Forget North Korea and Stormy Daniels—retirement security is the top issue employees want candidates to discuss on the campaign trail.
American workers rank retirement security above job security, taxes and the cost of college on the list of important issues in the runup to November’s congressional election, according to a new survey from Prudential Financial.
Specifically, 72 percent of American workers are concerned about their financial security in retirement, and a majority say they will have to delay retirement because they don’t have enough saved. Four in 10 say financial stress is causing health issues or sleep loss.
“American workers across the board are concerned about their financial security in retirement, and they’re looking for help wherever they can get it, including from their employers and policymakers,” Ann Kappler, deputy general counsel and head of external affairs for Prudential, said in a statement.
A deeper dive into the data suggests several reasons for American workers’ unease.
More than a quarter had to take an additional job to make them more financially secure. Nearly a third say “daily expenses” are limiting their ability to save for retirement. One in four decreased their retirement contribution because of their financial situation.
Workers’ concerns are also impacting their performance in the workplace. American workers are spending 3.6 hours on average each week at work managing personal financial issues, three in 10 say financial stress has impacted their job performance, and personal finances ranked as a top workplace distraction.
The workers in Prudential’s survey overwhelmingly support legislative solutions, such as provisions included in the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act that would promote open multiple employer plans and the inclusion of lifetime income estimates on plan statements.
Most American workers support efforts by Congress to allow small businesses to band together to make it easier to offer retirement benefits to employees. The majority would turn part of their retirement plan balances into guaranteed lifetime income payments if offered the option. Workers also support (76 percent) requiring retirement plans to provide participants with estimates of their income in retirement.
“The Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act contains several important provisions designed to increase access to workplace retirement plans, retirement planning information and lifetime income options,” Kappler added. “The bill has broad, bipartisan support among policymakers on Capitol Hill, as well as among retirement experts. And, as our survey shows, these sensible provisions are widely supported by those who would benefit the most—American workers.”