Iowa State University

Payroll Office

Social Security Information


Social Security Rates
Social Security is made up of two items, FICA and Medicare tax. For 2014, the FICA tax rate is 6.2% on the first $117,000 wages paid. The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% on the first $200,000 and 2.35% above $200,000.

General Information
Federal Regulations require withholding Social Security taxes from all employee wage payments except:

  • Wages earned by students who are enrolled at Iowa State University and are at least half-time students are exempt. Students attain half-time status by enrolling in at least 6 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters, and 3 credit hours during the summer session. Wages earned during the summer months by students not registered in summer classes are subject to FICA and Medicare withholding.

  • Nonresident aliens on F-1or J-1 visas are exempt from FICA and Medicare withholdings for a limited time. Nonresident aliens should go to the International Students and Scholars Office at 3248 Memorial Union to sign a FICA exemption form.

  • Federal Employees - In general, federal employees working continuously for the federal government since 12-31-83 or earlier and who are covered by a retirement system (CSRS) are exempt from the FICA portion of Social Security. However, such service is not exempt from the Medicare portion of Social Security.


A Social Security card must be presented to the Human Resource representative at the time an employee signs up as a new employee at Iowa State University. If you do not have a Social Security number, you must contact the Social Security Administrative Office to apply for a number.

Social Security Tax Rate and Wage Base
Year FICA Base FICA Rate FICA Max Medicare
2014 $117,000 6.2% $7,254.00 1.45% on first $200,000
2.35% above $200,000
2013 $113,700 6.2% $7,049.40 1.45% on first $200,000
2.35% above $200,000
2012 $110,100 4.2% $4,624.20 1.45%
2011 $106,800 4.2% $4,485.60 1.45%
2010 $106,800 6.2% $6,621.60 1.45%
2009 $106,800 6.2% $6,621.60 1.45%
2008 $102,000 6.2% $6,324.00 1.45%
2007 $97,500 6.2% $6,045.00 1.45%
2006 $94,200 6.2% $5,840.40 1.45%
2005 $90,000 6.2% $5,580.00 1.45%
2004 $87,900 6.2% $5,449.80 1.45%
2003 $87,000 6.2% $5,394.00 1.45%
2002 $84,900 6.2% $5,263.80 1.45%
2001 $80,400 6.2% $4,984.80 1.45%
2000 $76,200 6.2% $4,724.40 1.45%
1999 $72,600 6.2% $4,501.20 1.45%
1998 $68,400 6.2% $4,240.80 1.45%
1997 $65,400 6.2% $4,054.80 1.45%
1996 $62,700 6.2% $3,877.40 1.45%
1995 $61,200 6.2% $3,794.40 1.45%
1994 $60,600 6.2% $3,757.20 1.45%

Summary
The Social Security Administration(SSA) uses the Social Security Number plus the first 7(seven) characters of an employee's last name on the Form W-2 to post Social Security Wages and Tips to a worker's Social Security earnings record. Billions of dollars have not been posted to employee's Form W-2's due to number mismatches. Please, make sure that the information you provide Iowa State University and the SSA is correct and current.

The general information help line for the SSA is 1-800-772-1213.

If you change your name on your Social Security card, you must present your new card to the Human Resources Department in 3810 Beardshear so they can change your records to the correct name.