NPR Online

National Survey of Americans On Social Security
A Joint Project of National Public Radio / Kaiser Family Foundation / Kennedy School of Government

Methodology

The NPR/Kaiser/Kennedy School Poll is an ongoing project of National Public Radio, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Representatives of the three sponsors worked together to develop the survey questionnaire and to analyze the results, with NPR maintaining sole editorial control over its broadcasts on the surveys.

Note: VOL means response was volunteered by respondent, not an explicitly offered choice. Some questions were asked of random split-halves of the respondents. An * indicates values of less than one percent.

The results of this survey are based on telephone interviews conducted between March 4 and March 24, 1999, with 1,203 adults 18 years or older nationwide. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. For results based on subsets of respondents the margin of error is higher.


1. Do you think things in this country are generally going in the right direction, or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?

43 Right direction

51 Wrong track

  6 Donít know

2. I'm going to read you a list of federal government programs and for each one, please tell me how important you think this program is. Is it very important, somewhat important, not very important, or not at all important? (First,) what about... (READ EACH ITEM)?

  Important Not Important Donít know

NET

Very impt

Somewhat impt.

NET

Not very impt.

Not at all impt.

a. Medicare

97

80

17

3

2

1

*

b. Social Security

97

85

12

3

2

1

*

c. Medicaid

93

67

26

6

4

2

1

d. Federally subsidized loans for college students

88

55

32

12

7

5

*

e. Welfare

72

24

48

27

18

9

1

f. Defense spending

87

48

39

11

8

3

2

g. Food stamps

76

26

50

23

15

8

1

h. Foreign aid

60

14

46

38

25

13

2

i. Federal aid to public schools

91

71

20

9

5

4

1

3. As you may know, the federal government has a budget SURPLUS this year, and choices will have to be made about what to do with this money. I'm going to read you a list of some ways the budget surplus could be used. As I read each one, please tell me if you think it should be one of the TOP priorities, important but not a TOP priority, not too important, or should not be done. (First,) what about...(READ EACH ITEM) Should this be one of the TOP priorities for using the budget surplus, important but not a TOP priority, not too important, OR should this not be done?

 

Priority

Not Important

Donít know

NET

One of top

Important/Not top

NET

Not too impt.

Should not be done

a. Cutting taxes

76

43

34

23

14

9

1

b. Paying off the national debt more quickly

79

38

41

21

17

4

1

c. Increasing spending on domestic programs, such as health, education, and the environment

82

50

32

17

11

6

*

d. Increasing defense spending

58

16

41

41

26

15

1

e. Helping make the Social Security program financially sound

94

73

21

6

3

2

*

f. Helping make the Medicare program financially sound

90

57

33

10

7

3

*

4. (Of those who named more than one top priority) You mentioned (READ ITEMS RESPONDENT NAMED AS A TOP PRIORITY) as a top priority among ways to use the budget surplus. Which ONE of these would you say is the MOST IMPORTANT priority?

11 Cutting taxes

8 Paying off the national debt more quickly

24 Increasing spending on domestic programs, such as health, education, and the environment

4 Increasing defense spending

41 Helping make the Social Security program financially sound

12 Helping make the Medicare program financially sound

1 Donít know

3/4 Combined: TOP Priority

12 Cutting taxes

9 Paying off the national debt more quickly

23 Increasing spending on domestic programs, such as health, education, and the environment

3 Increasing defense spending

37 Helping make the Social Security program financially sound

10 Helping make the Medicare program financially sound

6 None

6. How closely have you been following the debate about the future of Social Security? Very closely, fairly closely, not very closely or not at all closely?

 

Closely

Not Closely

Donít know

NET

Very

Fairly

NET

Not very

Not at all

 

65

20

46

34

24

10

*

7. Compared with 30 years ago, do you think the share of Americans over 65 who live in poverty has increased, decreased, or stayed about the same?

 

 

Increased

Decreased

Stayed about the same

Donít know

 

52

18

24

6

8. Which of the following four statements about Social Security payroll taxes do you think is most accurate? (READ ITEMS)

19 Taxes collected from workers today are used to pay benefits for current retirees

18 Taxes paid by workers today are put into an account to pay for their OWN Social Security benefits when they retire

26 Some of the taxes collected from workers today are used to pay benefits for current retirees, and some are put aside for future retirees

33 Some of the taxes collected from workers today are used to pay benefits for current retirees, and some are used to fund other government programs

4 Donít know

10A. (Asked of half sample) Do you think most people when they retire get back from Social Security more than they paid into the program, less than they paid in, or about what they paid into the program?

