If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


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

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.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

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.

Want to read more?

Become a Rasmussen Reader to read the article

Have an account?

Log In

Become a Reader


Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.