Retirement security is the top issue workers want candidates to discuss on the campaign trail.
American workers rank retirement security above job security, taxes and the cost of college among the top issues they want congressional candidates to talk more about on the campaign trail this year, according to a new survey.
The third American Workers Survey, conducted in April on behalf of Prudential Financial, Inc. by Morning Consult,* found that retirement concerns and financial stress are impacting workers’ financial wellness. Specifically, 72 percent of American workers are concerned about their financial security in retirement, a majority (54 percent) say they will have to delay retirement because they don’t have enough saved, and four in 10 say financial stress is causing health issues or sleep loss.
“American workers across the board are concerned about their financial security in retirement, and they’re looking for help wherever they can get it, including from their employers and policymakers,” said Ann Kappler, deputy general counsel and head of external affairs for Prudential.
A deeper dive into the data suggests several reasons for American workers’ unease. More than a quarter (27 percent) had to take an additional job to make them more financially secure. Nearly a third (29 percent) say “daily expenses” are limiting their ability to save for retirement. One in four decreased their retirement contribution because of their financial situation.
Workers’ concerns are also impacting them in the workplace. American workers are spending 3.6 hours on average each week at work managing personal financial issues, three in 10 say financial stress has impacted their job performance, and personal finances ranked as a top workplace distraction.
The workers in Prudential’s survey overwhelmingly support legislative solutions, such as provisions included in the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act that would promote open multiple employer plans and the inclusion of lifetime income estimates on plan statements.
Most American workers (78 percent) support efforts by Congress to allow small businesses to band together to make it easier to offer retirement benefits to employees. The majority (56 percent) would turn part of their retirement plan balances into guaranteed lifetime income payments, if offered the option. Workers also support (76 percent) requiring retirement plans to provide participants with estimates of their income in retirement.
“The Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act contains several important provisions designed to increase access to workplace retirement plans, retirement planning information and lifetime income options,” Kappler said. “The bill has broad, bipartisan support among policymakers on Capitol Hill, as well as among retirement experts. And, as our survey shows, these sensible provisions are widely supported by those who would benefit the most—American workers.”
*The American Workers Survey is the third in a series conducted on behalf of Prudential by Morning Consult from April 13 to 17, 2018, among a national sample of 2,045 self-identified part-time and full-time employed adults (age 18 and over). The interviews were conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, race/ethnicity, and gender. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of ±2 percentage points. Percentages may not total 100 percent due to rounding.