More

Less

About what they paid

Donít know

22

53

22

3

 

10B. (Asked of half sample) Do you think most lower-income people when they retire get back from Social Security more than they paid into the program, less than they paid in, or about what they paid into the program?

More

Less

About what they paid

Donít know

30

41

26

4

 

11. Which of the following do you think best describes the surplus money in the Social Security trust fund? (READ ITEMS)

The money is kept by the government as cash in the bank

The money is invested in government treasury bonds

The money is invested in the stock market

Donít know

30

50

12

8

 

12. Which of the following dollar amounts do you think is about the average annual benefit currently being paid to a retired worker by Social Security? (READ ITEMS)

 

Less than $10,000 a year

$10,000 but less than $20,000 a year

$20,000 but less than $30,000 a year

$30,000 a year or more

Donít know

35

48

9

4

3

13. Let me read you some things people might say about the Social Security system, and for each one please tell me whether you think it is true or false.

a. Social Security benefits provide most of the retirement income for the majority of retirees.

True

False

Donít know

59

40

1

b. The federal government has used the Social Security trust fund for other purposes.

True

False

Donít know

82

14

3

 

15A. In the next century, will the Social Security retirement age for full benefits remain at 65, or has Congress changed the age at which people will be able to receive full Social Security benefits?

36 Age will remain at 65

56 Congress has changed the age

8 Donít know

 

15B. (Of those who think Congress has changed the retirement age) Did Congress raise or lower the retirement age for full benefits?

83 Raise

11 Lower

6 Donít know

16. Which of the following descriptions comes closer to your view of what Social Security should look like in the future (READ ITEMS)?

52 A program in which people receive money based on how much each individual has paid into the program and how much that payment has earned

45 A program to assure that elderly people have a minimum income during retirement, regardless of how much they paid in and what that payment has earned

1 Both

1 Donít know

 

17A. (Asked of half sample) Which of the following four statements comes closest to your own view of the Social Security program today?

The program is in crisis

The program has major problems, but is not in crisis

The program has minor problems

The program has no problems

Donít know

30

52

14

2

1

 

17B. (Asked of half sample) Please tell me which ONE of the following two statements about Social Security comes CLOSER to your own view. Would you say...(READ ITEMS)?

23 Social Security is basically working well as is, and Congress should continue to make only gradual adjustments to preserve the program for future generations. xx

75 We need to make major changes to Social Security soon, to keep the program from running out of money when the baby boom generation retires. xx

2 Donít know

 

18. Suppose Congress doesn't take any action--do you think the Social Security program is likely to go bankrupt?

Likely

Not likely

Donít know

76

22

2

 

19. Do you think the Social Security program will go bankrupt within the next 10 years, or will it go bankrupt further in the future?

Within the next 10 years

Further in the future

Donít know

31

67

2

 

20. A number of reasons have been suggested for why the Social Security program faces financial difficulties. For each of the following, please tell me if you think it is a major reason, a minor reason, or not a reason why the Social Security program faces financial difficulties (READ ITEMS).

a. More people are going on Social Security and there will be fewer workers to pay Social Security taxes to support them

Major reason

Minor reason

Not a reason

Social Security isn't facing financial difficulties (vol.)

Donít know

58

28

12

*

1

b. People on Social Security are living longer so they cost the program more money.

Major reason

Minor reason

Not a reason

Social Security isn't facing financial difficulties (vol.)

Donít know

53

33

13

*

1

c. Fraud and abuse by people who aren't entitled to benefits.

Major reason

Minor reason

Not a reason

Social Security isn't facing financial difficulties (vol.)

Donít know

54

35

10

*

1

d. Money in the Social Security trust fund is being spent on programs other than Social Security.

Major reason

Minor reason

Not a reason

Social Security isn't facing financial difficulties (vol.)

Donít know

65

23

9

*

3

e. Money in the Social Security trust fund is not being invested wisely.

Major reason

Minor reason

Not a reason

Social Security isn't facing financial difficulties (vol.)

