Support for public pensions increases.

Position:News & Numbers

Americans strongly support pensions for public-sector workers and see these retirement plans as a strong recruitment and retention tool, according to a recent survey. Approximately 81 percent of respondents said public workers deserve their benefits because money comes from every paycheck to help finance the cost--that's up from 77 percent in 2015. Respondents also strongly supported pensions for police officers and firefighters (90 percent), and teachers (81 percent).

These findings are contained in a new study, "Retirement Security 2017: America's View of the Retirement Crisis and Solutions," published by the National Institute on Retirement (NIRS).

Respondents also regarded pensions as a route to economic security in retirement, and see these retirement plans as better than 401(k) accounts. According to the survey, 82 percent of Americans have a favorable view of pensions, and 85 percent said that all workers should have access to a pension plan so they can be independent and self-reliant in retirement. Approximately 77 percent of respondents said the disappearance of pensions has made it harder to achieve the American Dream. Some 71 percent said that pensions do more to help workers achieve a secure retirement than 401(k) plans, and 65 percent said pensions are safer than 401 (k) plans.

Other important findings include the following:

* Approximately 88 percent of respondents said the nation faces a retirement crisis. The level of concern is high across gender, income, age and party affiliation. To ensure a secure retirement, three-fourths of Americans plan to work longer and to spend less in retirement.

* Across party lines, Americans are worried about economic insecurity in retirement. Three-fourths (76 percent) of Americans are concerned about economic conditions affecting their ability to...

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