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Employer Bulletin

All Employers
Vol. 16, No. 2
January 7, 1999

Social Security Wage Base Increases for 1999

As the designated liaison between the Social Security Administration and employers with Social Security Section 218 Agreements, the Department of Employe Trust Funds produces this Employer Bulletin to provide updated information including Social Security and Medicare wage bases for 1999. The following applies to all Wisconsin Retirement System employers and all other public employers subject to a Social Security Section 218 agreement.

  1. Social Security and Medicare Wage Bases and Rates for 1999

    Effective for all wages paid on or after January 1, 1999, the Social Security (full FICA) wage base will increase from $68,400 to $72,600. The Medicare wage base will not have a dollar limit for 1999.

    Although the wage base will increase, the employer and employe tax rates will remain the same in 1999. The Social Security (full FICA) rate remains at 7.65% (6.20% Social Security plus 1.45% Medicare) for wages up to $72,600. All wages over $72,600 are subject only to the 1.45% Medicare rate. The rate remains at 1.45% for others who are subject only to Medicare.

  2. Earnings Exemptions for 1999

    The maximum amount a Social Security beneficiary may earn without any reduction in benefits will increase to $9,600 for those under age 65 and $15,500 for those ages 65 through 69. Social Security beneficiaries over age 70 do not have a maximum earnings amount.

  3. 1999 Earnings Requirement for One-Quarter Credit for Social Security

    In 1999, the amount of earnings required for a Social Security credit (a quarter of coverage) will increase from $700 to $740 ($1,480 will earn two quarters, etc.).

  4. 1999 Benefit Increase for Social Security

    The Social Security benefit increase for 1999 will be 1.3%.

  5. Election Worker Exclusion for 1999

    The exclusion remains at $1,000 per year through 1999 at which time wage indexing will start.

For questions about this Bulletin contact: Dale Ferron, Division of Employer Services, Department of Employe Trust Funds at (608) 266-0728.


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