AARP Survey: Social Security Critical To Retirement For Most Illinoisans

Dec 01, 2010, 17:09 ET from AARP Illinois

Results Show Support for Strengthening System

CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While the U.S. Congress may be considering potential changes to Social Security, the message from Illinois is clear: Social Security is a critical component of retirement, and is more important than ever for middle class individuals and families.

An AARP-commissioned survey found that Social Security is a top tier issue for Illinoisans over the age of 40, second only to job creation.

"This survey makes it clear that Illinoisans rely on Social Security as a critical component of their financial security," said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois Senior State Director.  "Congress should ensure that Social Security is not unfairly targeted to balance a budget deficit it did not create, and should also look at ways to strengthen Social Security for current and future generations."

The vast majority of Illinoisans (82%) believe that Social Security is or will be a critical component of their retirement income, and two–thirds believe that the program is more important than ever for middle-class Americans – it is not merely a safety net for the poor.  Most older Illinoisans rely on Social Security and say they would struggle financially without it.  Sixty-six percent of beneficiaries would either not be able to afford basic necessities or would have to make significant sacrifices without Social Security.  

While Congress debates potential changes to Social Security, Illinoisans are making their voices heard.  According to the AARP survey, the majority of Illinoisans over the age of 40 would prefer to pay more into Social Security to keep earned benefits than to cut benefits in order to prevent tax increases.  In addition, only 22% believe that Social Security should be means tested.

The AARP survey also showed considerable concern for the retirement security of future generations.  Seventy-four percent of those polled have little or no confidence that their children and grandchildren will have a secure retirement.

AARP, with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, conducted a nationally representative survey of registered voters ages 40+ between September 24th and October 10th, 2010.  The full survey report can be found at:

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