Poll: Those Saving Well More Likely To Support SS Overhaul

February 28, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - People who feel confident that they are saving well enough for retirement are more likely to support President Bush's plan to overhaul Social Security and create private accounts for future retirees.

According to a poll from the Associated Press (AP), two-thirds of those who say they’re doing an excellent job of saving for retirement support the private account proposal, while two-thirds of those who say they’re doing a poor job oppose the plan. Of those who think that they are only doing a “good” job, support for the plan is around 50%, according to the AP. Overall, 55% oppose the plan, and 39% support it, according to the poll.

Support for the personal accounts is higher among the younger generation and gets more infrequent as workers age, according to the poll.

People are also divided – about 50% to 50% – on whether investing in stocks or bonds would give them more or less money, according to the poll.

The poll also found mixed feelings on retirement preparation. Around 50% of respondents said that they don’t think they’re doing a good job preparing for life after work. Only one-third say that they do not feel confident that they will live comfortably in retirement.

On the topic of retirement age, the poll found that 20% of future retirees plan to retire at 55 or younger, while almost half plan to retire in their 60s. Ten percent plan to retire after the age of 71.

Even if they “retire”, about 66% of those polled plan to continue working after their official retirement. Making more money and staying busy were the most commonly cited reasons for this, according to the study.

About half of those polled had 401(k) plans, and just as many have individual retirement account and employer-paid pensions. This indicates that many people have more than one retirement plan in place, according to the study.

The AP poll was conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs and included 1,000 adult respondents.