The American Social Security program continues to be a flashpoint for many voters, and politicians who are determined to bring its trust fund into solvency through cuts or raising the retirement age could run into serious opposition from voters, according to a recent Quinnipiac University national poll.
That poll found that 78% of surveyed Americans do not want to see the full retirement age raised from 67 to 70, according to recent reporting at Yahoo Finance.
The survey itself, released at the end of March, additionally contextualized the question by asking if respondents would support raising the retirement age if it means that the program’s benefits would last longer. Only 30% of respondents answered affirmatively while 62% answered negatively.
Concerns about retirement are also front-of-mind for many Americans determining what their lives will look like after ending their careers, according to the results.
“Nearly 7 in 10 Americans (68%) say they are either very concerned (33%) or somewhat concerned (35%) that they will not have enough money to live comfortably during retirement, while roughly 3 in 10 Americans (31%) say they are not so concerned (16%) or not concerned at all (15%),” the survey results said.
Osman Kilic, a Quinnipiac professor of finance and business, told Yahoo Finance that the survey results reflect concern among older and younger Americans alike.
“When it comes to the golden years, Americans young, old and in-between share the same worry,” Kilic told the outlet. “There’s a cloud of doubt hanging over the quality of life they’ll have when they retire, especially among those between 35 and 64 years of age.”
Political indecisiveness on the subject of the Social Security program continues to plague politicians in Washington, D.C. Proposals designed to address the program’s solvency have been met either with opposition or silence.
In March, it was reported by Semafor that a bipartisan group led by two U.S. senators — Angus King (I) and Bill Cassidy (R) — was reportedly considering a plan that would gradually raise the retirement age under the Social Security program to 70 in order to keep the trust fund solvent.
The backlash in King’s home state of Maine to the reporting was swift, with its largest union condemning any proposal that would raise the retirement age. Sen. Cassidy later said in a letter to the editor at the Bangor Daily News that the plan he and Sen. King were working on never included a proposal to raise the retirement age.
As the program will likely be further strained in the coming years by the rising average age of the American population, rampant economic inflation is continuing to play havoc with Americans’ finances and could likely see the next Social Security cost of living adjustment reduced in 2024 according to data from the Senior Citizens League.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include Sen. Cassidy’s letter clarifying the content of his and Sen. King’s Social Security reform plan.