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Yes to Paid Leave But Not at Social Security’s Expense, Say Older Voters

Social Security and Paid Leave: Views of Voters Ages 50+

Hand Holding Social Security Card

Most voters ages 50+ like the idea of ensuring that more workers can take paid leave from their jobs for personal matters such as family caregiving or illness, but just how to fund that leave is trickier, according to a new AARP survey.

Although nearly eight in 10 voters ages 50+ (78%) strongly or somewhat support the concept that more workers should have access to paid leave, just over half strongly or somewhat support funding paid leave with higher taxes or delays in getting Social Security, the survey finds. In fact, no more than a quarter of voters say they strongly support these methods of funding paid leave.

According to the survey, if older voters were required to pay higher federal payroll taxes, the overwhelming majority would rather the money raised be used to shore up Social Security for the long term (82%) than to fund paid leave (17%).

The survey was completed by 1,016 registered voters age 50+ between late June and early July 2019 using AARP’s proprietary probability-based panel. About 800 responded online; the rest were interviewed by phone. The results were weighted by age, gender, education, marital status, income, employment status, Hispanic origin, and race.

For more information, contact S. Kathi Brown at For media inquiries, please contact


Suggested Citation

Brown, S. Kathi. Social Security and Paid Leave: Views of Voters Ages 50+. Washington, DC: AARP Research, July 2019,