Donít know

62

27

8

*

3

 

21. I am going to read you a list of some ways that have been suggested to deal with the future financial problems of Social Security. For each one, please tell me if you would favor or oppose such a proposal. How about...(READ ITEMS)? Do you (favor/oppose) this proposal STRONGLY, or not strongly?

a. Increasing the amount employers and employees pay in taxes to Social Security

Favor

Oppose

Donít know

NET

Strongly

Not strongly

NET

Not strongly

Strongly

37

21

17

61

20

41

1

b. Eliminating the current Social Security payroll tax cut-off that exempts income over $68,400 a year from being taxed for Social Security

Favor

Oppose

Donít know

NET

Strongly

Not strongly

NET

Not strongly

Strongly

45

30

15

51

15

35

4

c(a). (Asked of half sample) Reducing Social Security benefits for seniors whose income is more than $40,000 a year

Favor

Oppose

Donít know

NET

Strongly

Not strongly

NET

Not strongly

Strongly

57

38

18

42

15

27

1

 

c(b). (Asked of half sample)Reducing Social Security benefits

Favor

Oppose

Donít know

NET

Strongly

Not strongly

NET

Not strongly

Strongly

10

5

5

90

17

73

1

d. Limiting cost-of-living increases in Social Security benefits

Favor

Oppose

Donít know

NET

Strongly

Not strongly

NET

Not strongly

Strongly

39

24

16

59

20

39

1

 

e(a). (Asked of half sample) Raising the amount of taxes higher-income retirees pay on their Social Security benefits

Favor

Oppose

Donít know

NET

Strongly

Not strongly

NET

Not strongly

Strongly

35

21

14

63

23

40

2

 

e(b). (Asked of half sample)Increasing taxes on Social Security benefits for those earning more than $75,000

Favor

Oppose

Donít know

NET

Strongly

Not strongly

NET

Not strongly

Strongly

64

49

15

36

11

24

1

f. People having individual accounts and making their own investments with a portion of their Social Security payments

Favor

Oppose

Donít know

NET

Strongly

Not strongly

NET

Not strongly

Strongly

65

42

23

33

14

19

3

g. Allowing workers to take all of their Social Security taxes out of the Social Security system and invest them on their own

Favor

Oppose

Donít know

NET

Strongly

Not strongly

NET

Not strongly

Strongly

42

30

12

57

14

43

1

h. Gradually raising the retirement age for Social Security to age 70 over the next 20 years

Support

Oppose

Donít know

NET

Strongly

Not strongly

NET

Not strongly

Strongly

31

17

14

67

15

52

2

 

22A. (Asked of half sample of respondents who oppose raising retirement age for Social Security) I'm going to read you a list of reasons people sometimes give for why they oppose raising the retirement age for Social Security. For each one, please tell me if it is a major reason, a minor reason, or not a reason at all why you oppose raising the retirement age

Major reason

Minor reason

Not a reason

Donít know

Aa. Your job is too hard or physically demanding for you to keep working that long.

55

30

15

*

Ab. You want to spend more of your life enjoying things other than work.

66

24

10

*

Ac. You're too sick to keep working that long.

58

23

18

*

Ad. You don't think you can hold onto your job that long or find another job.

55

27

17

*

Ae. It wouldn't be fair, because people were promised that they could retire at 65.

62

25

13

*

23A. (Of those who named more than 1 major reason in Q.22a)You mentioned (READ ITEMS RESPONDENT NAMED AS MAJOR REASONS) as major reasons. Which ONE of these would you say is the MOST IMPORTANT REASON you oppose raising the retirement age?

20 Your job is too hard or physically demanding for you to keep working that long.

25 You want to spend more of your life enjoying things other than work.

19 You're too sick to keep working that long.

12 You don't think you can hold onto your job that long or find another job.

23 It wouldn't be fair, because people were promised that they could retire at 65.

2 Donít know

 

22A/23A Combined table: Most important reason

17 Your job is too hard or physically demanding for you to keep working that long.

26 You want to spend more of your life enjoying things other than work.

18 You're too sick to keep working that long.

12 You don't think you can hold onto your job that long or find another job.

21 It wouldn't be fair, because people were promised that they could retire at 65.

5 None

 

22B. (Asked of half sample of respondents who oppose raising retirement age for Social Security) I'm going to read you a list of reasons people sometimes give for why they oppose raising the retirement age for Social Security. For each one, please tell me if it is a major reason, a minor reason, or not a reason at all why you oppose raising the retirement age.

Major reason

Minor reason

Not a reason

Donít know

Ba. For many people, their jobs are too hard or physically demanding for them to keep working that long.

70

23

7

*

Bb. People want to spend more of their lives enjoying things other than work.

59

29

12

*

Bc. Many people are too sick to keep working that long.

