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Social Security figures at-a-glance

  2010 2011
Social Security Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA)    
For Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries 0% 0%
Tax rate    
FICA tax--Employee1 7.65% 5.65%
Social Security (OASDI) portion of tax1 6.20% 4.20%
Medicare (HI) portion of tax 1.45% 1.45%
Self-Employed 15.30% 13.30%
Social Security (OASDI) portion of tax1 12.40% 10.40%
Medicare (HI) portion of tax 2.90% 2.90%
Maximum taxable earnings    
Social Security (OASDI only) $106,800 $106,800
Medicare (HI only) No limit No limit
Quarter of coverage    
Earnings required $1,120 $1,120
Retirement earnings test--exempt amounts    
Under full retirement age    
Benefits reduced by $1 for each $2 earned above:    
Yearly figure $14,160 $14,160
Monthly figure $1,180 $1,180
Year individual reaches full retirement age    
Benefits reduced by $1 for each $3 earned above (applies only to earnings for months prior to attaining full retirement age):    
Yearly figure $37,680 $37,680
Monthly figure $3,140 $3,140
Beginning the month individual attains full retirement age No limit on earnings No limit on earnings
Social Security disability thresholds    
Substantial gainful activity (SGA): for the sighted (monthly figure) $1,000 $1,000
Substantial gainful activity: for the blind (monthly figure) $1,640 $1,640
Trial work period (TWP) (monthly figure) $720 $720
SSI federal payment standard    
Individual (monthly figure) $674 $674
Couple (monthly figure) $1,011 $1,011
SSI resource limits    
Individual $2,000 $2,000
Couple $3,000 $3,000
SSI student exclusion limits    
Monthly limit $1,640 $1,640
Annual limit $6,600 $6,600
Maximum Social Security benefit    
Worker retiring at full retirement age (monthly figure) $2,346 $2,366
Formula for Monthly Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) (90% of first X of AIME + 32% of the AIME over X and through Y + 15% of AIME over Y) X=$761 Y=$4,586 X=$749 Y=$4,517

1 The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 included a 2% reduction in the Social Security (OASDI) portion of FICA tax for 2011.