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Making it easier to save for retirement is top issue workers want Congress to address, according to new survey results

March 25, 2019

American workers are gravely concerned about their financial security, particularly in retirement. And they’re counting on both Congress and their employers to provide solutions.

The sixth American Workers Survey, conducted in February on behalf of Prudential by Morning Consult, illustrates the depth of their fears.

Seven in 10 respondents say they’ve felt stressed about their finances in the past year. An even greater number—more than 80 percent of working parents—are concerned about their children’s financial security as they grow up. And retirement security remains a primary focus, with nearly seven in 10 respondents saying they are concerned they will not have enough money to live comfortably in retirement.

While the workplace is increasingly one of the primary places in which people access offerings to enhance their financial security, many employees of small businesses lack access to these offerings. Only 39 percent of small business workers say their company provides the benefits they need to feel financially secure, compared to 63 percent of workers at large businesses.

Against this grim backdrop, workers overwhelmingly want Congress to pursue policies that make it easier to save for retirement. Nearly eight in 10 workers say Congress should do more to expand access to retirement plans. Provisions included in the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act (RESA), which was recently reintroduced, would make it easier for small businesses to join together to offer retirement plans through open multiple employer plans (MEPs). This would expand access to plans, helping to close the retirement savings gap. Additionally, 68 percent believe policymakers should support retirement solutions that convert savings into a stream of lifetime income payments.

“The challenge of saving for retirement, and the concern and stress that it imposes on workers, is a recurring theme in our surveys on barriers to workers’ financial security,” says Ann Kappler, deputy general counsel and head of external affairs for Prudential. “This survey in particular highlights the increasing urgency for Congress to address retirement security.”

The survey results also revealed that workers say they’re looking to their employers to provide tools that support their financial wellness, particularly saving for retirement. A majority of workers (53 percent) say they would not work for a company that didn’t provide a retirement plan. And among employer-provided programs, workers rank retirement plans (74 percent) and life insurance (56 percent) as the most valuable in supporting their financial well-being.

“There is a compelling need—and support—among workers for measures to increase access to retirement plans, especially for small business employees,” notes Kappler. “Prudential has long supported policies that would expand Americans’ access to retirement savings, such as those that would increase sponsorship and participation in multiple employer plans (MEPs). As a leading provider of financial wellness solutions, we will continue championing much-needed retirement security legislation, to help put financial security within reach for more American workers.”

See the sixth American Workers Survey Fact Sheet for more of the survey findings. For more information on the results of this survey, contact Andrew Simonelli.

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The American Workers Survey is the sixth in a series conducted on behalf of Prudential by Morning Consult from February 8 to 19, 2019, among a national sample of 2,217 self-identified part-time and full-time employed adults (age 18 and over). The interviews were conducted online, and the data was weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, race/ethnicity, and gender. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of ±2 percentage points. In this survey small businesses are defined as companies with less than 100 employees; mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with 100-999 employees and large businesses are defined as companies with over 1,000 employees. Percentages may not total 100 percent due to rounding.

The Prudential Insurance Company of America and its affiliates, Newark, NJ. 1019091-00001-00