65

26

9

*

Bd. Many people won't be able to hold onto their jobs that long or find another job.

70

22

7

1

Be. It wouldn't be fair, because people were promised that they could retire at 65.

60

28

11

1

 

23B. (Of those who named more than 1 major reason in Q.22b) You mentioned (READ ITEMS RESPONDENT NAMED AS MAJOR REASONS) as major reasons. Which ONE of these would you say is the MOST IMPORTANT REASON you oppose raising the retirement age?

24 For many people, their jobs are too hard or physically demanding for them to keep working that long.

19 People want to spend more of their lives enjoying things other than work.

18 Many people are too sick to keep working that long.

19 Many people won't be able to hold onto their jobs that long or find another job.

21 It wouldn't be fair, because people were promised that they could retire at 65.

- Donít know

22b/23b Combined table: Most important reason

23 For many people, their jobs are too hard or physically demanding for them to keep working that long.

18 People want to spend more of their lives enjoying things other than work.

17 Many people are too sick to keep working that long.

18 Many people won't be able to hold onto their jobs that long or find another job.

22 It wouldn't be fair, because people were promised that they could retire at 65.

2 None

 

24a. Some recent studies have suggested that the government has been over-estimating the rise in the cost of living for retirees. Do you think future cost-of-living increases in Social Security payments should be based on a lower estimate of the increase in the cost of living, or do you think the current, higher estimates should be kept?

21 Should be based on a lower estimate

74 The current/higher estimates should be kept

5 Donít know

 

24b. As a way of dealing with the future financial problems of Social Security, do you favor or oppose having the government invest in the private stock market a portion of Social Security reserve funds, which are currently invested in government bonds? (GET ANSWER, THEN ASK:) Do you (favor/oppose) this proposal STRONGLY, or not strongly?

Favor

Oppose

Donít know

NET

Strongly

Not strongly

NET

Not strongly

Strongly

38

20

18

61

14

47

2

 

25. (Of those who oppose having the government invest a portion of Social Security reserve funds in stock market) Which of the following is the main reason why you oppose having the government invest a portion of Social Security funds in the private stock market? Is it mainly... (READ EACH ITEM)?

12 Because people in government are not capable of making the right investments

21 Because it gives the government too much control of the economy

19 Because the government's decisions would be too political

33 Because the stock market isn't a place where Social Security funds should be invested

11 All (vol.)

2 None/Other (vol.)

1 Donít know

 

26. Some people have suggested that the federal government set up an independent commission to decide how to invest a portion of Social Security funds in the stock market. If such a commission were formed... (READ ITEMS)

25 Do you think the commission would remain independent and try to make the best investments for retirees, or

71 Do you think the investment decisions by the commission would increasingly be made for political reasons rather than in the best interests of retirees?

4 Donít know

 

27. Some people have suggested that workers should have the option of taking some of their Social Security taxes and putting them in investments such as the stock market. People who did this would get more money when they retired if these investments did well, but less money if those investments did poorly. Do you think the government should or should not allow Americans to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes in investments such as the stock market? (GET ANSWER, THEN ASK:) Do you (favor/oppose) this proposal STRONGLY, or not strongly?

Should

Should not

Donít know

NET

Favor strongly

Do not favor strongly

NET

Do not oppose strongly

Oppose strongly

57

39

18

41

11

31

2

 

28. (Of those who oppose allowing Americans to invest a portion of their Social Security benefits) Do you oppose such a proposal...(READ ITEMS)?

52 Mainly because you think it is too risky, or

38 Mainly because you think it will destroy the Social Security system and people who depend on it won't have enough when they retire,

2 Neither/other (vol.)

8 Both (vol.)

1 Donít know

 

29A. (Asked of half sample) How confident are you that you would make the right decisions if you were investing your future Social Security funds in the stock market? Would you feel very confident, somewhat confident, not very confident, or not at all confident?

Confident

Not confident

Donít know

NET

Very

Some

what

NET

Not

very

Not at all

56

24

32

44

20

24

-

 

29B. (Asked of half sample) How competent do you think most people would be at investing their future Social Security funds in the stock market? Do you think they would be very competent, somewhat competent, not very competent, or not at all competent?

Competent

Not competent

Donít know

NET

Very

Some

what

NET

Not

very

Not at all

47

7

39

52

34

18

2

 

30. (Asked of half sample) Do you think you and your family would be better off or worse off if people were allowed to invest a portion of their Social Security payments in the stock market, or wouldn't it make much difference?

