While Social Security has become a political football in Washington, Americans still regard it as the corner stone of their retirement and are very concerned about it future financial health.
A Pew Research Center for the People & the Press report, the Millenials in Adulthood report, found just 14 percent of Americans expect to receive their full benefits, while an earlier Pew study found that among young people this concern is much greater.
About half of Gen Xers (born between 1965 to 1978 ) and Millennials (born between 1979 to 1996) think Social Security won’t have enough money to pay any benefits at all when they retire and an additional 39 percent say the system will only be able to provide them with retirement benefits at reduced levels. Only 6 percent expect to receive Social Security benefits at levels enjoyed by current retirees.
About 61 percent of millennials oppose benefit cuts as a way to address the long-term funding problems of Social Security, a view held by about 70 percent of older adults. There is a much bigger generation gap on whether government should give higher priority to programs that benefit the young or the old. About 53% of Millennials say the young, compared with 36 percent of Gen Xers and just 28 percent each of Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) and Silents (those born between 1925 and 1945
The Millenial report from Pew Research shows strong support across all generations for maintaining Social Security benefits at current levels. This is true even though half of Millennials and Gen-Xers say they don’t expect to receive any Social Security benefits when they retire.
Debra Whitman of AARP says her group’s research has found that younger generations (Boomers and Gen-Xers) support Social Security because, with the values of defined-benefit pensions and 401(k)s reduced by the recent recession and volatile stock market, these age groups are relying on Social Security more as a foundation for their retirement income.
These findings on millenials are based on a new Pew Research Center survey conducted Feb. 14-23, 2014 among 1,821 adults nationwide, including 617 millennial adults and analysis of other Pew Research Center surveys conducted between 1990 and 2014.