. Separate HI taxable maximums of $125,000, $130,200, and $135,000 were applicable in 1991-93, respectively. After 1993, there has been no limitation on HI-taxable earnings. Tax rates under the HI program are 1.45 percent for employees and employers, each, and 2.90 percent for self-employed persons.

Contribution and benefit bases, 1937-2015
Year Amount
1937-50 $3,000
1951-54 3,600
1955-58 4,200
1959-65 4,800
1966-67 6,600
1968-71 7,800
1972 9,000
1973 10,800
1974 13,200
1975 14,100
1976 15,300
1977 16,500
1978 17,700
1979 22,900
1980 25,900
1981 29,700
1982 32,400
1983 35,700
1984 37,800
1985 39,600
Year Amount
1986 $42,000
1987 43,800
1988 45,000
1989 48,000
1990 51,300
1991 53,400
1992 55,500
1993 57,600
1994 60,600
1995 61,200
1996 62,700
1997 65,400
1998 68,400
1999 72,600
2000 76,200
2001 80,400
2002 84,900
2003 87,000
2004 87,900
2005 90,000
Year Amount
2006 $94,200
2007 97,500
2008 102,000
2009 106,800
2010 106,800
2011 106,800
2012 110,100
2013 113,700
2014 117,000
2015 118,500
Note: Amounts for 1937-74 and for 1979-81 were set by statute; all other amounts were determined under automatic adjustment provisions of the Social Security Act.