Maybe not with politicians, but the general public is getting tired of worrying how they’ll survive during retirement.
That’s according to a new poll from the National Institute on Retirement Security and Greenwald Associates, which found that bipartisan support among Americans for state-sponsored retirement plans is even stronger, at 75 percent, than it was in 2015, when it hit 71 percent.
In addition, the support is bipartisan, with 72 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Republicans support these state retirement plans, while 83 percent of Democrats are supportive.
The support also holds steady regardless of Americans’ gender, income and age.
Since almost half of American workers do not have access to a retirement savings plan at work, and more than 30 states, said NIRS, have considered “Secure Choice” state legislation that makes it easier for employees to save for retirement, one might think that state-sponsored plans are a shoo-in.
But that’s not necessarily the case, despite the fact that since the passage of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in 1974, “workers have not seen a permanent increase in their access to employer-sponsored retirement plans,” according to NIRS.
In fact, since 1979, the percentage of workers with access to a retirement plan at work has actually declined to 55 percent.
More uncomfortable facts: according to the Federal Reserve Bank's Survey of Consumer Finances, 40 million working-age U.S. households had nothing—that’s zero, nada, zip—saved in retirement accounts.
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) indicated that just 38 percent of employees who work for employers with 100 or fewer employees even have access to an employer-sponsored plan.
However, NIRS said in a statement, “some members of the U.S. House of Representatives want to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn a Department of Labor (DOL) rule that provided legal clarification for state-facilitated savings plans.”
“If Congress votes to shut down state efforts through the CRA, it would harm generations of workers struggling to save,” Diane Oakley, NIRS executive director, said in a statement. Oakley continued, “Such action would deny 40 million working families the most important first step in preparing for retirement—paying themselves first by making contributions to a retirement accounts from their salary.”
Oakley added, “The election served as wake-up call that Americans are angry about economic insecurity, and we've known for years that working families are extremely anxious about their retirement prospects.”