Your Social Security tax supports millions

By: Brenda Brown - Contributing Columnist

You are making America stronger through Social Security. Chances are, people you know and love benefit in some way from this social safety net. Retirees, wounded warriors, the disabled, and people who are chronically ill rely on Social Security for monthly benefits. The Social Security taxes you pay are helping millions of Americans — and financially securing your today and tomorrow.

By law, employers must withhold Social Security taxes from workers’ paychecks. While usually referred to as “Social Security taxes” on an employee’s pay statement, sometimes the deduction is labeled “FICA.” This 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 official name for the Social Security Insurance program.

The taxes you pay now mean a lifetime of protection — for a comfortable retirement in your senior years or in the event of disability. When you die, your family (or future family) may be able to receive survivors benefits based on your work as well.

Social Security is fully funded through 2033. At that point, we will be able to fund retirement benefits at 79 percent, unless changes are made to the law. Social Security has evolved to meet the needs of a changing population — and you can count on Social security in the future.

If you are 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. Keep in mind that the Social Security taxes you are paying can provide valuable disability or survivors benefits 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.

Check out our 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

If you would like to learn a little more about Social Security and exactly what you are earning for yourself by paying Social Security taxes, take a look at our online booklet, “How You Earn Credits,” at You can also learn more at

Brenda Brown is a Social Security public affairs specialist based in Fayetteville.

Brenda Brown

Contributing Columnist