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Opinion Research on Retirement Security and the Automatic IRA

A bipartisan survey conducted by Hart Research and Public Opinion Strategies for AARP finds a high level of support for the Automatic IRA across party lines. The survey also shows support for expansion of the Saver’s Credit and for increased transparency of financial institutions and safety of consumer financial products.

The following are among the survey’s key findings:

  • Nearly eight in ten (78%) adults say that helping people save for retirement should be a high priority issue for Congress and the president.
  • By seven to one, Americans report that current economic problems have made them feel it is more important (52%) for Congress to pass laws that help Americans save for retirement rather than less important (7%).
  • Nearly four in five (79%) adults support the Auto IRA proposal. This initial support remains virtually unchanged after hearing reasons to oppose the Automatic IRA as respondents say they favor the proposal by 75% to 23%.
  • By more than four to one (41% to 9%) Americans say that if their member of Congress supported this Auto IRA plan it would make them more likely rather than less likely to vote for their member of Congress in the next election.
  • Two in three (65%) Americans favor the proposal to expand the Saver’s Credit.
  • Seven in ten (70%) adults believe the federal government should regulate investment products, such as bonds and mutual funds, and nearly as many (69%) believe that investment firms should only be permitted to sell products that are suitable for the needs, objectives, and risk tolerance of their consumers.

The nationally representative survey of 1,001 adults age 25 and older was conducted via telephone from June 19 to 28, 2009, in a joint venture by Hart Research Associates and Public Opinion Strategies.  For more information, contact Colette Thayer at 202-434-6294. (15 pages)