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Saving Social Security Is a Bipartisan Issue: Survey

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What You Need to Know

  • Most Americans of both political parties agree there Is a retirement crisis ahead.
  • A majority of those surveyed say COVID-19 has delayed their retirement plans.
  • Many stated that pension plans are better than 401(k) plans.

It should come as no surprise that most Americans support Social Security, but the support cuts across political party lines in this divided nation, according to a new survey by the National Institute on Retirement Security, a nonprofit advocacy group.

Also, 67% of respondents said they strongly or somewhat agreed that America is facing a retirement crisis, including 70% of Democrats and independents and 62% of Republicans surveyed.

The survey also found that 51% of Americans believe COVID-19 has increased concerns about retirement security.

The NIRS found “that retirement anxiety transcends political affiliation. Across party lines, Americans are frustrated with policymakers and that they can’t save enough on their own to be self-sufficient in retirement,” said Dan Doonan, NIRS executive director and report co-author, in a statement.

“As such, enacting retirement policy solutions would be a win-win for policymakers and the country, delivering financial relief for working families on an issue that concerns Americans on both sides of the aisle,” he added.

The study, done in concert with Greenwald Research, found the strong desire of Americans to not only keep Social Security, but also bolster it through higher payroll taxes.

Here are the key findings of the study:

  • COVID-19 has impacted many Americans concerns’ and plans for retirement.

The survey found 51% of respondents stated that the pandemic has increased their concern. In addition, 67% stated that due to COVID-19, they plan to retire later than they had previously intended.

  • A large majority of Americans are worried about economic security in retirement.

Along with those who believe America is facing a retirement crisis, 56% of respondents stated they were concerned they won’t be able to achieve a financially secure retirement. Further, 68% said the average worker can’t save enough today to secure their retirement.

  • The country may be polarized, but it is united on this issue.

Americans might be divided on political matters, the politicians should take note that most — 79% — of Americans support Social Security and think it should remain a congressional priority despite budget deficits.

Further, 60% agree that it makes sense to increase the amount that workers and employers contribute to Social Security to make sure it’s available to future generations.

In fact, 25% stated it should be expanded to all Americans, while 25% said it should be expanded to all but wealthier households.

  • Pensions have big support.

Another hot-button issue seems to have a consensus: defined pension benefits. The survey found 76% of those surveyed have a favorable view of pensions, and 65% believe they work better than 401(k) savings accounts for providing retirement security.

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