Workers Worldwide Show More Concern about Retirement

Three in five Americans (59%) said that, compared with 12 months ago, they are more concerned about the robustness of their income in retirement.

The Financial Times/Harris Poll found that half of Spanish (50%), French (50%), and Italian (49%) adults, as well as 47% of British adults, also reported being more concerned. More than half of Germans (54%) said they have the same level of concern as a year ago, while 38% are more concerned.

However, 71% of Germans and the majorities of French (54%) and Spanish (53%) adults would oppose the idea of working beyond the current state of pension/Social Security age to receive a larger pension, while two-thirds of Americans (66%), and three in five Britons (61%) and Italians (59%) would support such this idea, according to a press release on the survey results.

The poll suggested two possible ways of boosting pensions: Pay higher taxes and/or accept lower pay now in exchange for higher pensions. Strong majorities (between 73% and 89%) in all six countries are opposed to the idea of paying higher taxes, and even stronger majorities (between 78% and 92%) are opposed to the idea of having less pay in order to receive a bigger pension when they retire.

The results found three-quarters of Spaniards (74%) and majorities of German (59%), French (56%), and Italian (52%) adults will rely on the state pensions. Two in five British adults (39%) will rely on their private pensions, while one-third (32%) will rely on the state pension. Among American respondents, one-third will rely on Social Security (32%); one-third will rely on private pensions (32%); and 26% will rely on other investments.

Seven in 10 Spaniards (69%) and 51% of Italians said the state/government should bear the main responsibility for providing workers with a secure income in retirement. Majorities of Americans (54%), French (53%), and half of British adults (50%), as well as 46% of Germans, believe that the state, employers, and individuals should all have equal responsibility.

The poll was conducted online by Harris Interactive among a total of 6,332 adults aged 16 to 64 within France (1,077), Germany (1,007), Great Britain (1,126), Spain (1,030), and the U.S. (1,052), and adults aged 18 to 64 in Italy (1,040), between April 29 and May 6.