Almost half of Generation Z adults don’t expect to get any of the Social Security benefits they’ve earned, according to a new survey.
In a survey released Tuesday by the Nationwide Retirement Institute, 45 percent of Gen Z adults between the ages of 18 to 26 say they expect not to “get a dime” of the benefits they have earned.
Thirty-nine percent of Millennials said the same, compared to 25 percent of Gen X adults and 10 percent of Baby Boomers who agreed.
More older Americans also expressed concern that Social Security could run out of funding in their lifetimes, with 75 percent of respondents aged 50 and older sharing concern in the survey, up 9 percent from roughly a decade ago.
The fate of Social Security drew significant attention around Capitol Hill earlier this year as Republicans and Democrats warred over how to tackle the nation’s climbing debt, which stands at more than $32 trillion.
As one of the country’s largest mandatory spending programs, dollars for Social Security comprise a significant portion of the nation’s annual spending.
The program is expected to approach insolvency in roughly a decade, so lawmakers on both sides have floated potential changes to extend the lifetime of the program.
In the new survey, less than a fourth of respondents backed increasing funding through payroll taxes. Instead, 49 percent of respondents pushed for tax increases on higher earners to pay for the program.
Forty-one percent also said they supported increasing funding through taxes paid by employers, compared to 40 percent who also pushed for less taxation and 24 percent who wanted to see the age of eligibility lowered.
The survey found less support for respondents when it came to some changes tightening up eligibility, with only 19 percent saying they support raising the full retirement age, while just 9 percent backing a gradual reduction of benefits that would most affect younger generations.
Only 6 percent of respondents support reducing benefits across the board.
Gen Z, millennials, and Gen X respondents were more likely than boomers and older in the survey to say they have or “will have retirement accounts and savings as additional sources of retirement income beyond Social Security benefits.”
They were also more likely to say they plan to delay or have delayed retirement in case a quarter of their monthly benefit is cut during retirement.
The 2023 Social Security survey was conducted online between May 18 and June 13 among 1,806 adults age 18 and older that receive or expect to receive Social Security. That includes 300 Gen Z respondents, 500 millennials and 502 boomers-plus, or those age 59 and older.
The sample data is accurate to “within plus 3.0 percentage points using a 95 percent confidence level,” the survey notes.
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