NU Online News Service, March 15, 2005, 3:20 p.m. EST

Most Americans are aware of Bush administration efforts to set up a new personal retirement account system.[@@]

Researchers at Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, have published figures supporting that conclusion in a report on a February survey of 1,101 employees over the age of 18 at U.S. businesses with 10 to 1,000 employees.

Researchers found that 89% of the workers polled had heard of efforts to add personal accounts to the Social Security retirement program, and that 49% of the workers said they were not comfortable with the idea of managing their own accounts.

When asked about the initiatives that would have the biggest effect on their own financial well-being, 41% named Social Security reform; 32% named tax code reform; and 27% named efforts to cut the national budget deficit.

About 73% said they “strongly” or “somewhat” agreed that the national debt already has had or will hurt their personal financial security.