All employees, except most student employees*, are covered by Social Security and Medicare. Social Security and Medicare taxes, sometimes called FICA taxes, are automatically deducted from your wages.

*Student employees should review the Payroll page to see if they are exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Social Security Taxes

  • The employee pays 6.2% on covered compensation up to $128,400.
  • UW System pays 6.2% on covered compensation up to $128,400.

Medicare Taxes

  • The employee pays 1.45% on covered compensation up to $200,000 and 2.35% on covered compensation in excess of $200,000.
  • UW System pays 1.45% on all covered compensation (no limit).

What is Social Security?

Social Security is a federal program that provides you (and in some cases your spouse or former spouse) with a monthly retirement benefit at age 62 or later. In addition, you may qualify for disability benefits if you become unable to work before retirement age. If you die prematurely, Social Security provides your dependent children with support until age 18. Your spouse, parents, and disabled children may also be eligible for survivor’s benefits.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program that provides you (and your spouse) with insurance coverage for certain health care costs when you reach age 65. You may qualify for Medicare coverage earlier if you become disabled.


last updated: 3/1/2018

Every effort has been made to ensure this information is current and correct. This page does not guarantee enrollment or the ability to make changes to your benefits.