Aug 14, 2020
On Social Security’s 85th Anniversary, Survey Finds Nearly All Americans View Social Security as an Important Program
Majority Believe it is More Important in Light of Pandemic

En españolWASHINGTON—A new AARP survey, released in conjunction with Social Security’s 85th anniversary, confirms that Americans highly value Social Security, and even more so due to the pandemic. The vast majority of Americans – 93% of Republicans, 99% of Democrats, and 92% of Independents – see Social Security as an important government program, and 56% believe it is even more important for retirees in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s crystal clear that Americans of all generations value the economic stability Social Security has offered for the last 85 years—even more so as we face the health and economic challenges of a global pandemic,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer. “With so many Americans struggling to afford health care and other basic needs, Social Security is more important than ever— and AARP will never stop fighting to strengthen Social Security and make sure hard-working Americans get the benefits they’ve earned.”

AARP’s survey found that Social Security is a key source of income and economic stability in retirement, but they have concerns about whether it will be enough.

  • Nearly three-quarters of Americans (74%) are worried that Social Security will not provide enough to live on during their retirement.
  • Two-thirds of Americans believe the average monthly Social Security retirement benefit of $1503 per month is too low. Nearly 3 in 5 Americans are not confident in the future of Social Security, with confidence in the program lowest among 30-49-year-olds at only 28%.
  • Nearly 2 in 5 Americans (39%) say they do or will rely on Social Security for a substantial portion of their retirement income and 4 out of 5 expect it to be part of their retirement income.

Social Security is a key component of AARP’s “Protect Voters 50+” campaign, which launched August 3. The initiative will provide information about where candidates stand on issues that matter to Americans 50-plus, including Social Security, and how to cast their votes safely from home or in-person this November.

This survey was conducted among 1,441 Americans 18 and older between July 14, 2020 and July 27, 2020 with a confidence interval of ± 3.4% at the 95% confidence level. 

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About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.