A new report finds that across party lines, Americans are worried about their financial security in retirement. The vast majority of Democrats (70 percent), Independents (70 percent) and Republicans (62 percent) agree that the nation faces a retirement crisis. There also is bi-partisan agreement that the average worker cannot save enough on their own to guarantee a secure retirement, along with broad support for Social Security and pensions.

This new national survey of working-age Americans also reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated worries about achieving financial security in retirement.

More than half of Americans (51 percent) say that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased concerns about achieving financial security in retirement. And the COVID-19 concern is high across party lines: 57 percent among Democrats; 50 percent for Independents; and at 44 percent for Republicans.

To understand Americans’ views of the shifting retirement landscape, the National Institute on Retirement Security commissioned a national survey of working-age Americans to measure their sentiments on a broad range of retirement security issues. Retirement Insecurity 2021 | Americans’ Views of Retirement is based upon a national survey of Americans aged 25 and older conducted by Greenwald Research from December 4–10, 2020.

The research has five key findings:
  1. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many Americans’ concerns and plans for retirement.
  2. A large swath of Americans is concerned about their economic security in retirement.
  3. The nation is highly polarized, but Americans are united in their worry about retirement issues.
  4. Americans are highly supportive of Social Security, and there is some support for expanding the program.
  5. When it comes to pensions, Americans have highly favorable views about their role in the retirement equation and see these plans as better than 401(k) savings accounts.