Income in retirement is becoming an issue politicians on both sides of the aisle can't afford to ignore, according to a survey by Lake Research Partners and Public Opinion Strategies.
In the survey, 73% of voters expressed concern about "being able to maintain a comfortable standard of living throughout retirement," and 49% of those individuals indicated they are "very concerned."
Some 62% of voters believe that "creating more retirement options that help retirees make sure their savings last throughout their lifetime" should be the top or one of the top priorities of Congress, and 45% of voters say a candidate's commitment to addressing their retirement concerns will be a highly important factor in how they will vote.
"Voters think that incumbents of both parties are out of touch with [voters'] financial situations, and don't understand what it's like and how deep the anxiety is," said Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners, a Democratic research firm.
Rob Autry, a partner at Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican research firm, said midterm elections typically get older voters than presidential elections. "Given this will be an older electorate, and the importance of economic and long-term retirement issues to this group, we have every reason to believe this will be a crucial issue for voters," he said.
The survey was commissioned by Americans for Secure Retirement, a broad-based coalition of more than 70 organizations committed to raising awareness of issues related to retirement security.
Shannon Hunt, ASR's executive director, points to two bills in the Senate and House, support for which could make a difference in the elections. The bills aim to change tax laws to exclude some annuity payouts from normal income, considered a first step in a process encouraging Americans to plan for the future. She also applauded initiatives announced by the Obama administration earlier this year surrounding annuitized retirement income, and "wants to flesh ideas out further."
ASR considered additional savings to eventually create an annuitized retirement income stream the third leg of a stool, along with retirement plans through work, and Social Security payments.