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On Social Security’s 85th Anniversary, Survey Finds Nearly All Americans View Social Security as an Important Program

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A new AARP survey, released today in conjunction with Social Security’s 85th anniversary, confirms that Americans highly value Social Security, and even more so due to the pandemic. The vast majority of Americans – 93% of Republicans, 99% of Democrats, and 92% of Independents – see Social Security as an important government program, and 56% believe it is even more important for retirees in light of the coronavirus pandemic. In a letter sent yesterday to President Trump, AARP asked him to explain his plan to replace Social Security funding.

More than 242,000 retired Mainers receive Social Security retirement benefits. For over 23 percent of these beneficiaries, Social Security accounts for more than 90 percent of their income.

“AARP Maine is fighting to protect voters 50-plus and their families,” said Lori Parham, AARP Maine State Director. “We want to make sure their voices are heard on the issues that matter – protecting Social Security and Medicare, lowering prescription drug prices, and ensuring they can vote safely from home or in-person. Workers have paid into Social Security with every paycheck. It’s a hard-earned benefit and a promise that must be kept. AARP will never stop fighting to strengthen Social Security, and make sure hard-working Americans get the benefits they’ve earned.”

AARP’s survey found that Social Security is a key source of income and economic stability in retirement, but they have concerns about whether it will be enough.

· Nearly three-quarters of Americans (74%) are worried that Social Security will not provide enough to live on during their retirement.

· Two-thirds of Americans believe the average monthly Social Security retirement benefit of $1,503 per month is too low. Nearly 3 in 5 Americans are not confident in the future of Social Security, with confidence in the program lowest among 30-49-year-olds at only 28%.

· Nearly 2 in 5 Americans (39%) say they do or will rely on Social Security for a substantial portion of their retirement income, and 4 out of 5 expect it to be part of their retirement income.

In Maine, the nation’s oldest state, Social Security is even more important to keeping Maine seniors out of poverty. “Many Maine seniors rely solely on Social Security for their monthly income,” said Parham. “In a time of great uncertainty, they know that Social Security will still be there for them. We must keep that promise.”

Social Security is a key component of AARP Maine’s “Protect Voters 50+” campaign, which launched August 3rd. The initiative is calling on presidential and congressional candidates to tell us their plan to protect Social Security for current and future generations, and help voters cast their votes safely from home or in-person this November.

This survey was conducted among 1,441 Americans 18 and older between July 14, 2020 and July 27, 2020 with a confidence interval of ± 3.4% at the 95% confidence level.

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