August 13th, 2010
06:00 AM ET
12 years ago

CNN poll: Majority say they don't count on Social Security

(CNN) - Pessimism over Social Security is at an all-time high as six in ten Americans who don't already receive benefits through the program say they never will, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll.

As the program nears its 70th anniversary of implementation, 63 percent of Americans say the program won't last another 70 years.

"There have always been a significant number of Americans who thought that Social Security would not be able to pay benefits to them when they retire," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "But since 1989, when Gallup first asked this question, that number usually hovered in the mid-40s and never rose higher than 52 percent. Today, 60 percent say they will never get a benefit from Social Security."

Only about four in ten of current retirees believe Social Security will always be able to pay their full benefits, according to the poll.

For the first time in nearly 30 years, Social Security will pay out more benefits than it receives in payroll taxes both this year and in 2011. By 2015, the program is expected regularly operate with an annual deficit.

The poll was conducted on August 6-10 and surveyed 1,009 Americans, including 935 registered voters. The sampling error varied-from 3 percent to 5.5 percent-by question. The full results of the poll, including the sampling error for each question, may be found here.

Filed under: Medicaid • Social Security
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. sian rose

    What they should do is lengthen the required pay-in and limit payouts to spouses based on marital eligibility instead of continually increasing the eligibility age. Some European countries require 40 years of work for full benefit elgibility...12, 15 years is not too much

    August 13, 2010 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  2. Mark L.

    That's just the problem in this country – There are way TOO MANY pessimists out there !! I, for one, am an optimist !! For as much as I am paying into Social Security, I KNOW I will see benefits when I hit retirement. Of course, I've only got approximately another sixteen years to go until I start collecting my Social Security benefits.

    August 13, 2010 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  3. jomo321

    Easy fix. Remove the cap on salaries required to pay the payroll tax. Also apply tax to interest, stock and dividend income. What's that about anyway. Leave the SS retirement age as it is. Sadly, no one wants to hire someone 65 years of age. To have them struggle until they're 70 or so would be a sad failure.

    August 13, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Well, I would hope that people are planning on working longer and having Social Security pay less. Part of the problem is that Social Security doesn't pay enough to live on and was never meant to be enough to live on from my understanding. I thought that it was meant to work with a pension that few people have any more.

    To keep the limited checks going out and the fund solvent, people and Congress need to realize and do some (if not all) of the following: work longer since we live longer; remove the cap on what gets taxed for Social Security; extend the age of when there can be full benefits are paid (do it a month or three a year); get more businesses to have people pay into some retirement plan; have people more educated about how much they need to save (as well as have safer places to invest) and how long retirement is going be given the greater time people are living now.

    I plan on working until I am at least 65; that may be more likely 70 if things go the way I belive.

    August 13, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  5. Greg

    Wow! Where did all the money go from the Baby Boomer generation??? Oh, that's right – they spent it! I'm sorry, but I don't think this aging population deserves to have their cake and eat it to.

    August 13, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  6. Tim Muffley

    I still have 20 Years left until retirement and I will never see a red cent from Social Security.

    August 13, 2010 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
1 2