EBRI: More Confidence in SS than UFOs

February 4, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Americans may have voiced confidence in the Social Security system in a survey, but that's not the whole story.

A 1997 poll by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Matthew Greenwald & Associates found that a whopping 86% of “pre-boomers” and 63% of “Gen Xers” said they were more sure they would be able to collect Social Security benefits than in the notion that life exists in outer space.

With “pre boomers” defined as those born before 1946 and “Gen Xers”   as those born in 1965 and after, 33% of the younger generation said they believed more in the suggestion of alien life existing in outer space while only one in 10 of their older counterparts agreed.

Focusing just on Social Security, 83% of “pre-boomers” said they were confident they would get benefits from the system while 10% were not so sure and the remainder didn’t know. Of the younger respondents, 52% were not confident of getting benefits while 43% were sure they would and the rest didn’t know.

One thing the two age groups agreed on: the exact definition of an unidentified flying object. Some 68% of “pre-boomers” and 79% of “Gen Xers” said a UFO was an “object in the sky that can’t be identified” while the remainder of both groups opted for a “spacecraft that is controlled by aliens.”

The Social Security issue has become a key topic of public policy discussion with Bush Administration efforts to partially privatize the system by allowing younger workers the chance to invest some of their money – a key theme of Wednesday’s George Bush State of the Union speech.

The EBRI report is  here .