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Social Security is a pay-as-you-go retirement plan for workers. This system is funded through taxes, which are then paid back to the individual at some point in their lifetime. Knowing the ins and outs of this process is vital if you’re planning on retiring due to its importance in one’s financial life. Social Security is a nationwide Social Insurance program that provides benefits for Americans who need financial assistance.


Ten things you should know about Social Security


1. What does Social Security pay for?

The Social Security system was established in 1935 to provide income for the nation’s elderly and disabled individuals, survivors, and dependent children of deceased workers.


2. How was Social Security funded?

The system works by having employees pay into a fund through payroll taxes. The money is workers’ own money that they earned and not the government’s.


3. How long will the Social Security system last?

Because of tax revenues generated by the program, it is estimated that Social Security will be able to pay 75 percent of scheduled benefits through 2087.


4. Who receives Social Security benefits?

The Social Security system provides various benefits to Americans who need help paying for retirement, disability, and survivor benefits. Benefits are also provided for disabled children under age 18; survivors, including widows, widowers, and children of deceased workers; the elderly and the physically or mentally disabled.


5. What is the Social Security Wage Base?

The wage base is the maximum amount of money that an employee can earn before paying Social Security tax. The wage base is $127,200. If your annual income surpasses this amount, you will not pay Social Security tax on additional earnings.


6. What about earnings above the wage base?

If your wage base exceeds the amount of money you can earn, you will pay Social Security tax on every additional dollar earned. However, once this additional income reaches a certain figure, it is exempt from tax.


7. What is the Social Security Tax Rate?

The Social Security tax rate for employees is 6.2 percent for workers and employers. For self-employed workers, the tax rate is 12.4 percent.


8. What income is exempt from Social Security taxes?

Your income may be exempt from Social Security taxes if you are a minister, are in the military, or have earned wages above the wage base set by the government.


9. How much can one withdraw from their Social Security retirement savings?

Retirement benefits are qualified retirement benefits, and as such, individuals can only withdraw a maximum of $2,100 per year in qualified distributions from the self-accumulation account.


10. How long does Social Security last?

It depends on an individual’s age when they retire. Individuals who retire at the normal retirement age of 66 years of age receive benefits for life, whereas those who retire at 62 years of age or older will receive reduced benefits for life.