33 Better off

22 Worse off

43 Wouldn't make much difference

2 Donít know

 

31. (Asked of half sample) If people were allowed to invest a portion of their own Social Security payments in the stock market, do you think most people would have more, less, or about the same amount of money when they retire than they would if the system stayed the way it is now?

39 More

29 Less

26 About the same amount

6 Donít know

 

32. Thinking about all of your investments, including retirement savings plans at work, do you currently have money invested in stocks or mutual funds?

Yes

No

Donít know

55

45

*

33a. (Of those who have money invested in stocks or mutual funds) Do you and your family have any control over where your money is invested, or not?

87 Yes

12 No

1 Donít know

 

33b. (Of those who currently have money invested in stocks/mutual funds and have control over where money is invested) Are you the person primarily responsible for making your or your family's investment decisions, or not?

70 Yes

15 No

15 Jointly (vol.)

* Donít know

 

 

35. Do you think (the Republican Party) or (the Democratic Party) (ROTATE) is better able to make the Social Security program financially sound in the future?

27 The Republican Party

39 The Democratic Party

3 Both (vol.)

20 Neither (vol.)

11 Donít know

 

36. In general, do you think most members of Congress are SERIOUS about reforming Social Security, or are just using this issue to try to gain political advantage?

27 Most are serious

70 Just using the issue for political advantage

3 Donít know

 

38. We have been talking about proposals people have made to change the Social Security system. I'm going to recap some of those proposals now. After I read the entire list, please tell me if there is anything on the list that you feel so strongly about that you would vote against your representative in Congress if he/she voted in favor of it (READ ALL ITEMS). Is there anything on this list that you feel so strongly about that you would vote against your representative in Congress if he/she voted in favor of it ? (IF YES: ACCEPT UP TO 8 RESPONSES)

33 Allowing the government to invest some Social Security tax funds in the stock market

20 Allowing individuals to invest a portion of their Social Security payments in the stock market

41 Raising the retirement age

47 Reducing the amount of benefits to retirees

37 Raising payroll taxes for employers and employees

25 Raising taxes on benefits to higher-income retirees

28 Limiting cost-of-living increases in benefits

33 Or, they didnít do anything to change the system

13 No, None of these would make a difference (vol.)

1 Donít know

39. Do you think the Social Security system is fair or not fair to people your age?

Fair

Not fair

Donít know

57

37

5

 

40. Which of the following statements comes closer to your own view (READ EACH ITEM)?

34 Current retirees are receiving more than the Social Security system can afford to pay and so there will be much less left in benefits for coming generations.

61 We can afford to give these benefits for current retirees without reducing benefits for coming generations.

5 Donít know

 

41. How much income per year do you think an average retired person needs today in order to live comfortably? (READ ITEMS)

Less than $10,000 a year

$10,000 but less than $20,000 a year

$20,000 but less than $30,000 a year

$30,000 but less than $40,000 a year

$40,000 a year or more

Donít know

1

24

42

18

12

3

 

42. Do you think Social Security payments alone provide retired people with... (READ ITEMS)

More than enough to live comfortably

Just about enough to live comfortably

Not enough to live comfortably, but not so little as to make living a struggle

Small enough that the average retired person needs to struggle to get by

Donít know

1

16

47

34

1

 

43. First, are you currently retired?

21 Yes

79 No

1 Have never worked (vol.)

* Donít know

 

44. (Of those who are not retired) At what age do you think you will retire?

16 Under 60

11 60

9 61-64

38 65

3 66-69

11 70+

5 Never

7 Donít know

 

44a. (Of those who are not retired) Thinking about your retirement, how concerned are you that each of the following things might happen to you? (READ EACH ITEM) Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned?

 
 

Concerned

Not concerned

Donít know

NET

Very

Somewhat

NET

Not too much

Not at all

a. That you won't have enough money to live comfortably

67

37

30

33

17

16

*

b. That you will become a financial burden for your family

44

25

19

56

26

30

*

c. That you will have large medical bills and not be able to pay for care you need

68

40

28

32

17

15

*

d. That you will end up living alone

41

18

23

59

23

36

*

e. That you won't have enough to do

29

14

15

71

21

50

*

f. That you will lose your independence

51

25

26

49

21

28

*

 

44b. (Of those who are retired) Thinking about the rest of your retirement, how concerned are you that each of the following things might happen to you? (READ EACH ITEM) Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned?
 

