New study shows half of the millennial generation does not think social security will exist when they retire

From St. Norbert College, October 19, 2011
by Mike Counter, mike.counter@snc.edu, (920) 403-3089

"Measure of Millennials," a new study released by the iOMe Challenge organization, shows that 50% of Millennials do not believe that Social Security will exist when they reach their retirement years.

The study of a representative sample of 642 18-29 year-olds across the U.S. was conducted in August by the St. Norbert College Strategic Research Institute. In addition to the 50% who do not think Social Security will exist, 28% of Millennials think that Social Security will exist, but that the benefits will be much smaller than today. Only 5% think Social Security will exist at the same benefit level as today, and 18% are not sure what will happen with Social Security by the time they retire.

"When the views of Millennials on the future of social security are juxtaposed with employers' shift from a defined benefit retirement to a defined-contribution model, it is clear that for Millennials, financing their retirement is going to rest far more on their individual shoulders," said David Wegge, chair of the iOMe Challenge and executive director of the St. Norbert College Strategic Research Institute.

The survey also indicates, however, that Millennials are finding it a challenge to save at higher levels. Forty-two percent report they are setting aside some money for retirement each month, but the median amount is under $75. More than half (52 percent) say they have not given any thought to how they will finance their retirement because they are focused more on meeting their current financial obligations.

According to Wegge, "There has never been a more important time to engage Millennials in helping to solve the financial challenges we face in the U.S. and the potential problems they may face in their retirement years."

The iOMe Challenge organization was formed by a group of concerned citizens, business leaders and academicians to engage and challenge young people to begin thinking about their financial future. Sponsors include: Ally, PAi, Sage, American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries, the National Association of Government Defined Administrators and St. Norbert College.

An executive summary of other results of the "Measure of Millennials" survey can be found at: http://bit.ly/nG5kWo.