Small Businesses Want Social Security Control

October 15, 2008 ( - Fewer than 10% of companies with 50 or fewer employees offer 401(k) plans, according to a new survey.

A news release about the survey commissioned by ING DIRECT’s ShareBuilder 401k said the limited retirement plan availability makes small business workers even more reliant on Social Security benefits than their peers at larger companies.

When it comes to Social Security, the poll found, two-thirds of small business owners want the opportunity to manage their own accounts. Some 67% of small business owners want their Social Security dollars automatically placed into a personal account while 33% would rather have an account that’s managed and distributed by the government.

The news release said 77% of small business owners believe that citizens should be responsible for their own retirement versus 23% who see it as a government function. Some 30% of respondents viewed Social Security as a very important issue in the 2008 presidential election with another 45% viewing it as somewhat important, the news release said.

“It’s clear small business owners have concerns over Social Security and how much they’ll have when they reach retirement age ,” said Stuart Robertson , general manager of ING DIRECT’s ShareBuilder 401k. “Most people feel better when they can actually view and manage the money contributed in their own account and dictate how it’s invested.”

Data comes from the 2008 Small Business Annual Retirement Trends (SBART) report. This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive from July 29 through August 25, 2008 among 512 small business employers (including owners, partners CEOs, chairmen and presidents with 1-50 employees).