Workers Looking For Social Security Control

January 7, 2003 ( - Americans are looking for more control of their Social Security money, including investing a portion in a personal retirement account, according to a recent Prudential Financial Inc survey.

More than 7 in 10 American workers would support the creation of either a mandatory or optional Social Security personal account that will give them the opportunity to take control of and invest a portion of the Social Security taxes they are currently paying, the Employee Opinions on Retirement Plans: A Benchmark Study on Retirement Perceptions study found.

Strongest support for this measure was found with younger workers and those with less than $50,000 household income, who are particularly worried about the future of Social Security, according to Prudential.   These workers realize that Social Security, while a potential source of retirement income, alone would not be sufficient to support a comfortable retirement.   Additionally, nearly half of those surveyed have doubts about whether Social Security will be there for them at all by the time they reach retirement age.

Prudential said in response to these concerns, one-third of participants in employer-sponsored defined contribution plans said complementing Social Security is the single most significant reason they enrolled in these plans.

“In these uncertain times, American workers want greater assurance that they can count on Social Security down the road and take more control over their retirement future,” said Scott Sleyster, president, Prudential Retirement Services and Guaranteed Products. “Three years ago the support for creating a Social Security personal account may have been due to an urge to invest aggressively in a soaring stock market, but now we see it as a manifestation of American worker’s desire to protect what they’ve put in.”