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Retirement Security Survey Report: February 19, 2007

Although the war in Iraq remained the dominant political issue, overshadowing all domestic issues when this online AARP survey was being conducted in January 2007, respondents' answers reveal that the public is concerned about retirement security issues and open to a conversation about seeing that Social Security can meet its long-term financial obligations.

Of eight possible reform options, a majority of respondents was willing to at least consider four that would raise revenues for Social Security in some fashion:

  • Increasing the income cap to $150,000
  • Increasing the payroll tax by 0.5% for both workers and employers
  • Changing the benefit formula (to make it more progressive)
  • Investing part (15%) of the Trust Fund

Conversely, those attracting less than a majority of respondents willing to consider them all entail benefit cuts:

  • Raising the retirement age (to 70)
  • Indexing benefits to longevity so that lower monthly benefits would be paid over a longer period of time
  • Imposing a 5 percent benefit cut on new retirees
  • Modified price indexing under which future benefits would be cut by 1 percent each year a person has contributed to Social Security, with low wage earners exempt

This online survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,514 age 21+ Americans was conducted for AARP by Knowledge Networks between January 19th and 29th, 2007. Further information about this survey may be obtained by contacting William Wright of AARP Knowledge Management/Strategic Issues Research at 202-434-6278. (51 pages)

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