Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Polling Shows Americans Want Retirement Policy Reform
Press Release

RELEASE: Polling Shows Americans Want Retirement Policy Reform

Read the analysis.

Washington, D.C. — Americans are deeply worried about their retirement security and are calling on elected officials to take action, according to a new analysis of public opinion research compiled and released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

The CAP Action analysis shows that in poll after poll, the public has made it clear that their ability to afford a comfortable retirement is among their primary concerns. These sentiments clearly affirm the actions and proposals of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), who is expected to introduce today new legislation to tackle the growing retirement crisis by rebuilding the private pension system, as well as President Barack Obama, who announced a new initiative to help Americans save for retirement in his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

“Too many middle-class Americans are struggling to save for retirement in an economy with rewards that are increasingly directed to the top and not the middle,” said David Madland, co-author of the analysis and Director of the American Worker Project at CAP Action. “The USA Retirement Funds Act and the measures that President Obama proposed in his State of the Union address are important first steps toward the goal of securing a more stable retirement for all Americans.”

The review of polling on retirement security shows that the time for action is now. Among its most important findings are:

  • In the wake of the Great Recession, Americans’ confidence in their ability to save enough for retirement has reached record lows.
  • A majority of the public believes the existing retirement system is under stress and requires immediate reform.
  • Americans think retirement security is a responsibility to be shared by workers, employers, and the government.
  • Support for retirement reform is strong among Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike.
  • Americans want to strengthen Social Security and do not want to cut benefits.
  • To supplement Social Security, Americans are open to a variety of potential fixes to the current private system, ranging from small alterations to more significant restructuring.

Read the analysis: Polling Shows Americans Want Retirement Policy Reform, by David Madland and Keith Miller

Related resources:

To speak with an expert on this topic, contact Katie Peters at [email protected].