Polling Highlights on Social Security

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Highlights of Voter Opinions about Social Security

There is high support for Social Security across age groups.

  • A Pew poll released in 2011 found that 87% of Americans agreed with the statement “Over the years, Social Security has been good for the country.”1
  • Social Security is popular across age groups: In a GfK Roper poll, 90% of respondents of the ages 18 to 29 deemed Social Security important, and almost 80% of those over 65 agreed that Social Security is “one of the very most important government programs”.2

Americans are concerned about their retirement savings.

  • A Gallup poll found that 54% of 50 to 64 year olds believe that they will NOT have enough money to live comfortably when they retire. 3
  • Over half of non-retired adults believed they have done some planning but not enough.4
  • 57% of retirees expect to rely on Social Security as a major source of their income after they retire. 5

Most Americans favor lifting the contribution cap.

  • 67% of respondents to a Gallup poll think that requiring higher-income workers to pay Social Security taxes on ALL of their wages is a good idea.6

Widespread disapproval to raising the retirement age.

  • A recent study done by PEW found that 59% of respondents disapprove of gradually raising the Social Security retirement age, and in a Gallup poll, 63% of respondents said that increasing the age to receive full benefits was a “bad idea”.7
  • 52% said that they “strongly opposed” raising the retirement age for Social Security to 70 years according to a GQR Research poll.8

Majority of respondents do not want to reduce retirement benefits.

  • 57% of respondents think that reducing retirement benefits for people who are currently under age 55 is a bad idea.9
  • However, 62% of respondents agreed that the government needs to keep its promises to older people by maintaining their benefits, even for those who are well-off. 10.

Majority of Americans oppose making spending cuts to Social Security in order to reduce the deficit.

  • In a Wall Street Journal Poll, 77% of Americans consider cutting Social Security “mostly or totally unacceptable” in order to reduce the deficit.11