Could the retirement security of American households become a hot-button issue in the 2016 elections?
Before answering, check out the results of a comprehensive consumer survey on “Americans’ Views of the Retirement Crisis,” published recently by the National Institute on Retirement Security.
Among 801 adult Americans surveyed, 86 percent agreed there is a retirement crisis in the U.S. Eighty-seven percent said leaders in Washington do not understand Americans’ struggle to achieve retirement security. Two-thirds (67 percent) said they would be willing to take less in pay increases, in exchange for guaranteed income in retirement – i.e., a pension.
If you were a politician and wanted to tie into this sentiment, what would you offer? Well, 83 percent of Americans have a favorable view of traditional pensions, and 71 percent think state-sponsored retirement plans are a good idea. Also, 75 percent would participate in a state retirement pension, if they could.
The hypothetical state-sponsored retirement plan template described by the survey had several key features: portability, a monthly check in retirement, low fees, and automatic enrollment. These are (perhaps not coincidentally) features of the Secure Choice Savings Program adopted by the Illinois legislature in December, and set to begin in 2017.