Data and Research

Eighty Percent of American Workers Back State-Run Retirement Plans

By Rebecca Moore | March 17, 2017
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The study found the overwhelming backing (80%) of the state-based programs was reflected in racial and ethnic breakdowns, which showed  that 76% of Latinos/as workers, 81% of African Americans, 84% of Asian Americans, and 80% of whites said they “strongly or somewhat support” the initiatives. For each group, 7% or less said they “somewhat or strongly oppose” the initiatives. Those remaining said they “neither support nor oppose” the programs.

Three in four private-sector workers (74%) say they feel “very or somewhat” anxious about having enough money to live comfortably through their retirement years. Just one-quarter said they are not anxious. Anxiety is high among all racial and ethnic groups, with large majorities of Latinos/as (76%), whites (74%), African Americans (73%) and Asian Americans (70%) all saying that they are anxious they will not be able to financially support a comfortable retirement.

Nearly half of those surveyed, facing financial uncertainty, said they are struggling to get by. Overall, 14% said they are having a difficult time, and another 30% said they are just getting by. On the other hand, 16% said they are living comfortably, and 39% said they are doing ok. Differences emerged among the different groups on this issue: for example, 57% of Latinos/as reported that they are just getting by or having difficulty getting by, compared with 52% of African Americans, 39% of whites and 35% of Asian Americans.

The survey was conducted for AARP by NORC at the University of Chicago between November 1, 2016, and January 16, 2017. It involved a large pool of 3,920 private-sector workers, including robust samples of 1,077 African Americans, 802 Latinos/as, and 607 Asian Americans.