All WRS Employers
Vol. 19, No. 24
December 17, 2002
Social Security Wage Base Set to Increase for 2003
As the designated liaison between the Social Security Administration
and employers with Social Security Section 218 Agreements, the Department
of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) produces this Employer Bulletin
to provide updated information, including Social Security and Medicare
wage bases for 2003. The following applies to all Wisconsin Retirement
System employers and all other public employers subject to a Social
Security Section 218 agreement.
Social Security and Medicare Wage Bases and Rates for
Effective for all wages paid on or after January 1, 2003, the
Social Security (full FICA) wage base will increase from $84,900
to $87,000. The Medicare wage base will not have a dollar limit
Although the wage base will increase, the employer and employee
tax rates will remain the same in 2003. The Social Security
(full FICA) rate remains at 7.65% (6.20% Social Security plus
1.45% Medicare) for wages up to $87,000. All wages over $87,000
are subject only to the 1.45% Medicare rate. The rate remains
at 1.45% for others who are subject only to Medicare.
- Earnings Exemptions for 2003
maximum amount a Social Security beneficiary, between the ages
of 62 through 64, may earn without any reduction in benefits will
increase to $11,520 per year ($960 a month). For individuals turning
65 years and 2 months, the earnings limit applies to the months
in that calendar year prior to turning age 65 years and 2 months.
The maximum earnings without any reduction for the individual
turning 65 years and 2 months are $30,720 per year or $2,560 a
month for the calendar year months prior to age 65 years and 2
months. There is no limit on earnings beginning the month an individual
attains age 65 years and 2 months.
John Doe will turn 65 on June 10, 2003. Until January 2003,
Mr. Doe's earnings limit is $960 a month. For the months
January 2003 through July 2003, John Doe's earnings limit
is $2,560 each month. There is no earnings limit after July 2003.
- 2003 Earnings Requirement for One-Quarter Credit for
In 2003, the amount of earnings
required for a Social Security credit (one quarter of coverage)
will increase from $870 to $890 ($1,780 will earn two quarters,
2003 Benefit Increase for Social
The Social Security benefit increase for 2003 will be 1.4%.
Election Worker Exclusion for 2003
The earnings exclusion for election workers will remains the
same at $1,200 for 2003.
For more information, contact Dale Ferron, Department of Employee
Trust Funds, at (608) 266-0728.