There’s little polarization between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to their views on retirement security, according to a new survey.
More than 4 out of 5 American voters, regardless of party affiliation, believe that retirement security is a problem for the country, according to a recent survey of 1,000 registered voters across the U.S. from the Economic Innovation Group.
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Over 9 out of 10 say that Social Security “alone is not enough” to financially prop up retirees during their golden years, with Democrats and Republicans seeing nearly eye to eye at 92% and 94%, respectively.
“There’s a pretty strong bipartisan alignment, especially considering how polarized most economic policy issues are today when it comes to a political angle,” John Lettieri, Economic Innovation Group’s president and chief executive, told Yahoo Money. “[A] pathway to a secure retirement [isn’t] an inherently left or right political consideration. Just about everybody you ask says, ‘Yes, I want that for myself and my family.’”
The country’s retirement savings system is “well-designed” for the top 50% of earners, said Lettieri, but less so for low-income earners.
“[It] leaves behind the workers who ostensibly need the most help and would benefit the most from targeted policy,” he said, noting that these workers have less access to work-sponsored retirement plans and miss out on the benefit of federal tax deductions provided to savers.
Retirement plan access is another bipartisan belief, according to the survey, with 91% of voters saying all working Americans should have the ability to participate in a retirement savings plan. Yet, only 59% do, leaving tens of millions of workers without the opportunity to establish a savings nest egg with critical investment tools.
Lettieri says the findings “underscore the need for Congress to take action” in creating legislation to provide “much-needed support” to working Americans who don’t have access to “means of building wealth and financial security” as well as bridge the wealth gap.
Economic Innovation Group proposes to expand on the federal Thrift Savings Plan—the retirement savings plan used by the federal government for its employees—to all working Americans. Voters seem to be on board, and support for a universal savings plan (78%) beat out other prominent wealth-building initiatives by a large margin like universal basic income (47%), child allowances (41%), and baby bonds (40%), according to the survey.
“This is about making sure that everybody has access to the huge benefits of the American economy,” Lettieri said, “this huge engine of wealth creation.”