Retirement Insecurity

Americans’ Views Of Retirement

83 percent of Americans believe all workers should have a pension

New National Institute on Retirement Security Report finds Americans want action now on social security, while 79 percent agree the nation faces a retirement crisis. View the full report here.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Americans are increasingly worried about retirement, and they see a return to pensions as a way to restore the American Dream of retirement, according to new research from the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS).

Eighty-three percent of Americans say that all workers should have a pension so they can be independent and self-reliant in retirement, and more than three-fourths of Americans agree that those with pensions are more likely to have a secure retirement.

When asked if the nation faces a retirement crisis, 79 percent of Americans agree there indeed is a retirement crisis, up from 67 percent in 2020. More than half of Americans (55 percent) are concerned that they cannot achieve financial security in retirement. Regarding Social Security, nearly all Americans (87 percent) agree Congress should act now to shore up funding rather than waiting ten years to enact a solution. Ninety percent say it should be a priority for the next president and Congress to tackle Social Security’s funding shortfall.

These findings are detailed in a new report from the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS), Retirement Insecurity 2024: Americans’ Views of Retirement. The report findings are based upon a national survey of working age Americans conducted by Greenwald Research.

Read the report.

Register for a webinar on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, at 2:00 PM ET with a review of the report findings.

“A financially secure retirement is out of reach for many Americans, and our research finds workers are increasingly troubled by their retirement outlook,” said Dan Doonan, NIRS executive director and report co-author. “This new report details the range of Americans’ concerns about retirement, along with their strong desire for a return to the certainty that pensions provide.”

If our leaders are serious about rebuilding retirement security for Americans, there's no question that increasing pension coverage must be part of the equation...

“If our leaders are serious about rebuilding retirement security for Americans, there’s no question that increasing pension coverage must be part of the equation. Americans want them, and the ground indeed is shifting with employers like IBM returning to pensions. Other employers could follow suit driven by their desire to provide retirement benefits in the most cost efficient manner possible, employees’ preferences for reliable lifetime income, and a critical need to recruit and retain workers in an increasingly tight labor market,” Doonan said.

Doonan added, “The research also tells us that Americans don’t want Congress to kick the can down the road when it comes to ensuring the long-term sustainability of Social Security. Americans want action now. This isn’t surprising because Social Security is a highly successful government program that is both popular and essential for millions of older Americans. Delaying decisions on funding only creates more financial anxiety for Americans and makes an eventual solution more expensive.”

The report’s key findings are as follows:

  • Americans express strong support for pensions. More than three-fourths of Americans have a favorable view of pensions, while 77 percent agree that the disappearance of pensions makes it harder to achieve the American Dream. Eighty-three percent of Americans say that all workers should have a pension so they can be independent and self-reliant in retirement.
  • High retirement anxiety continues among Americans. When asked if the nation faces a retirement crisis, 79 percent of Americans agree there indeed is a retirement crisis, up from 67 percent in 2020. More than half of Americans (55 percent) are concerned that they cannot achieve financial security in retirement. When it comes to inflation, 73 percent of respondents said recent inflation has them more concerned about retirement.
  • Americans want policy leaders to give their retirement concerns a higher priority. The vast majority of Americans (87 percent) say leaders in Washington don’t understand how hard it is for workers to save for retirement, up from 76 percent in 2020. Also, 86 percent say Washington leaders need to focus more on retirement and give it a higher priority on the policy agenda, again up from 2020 (76 percent). Most Americans (84 percent) say government should make it easier to offer pensions to their workers, up from 76 percent in 2020.
  • Americans want action now to safeguard Social Security. Eighty-seven percent of Americans say Congress should act now to shore up funding rather than waiting another ten years to find a solution. Also, 87 percent say the program must remain a priority no matter the state of federal budget deficits. When it comes to expanding Social Security, slightly more than half of Americans (52 percent) agree with this concept.
  • Americans are worried about long-term care costs in retirement. Eighty-seven percent are concerned generally about rising costs, while 80 percent are worried about the rising cost of long-term nursing care. A large share of Americans (86 percent) are worried about rising healthcare costs in retirement, 75 percent are concerned about rising housing costs in retirement, and 66 percent are worried about increasing costs to get help with everyday chores like cleaning and cooking.

 

 

 

About The National Institute on Retirement Security
The National Institute on Retirement Security is a non-profit, non-partisan organization established to contribute to informed policymaking by fostering a deep understanding of the value of retirement security to employees, employers, and the economy as a whole. Located in Washington, D.C., NIRS membership includes financial services firms, employee benefit plans, trade associations, and other retirement service providers. More information is available at www.nirsonline.org.