Text description for Chart 1.
Historical expansion of Social Security coverage: Additional types of workers covered, by date of authorizing legislation
1935: All workers in commerce and industry under age 65 (covered after 1936).
1939: Age restriction eliminated (effective 1940).
1950: Regularly employed farm and domestic workers, nonfarmself-employed (except members of professional groups), U.S. citizens employed abroad by U.S. employers, and workers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (effective 1951).
1954: Self-employed farm workers, self-employed professionals (with some exceptions), and home workers (effective 1955).
1960: U.S. citizens employed in the U.S. by foreign governments or international organizations, and workers in Guam and American Samoa (effective 1961).
1965: Interns, self-employed physicians, and employees with tip income (for employee share of tax only) (effective 1966).
1982: Federal employees, for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) only (effective 1983).
1983: Federal employees hired after 12/31/1983, including executive, legislative, and judicial branch employees, members of Congress, president, vice president, sitting federal judges, most executive-level political appointees, newly hired employees of nonprofit organizations, and U.S. residents employed abroad by U.S. employers (effective 1984).
1990: State and local government employees not under a state or local government retirement system (with some exceptions) (effective July 1991).
1994: Police and firefighters under a public retirement system can be covered for Social Security in all states (effective August 1994).
Text description for Chart 2.
Selected Social Security program changes affecting Master Earnings File information
1935: Original Social Security Act passed, requiring a combined payroll tax of 2 percent on earnings up to $3,000 (first taxes collected in 1937).
1939: Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) established under the Internal Revenue Code.
1950: First payroll tax increase from a combined 2 percent to a combined 3 percent; first earnings records and taxes from self-employment collected (effective 1951)
1951: First taxable maximum increase, from $3,000 to $3,600.
1965: Medicare program signed into law (first Hospital Insurance taxes collected in 1966).
1972: Social Security taxable maximum is indexed to average wages for annual increases (effective 1975).
1978: Earnings reported to SSA on Form W-2; reporting basis changes from quarterly to annual.
1990: The taxable maximum for the Hospital Insurance portion of Social Security increases (effective 1991), and deferred compensation is explicitly identified on individuals' earnings records.
1993: Hospital Insurance taxable maximum repealed (effective 1994).
Text description for Chart 3.
Summary of earnings in the Social Security Master Earnings File
1937–1950: Aggregate covered earnings
1951–1977: Quarterly earnings data reported by employer
1978 to date: Annual wage, salary, and tip income (covered and noncovered) reported on Form W-2; covered self-employment income reported on Form 1040 SE a
1990 to date: Summary deferred compensation
1991 to date b: Taxable Medicare earnings above the taxable maximum
2004 to date: Detailed deferred compensation