7 out of 10 Americans age 45+ doubt they will receive full social security benefits as promisedA new survey from PlanGap showed a dramatic increase, regardless of political affiliation, in Americans’ lack of confidence that the government will be able to solve this funding challenge without resorting to cutting benefits.
ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–PlanGap, a product innovation company creating a new class of retirement insurance solutions, released the results of its 2022 Social Security Confidence Survey of 1,045 U.S. adults age 45 and older following the publication of the Social Security Board of Trustees’ Annual Report on June 2, 2022.
Survey respondents were informed that by 2034 the payroll taxes collected would only be enough to pay about 77% of scheduled benefits as forecasted by the official Social Security Annual report.
Compared to last year’s survey, this year’s findings showed a dramatic increase, regardless of political affiliation, in Americans’ lack of confidence that the government will be able to solve this funding challenge without resorting to cutting benefits.
Republicans’ lack of confidence in the government’s ability to solve the challenge of funding Social Security without reducing benefits increased 15% year over year. More notable—with Democrats controlling the House, Senate, and White House—Democrats’ lack of confidence jumped 64% percent vs. the 2021 Confidence Survey results.
Americans also reported a lack of confidence in the projections provided by Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, and the other Social Security Administration Board of Trustees members. 54% of survey respondents answered they are not confident in the official insolvency estimates and believe the Social Security program is in worse shape than indicated in the report.
The survey also found that this lack of confidence went hand in hand with widespread concern:
- 86% of respondents expect Social Security to have a moderate to major role in their retirement income plan.
- 82% of respondents indicated they are frustrated/angry or scared/nervous that benefit cuts will negatively affect their retirement plan’s success. Only 8% of respondents indicated they are hopeful the government will solve the funding challenges facing Social Security without reducing benefits.
- 62% believe Congress will primarily look to cut benefits vs. raising taxes or increasing the national debt.
When thinking about the potential 23% reduction in Social Security retirement benefits and how stressful a reduction would seem to them, the top 3 responses included:
- Getting into a car accident (15%)
- Being diagnosed with Cancer (14%)
- The death of a loved one (12%)
Additional responses included comparing the stress of a Social Security benefit reduction to:
- Getting a divorce (10%)
- A global pandemic (9%)
- Starting a new job (7%)
- Being pulled over for a speeding ticket (7%)
- A terrorist attack (6%)
- Being late for a meeting (5%)
In response to the survey results, PlanGap Founder and CEO, David Duley remarked, “Even more so than last year, Americans’ trust in the government’s ability to get big things right, like when Social Security may run out of money, is waning. And because Social Security plays such a foundational role in 90%+ of retirement plans in America, the message from the government that they may not be able to honor their promises to pay benefits in full only adds to the stress of planning in these very uncertain economic times.”
Headquartered in Atlanta and founded in 2017, PlanGap is a product innovation company creating a suite of “trigger-based” annuity and life insurance products – retirement insurance – that solve previously unaddressed financial concerns for retirees. PlanGap, through its insurance carrier partners, empowers people to protect themselves against disruptions to their retirement income, providing solutions for those worried that institutions have made retirement promises they cannot, or will not, keep. Visit plangap.com for more information.