Workers around the Globe More Concerned about Retirement

May 27, 2009 ( - Three in five Americans (59%) say that, compared to 12 months ago, they are more concerned about the robustness of their income in retirement.

The Financial Times/Harris Poll conducted online by Harris Interactive found that half of Spanish (50%), French (50%) and Italian (49%) adults, as well as 47% of British adults also report being more concerned. Over half of Germans (54%) say they have the same level of concern as a year ago, while 38% are more concerned.

However, 71% of Germans and majorities of French (54%) and Spanish (53%) adults would oppose the idea of working beyond the current state pension/social security age to receive a larger pension, while two-thirds of Americans (66%), and three in five Britons (61%) and Italians (59%) would support such this idea, according to a press release on the survey results.

The poll suggested two possible ways of boosting pensions: pay higher taxes and/or accept lower pay now in exchange for higher pensions. Strong majorities (between 73% and 89%) in all six countries are opposed to the idea of paying higher taxes and even stronger majorities (between 78% and 92%) are opposed to the idea of having less pay in order to receive a bigger pension when they retire.

The press release said three-quarters of Spaniards (74%) and majorities of German (59%), French (56%) and Italian adults (52%) will rely on the state pensions. Two in five British adults (39%) will rely on their private pensions, while one-third (32%) will rely on the state pension. Among American respondents one-third will rely on social security (32%), one-third will rely on private pensions (32%) and 26% will rely on other investments, the press release said.

Seven in ten Spaniards (69%) and 51% of Italians say the state/government should bear the main responsibility for providing workers with a secure income in retirement. Majorities of Americans (54%), French (53%), and half of British adults (50%) as well as 46% of Germans believe that the state, employers and individuals should all have equal responsibility.

The poll was conducted online by Harris Interactive among a total of 6,332 adults aged 16-64 within France (1,077), Germany (1,007), Great Britain (1,126), Spain (1,030) and the United States (1,052), and adults aged 18-64 in Italy (1,040) between April 29 and May 6, 2009.