Academic journal article Social Security Bulletin

OASDI Program Highlights, 1993; Tables

Academic journal article Social Security Bulletin

OASDI Program Highlights, 1993; Tables

Article excerpt

Social Security benefits for December 1993, payable on January 3, 1994, were increased by a 2.6-percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Benefit amounts are increased automatically each year to reflect the increase in the Consumer Price Index. This was the smallest annual increase since the 1.3-percent rise for 1986. The increase for 1992 was 3.0 percent.

The maximum amount of earnings subject to OASI and DI taxes increased from $57,600 in 1993 to $60,600 in 1994. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA 93) repealed the limit on wages and self-employment income subject to the Medicare (Hospital Insurance) tax effective for 1994 earnings. Therefore, the tax of 1.45 percent on wage and salary income and 2.9 percent on self-employment income applies to all earnings. In 1993, the upper limit was $135,000.

OBRA 93 also increased the taxable portion of Social Security benefits for married couples with incomes of more than $44,000 and single persons with incomes of more than $34,000. Effective 1994, up to 85 percent of Social Security or Tier 1 Railroad Retirement benefits may be included in gross income for income tax purposes. Prior to 1994, a maximum of 50 percent of Social Security benefits could be included.( See Section on "Effect of Current Earnings and Taxation of Benefits," and Tables 2.A31 and 2.A32 for detailed information.)

Program Trends

In December 1993, 42,245,700 persons received Social Security benefits, an increase of 738,500 (1.8 percent) since December 1992. Sixty-two percent were retired workers (26,104,300), and 12 percent were nondisabled widows and widowers (5,077,300).

* 4,529,500 beneficiaries were receiving payments on the basis of disability--3,726,000 disabled workers, 656,500 disabled adult children, and 147,000 disabled widows and widowers. …

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