Concerned

Not concerned

Donít know

NET

Very

Some

what

NET

Not

too

Not at all

a. That you won't have enough money to live comfortably

54

25

29

46

24

22

1

b. That you will become a financial burden for your family

43

23

20

56

21

35

1

c. That you will have large medical bills and not be able to pay for care you need

57

33

24

42

20

22

1

d. That you will end up living alone

41

23

18

58

23

35

1

e. That you won't have enough to do

34

19

16

63

18

45

3

f. That you will lose your independence

56

30

26

43

19

24

2

 

45. Are you currently receiving any Social Security benefits?

21 Yes

79 No

* Donít know

 

46. Do you have any immediate family or close friends receiving Social Security benefits?

69 Yes

31 No

* Donít know

 

46A.(Of those who are not retired) Do you currently have a pension plan from work, a 401-K plan, an IRA or Individual Retirement Account, or similar plan, that you participate in, or not?

61 Yes

39 No

* Donít know

 

47. (Of those who are not retired) Looking ahead to your own retirement, which of the following do you expect to be your biggest source of income? (READ EACH ITEM)

Social Security

An employer-paid pension plan

Your own personal retirement savings, including things like 401(k) plans

Donít know

 

21

15

63

1

49. (Of those who are not retired)Looking ahead to when you retire, do you think you will receive more or less in Social Security benefits than you paid into the system, or will you receive about what you paid in?

8 More

62 Less

28 About what you paid in

2 Donít know

 

50. (Of those who are retired) Thinking about your own retirement years, past and future, do you think you will receive more or less in Social Security benefits than you paid into the system, or will you receive about what you paid in?

35 More

19 Less

39 About what you paid in

7 Donít know

 

51. (Of those who are not retired) Have you begun to save money for your retirement, or not?

68 Yes

32 No

* Donít know

 

52. (Of those who are not retired and have started saving for retirement) How much money did you set aside for retirement LAST YEAR? Please include any personal savings that you saved or invested for retirement purposes, including any employer-sponsored savings plans such as 401k or Keough plans?

12 Less than $1000

11 $1000 but less than $2000

16 $2000 but less than $3000

9 $3000 but less than $4000

8 $4000 but less than $5000

7 $5000 but less than $6000

3 $6000 but less than $7000

3 $7000 but less than $8000

1 $8000 but less than $9000

4 $9000 but less than $10,000

10 $10,000 but less than $20,000

8 $20,000 or more

8 Donít know

 

53. (Of those who are not retired and have not started saving for retirement) What is the main reason you haven't started saving money for your retirement yet? Is it mainly...(READ ITEMS)?

23 Because you haven't started thinking yet about retirement saving

54 Because you don't have enough money to save

10 Because you don't have a retirement savings plan available to you through work

2 Because you'll have enough money from Social Security and Medicare

1 Because you don't think you'll need the money

4 Because you would rather spend the money on something else

5 Other/None (vol.)

1 Donít know

 

54. (Of those who are not retired and have started saving for retirement) Do you think the amount of money you have been saving, combined with what you'll receive from Social Security and other types of income, will be adequate to provide a comfortable living when you retire, or not?

Adequate

Not adequate

Donít know

70

27

3

 

55. (Of those who are not retired and have started saving for retirement but do not think it will be adequate) What is the main reason the amount of money you have been saving will not be adequate? Is it mainly...(READ ITEMS)

50 Because you don't have enough money to save more

31 Because you started to save too late

8 Because rules in the retirement plan you now have won't allow you to put any more money in it

5 Because you would rather spend the money on something else

4 Other/none (vol.)

1 Donít know

 

55A. (Of those who are not retired) Looking ahead to when you are eligible for Social Security, which do you think is MOST likely Ö (READ ITEMS)

19 You will get MOST of the Social Security benefits that are currently provided

66 You will get SOME benefits, but not all that are currently provided

14 You will get NONE of the Social Security benefits that are currently provided

1 Donít know

 

D06. There are many activities a person could do to influence a government decision about the future of Social Security. During the past year, have you personally done any of the following things? (READ EACH ITEM)

 

Yes

No

Donít know

a. Contributed money to a political candidate

14

86

*

b. Contributed money to an organization whose goal is to influence government decisions about the future of Social Security

12

88

*

c. Contacted your representative or another public official

19

81

*

d. Participated in a forum or town meeting about the future of Social Security

6

94

*

e. Voted for or against a candidate based on that personís position on Social Security

18

80

2



This page and all contents are Copyright © 1999 by National Public Radio, Washington, D.C.