AARP Retirement Study Shows 92% of Voters Want Simplified Savings Through Paychecks

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The vast majority of Americans save for retirement through employer-sponsored retirement plans, and just about all voters want that to continue — with the government’s help, according to a new study from the AARP.

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The study, titled “Saving for Retirement at Work: Views of Voters Ages 25+,” polled more than 1,000 registers voters ages 25 and older in late September. It found that about nine in 10 voters (92%) want elected officials to support legislation that makes it easier for all workers to save for retirement through their paychecks.

A similar percentage of voters, 91%, support establishing a program to help workers save for retirement at work if their employer doesn’t currently offer them a way to save. Here are some of the features almost all voters would like to see in such a program:

  • Portability, so that workers can take their retirement accounts with them when they change jobs
  • Available to all employees who don’t have a retirement savings plan at work
  • Automatic deductions from each paycheck, with the money deposited into a retirement account set up in each worker’s name
  • Voluntary, so participants are not required to make any contributions
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Such strong support for employer-sponsored plans isn’t exactly surprising, considering how many Americans fund most of their retirement savings at work. As GOBankingRates recently reported, more than three-quarters of American workers (77%) are saving for retirement through employer-sponsored plans, according to a TransAmerica survey.

Whether they’re saving enough is another story. Most Americans aren’t, according to most surveys. And many are worried about that. The AARP survey found that more than six in 10 (63%) voters ages 25+ are anxious about having enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement years.

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Only three in 10 (29%) voters ages 25 to 44 believe that they’ll be able to save enough money for retirement. Among voters 45 and older who are not yet retired, eight in 10 (81%) say they wish that they had more money saved for their retirement years.

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Last updated: October 22, 2021

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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