79% of Americans Fear Retirement Crisis, 83% Advocate for Pensions: NIRS Survey

79% of Americans Fear Retirement Crisis, 83% Advocate for Pensions: NIRS Survey
Cover Image Source: Representative image of a retired member of the United Auto Workers (UAW) | Getty Images | Photo by Spencer Platt

As Senator Bernie Sanders calls for a major overhaul to solve the retirement crisis, Americans are increasingly worried about it as well, research from the National Institute on Retirement Security shows. According to the survey, about 8 in 10 or 79% of the respondents feel America is in a retirement crisis while about 83% of the respondents see a return to pensions as a way to a comfortable retirement. Citizens are also demanding congressional action to alleviate their concerns regarding the long-term costs of retirement.


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The NIRS survey shows that the percentage of respondents who strongly believe the country is in a retirement crisis is up to 79% from 67% in 2020. Furthermore, the cost of long-term care during retirement is one of the top concerns of the respondents.

While 87% of the respondents are worried about rising costs overall, about 80% are worried specifically about the rising cost of long-term nursing care, and about 66% of the respondents are concerned about rising healthcare costs in retirement.

Apart from healthcare costs, 75% of individuals are troubled about rising housing costs, and 66% are anxious about increasing costs for everyday services like cleaning and cooking. In addition, over half of the respondents said they are worried that they will not be able to achieve financial security in retirement


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The NIRS survey found that a whopping 83% of the respondents feel that all workers should have a pension so they can be independent and self-reliant during their retirement. Furthermore, over three-fourths of the respondents agreed that workers with pensions are more likely to have a secured retirement, with over three-fourths of the respondents feeling that workers with pensions are more likely to have a secure retirement.

The survey also found that about 90% of the workers with pensions are more likely to stay with their current company for longer even if another job opportunity comes; all because of the pension benefits. In the case of workers without pension cover, a similar percentage, about 87% of the employees said they are more likely to retain their employment if their employer provides pension benefits.

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"If our leaders are serious about rebuilding retirement security for Americans, there's no question that increasing pension coverage must be part of the equation. Americans want them, and the ground indeed is shifting with employers like IBM returning to pensions,” said Dan Doonan, NIRS executive director and report co-author in a PR Newswire report.

 An elderly man handles in his pension book at the post office | Getty Images | Photo by Graeme Robertson
Image Source: Pension book | Getty Images | Photo by Graeme Robertson

According to the survey, Americans want high priority for their retirement concerns from the policy leaders. A vast majority, about 87%, feel that leaders and policymakers fail to understand the difficulties workers face while saving for retirement, this is also significantly higher from 76% in 2020.

Furthermore, about 86% felt that leaders need to focus more on retirement and 84% said the government should make it easier for companies to offer pensions to their workers.


Regarding Social Security, over half, 52% of the respondents agreed with the concept but over 87% said that Congress should act to get more funding instead of waiting another ten years to find a solution. Another 87% felt that the program must remain a priority regardless of the state of federal budget deficits.

The apprehension surrounding retirement stems from various factors, including concerns about inadequate savings, volatile investment markets, and the uncertainty of social security benefits. Whether through traditional pensions, innovative retirement savings programs, or a combination of both, finding solutions to the retirement crisis is essential for ensuring financial security and peace of mind for future generations.


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