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AARP National GROW Accounts Poll: September 8, 2005

Put forth recently by some in Congress, the GROW Accounts proposal calls for the creation of private accounts for all workers under age 55 and a new federal agency to administer the program. This report presents the results of an AARP national poll to assess the general public's acceptance/rejection of this idea. The GROW Accounts proposal...

  • borrows an amount equal to the annual surplus money from the Social Security Trust Fund and invests the money in private accounts for eleven years, after which time the surpluses would be gone.

  • differs from President Bush's proposal which would divert money directly from Social Security taxes to private accounts.

  • creates private accounts that are individually owned and can be passed on to heirs.

This nationwide poll not only assessed the public acceptance or rejection of these accounts, but also tracked shifts in support of the idea in response to specific positive or negative arguments. Major findings include the following:

  • 66% oppose the idea (33% strongly), and 22% favor the idea (4% strongly).

  • 62% predicted that these private accounts would result in their receiving less money in retirement than under the present system, and 34% predicted the accounts would result in more money for them.

  • 45% reported they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who supported GROW Accounts, 11% reported they would be more likely to vote for such a candidate, and 42% reported it would make no difference in the way they voted.

Knowledge Networks, a national survey research company, collected the data for this report. Curt Davies, AARP Knowledge Management, wrote the report. He may be contacted for more information at (202) 434-6295. (19 pages)

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