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65% Believe Americans Should Have Right to Pick Own Social Security Retirement Age

Thursday, June 30, 2011

While politicians argue whether to increase Social Security taxes or raise the retirement age for eligibility, voters think such decisions should be made closer to home.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of Likely U.S. Voters believe individuals should have the right to select their own retirement age. Those who want to retire earlier could pay more in Social Security taxes now. Those who would prefer lower taxes today could pay less in taxes and retire later. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 23% disagree and believe people should not have the right to make such a choice. Twelve percent (12%) are not sure.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Support for letting people select their own retirement age comes from 70% of Republicans, 57% of Democrats and 68% of those not affiliated with either major party. Seniors favor the idea of offering such a choice by a 53% to 29% margin. Younger voters are even more supportive.

When considering reforms to Social Security and/or Medicare, popular support is essential because the key obstacle to any proposed reform is distrust of politicians to implement it. Sixty-four percent (64%) believe that any proposed changes in either Social Security or Medicare should be submitted to the American people for a vote before they can become law.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 21, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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