This generation is the most concerned about Social Security benefits and is not growing

valentinrussanov / Getty Images

valentinrussanov / Getty Images

Although Social Security has paid out retirement benefits without interruption for more than 80 years, Americans still worry about its future. A new Gallup poll found that 80% of American adults under the age of 62 are worried that Social Security will not be available when they become eligible.

Interestingly, Gen Xers are the most anxious of all generations, and they are next in line to collect Social Security benefits.

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The survey of 5,149 adults, conducted late last year and released earlier this month, found that among those ages 50 to 61, 81% are worried about Social Security. This is up from 72% in 2022.

Much of the concern is about the impending depletion of the Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund. The fund is expected to run out of money in about a decade, leaving Social Security to depend solely on payroll taxes for funding. These taxes currently finance about 77% of benefits.

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The fact that Social Security still gets more than three-quarters of its funding from payroll taxes doesn’t seem to calm the nerves of people who fear their benefits will suddenly disappear. This fear affects all generations as well.

Here’s how the results broke down by age group when respondents were asked whether they are worried or extremely worried that Social Security won’t be available when they qualify:

  • 18-29 years old: 71%

  • 30-39: 80%

  • 40-49: 86%

  • 50-61: 81%

Gen Xers, born between 1965 and 1980, make up the bulk of the 40-49 cohort and the majority of the 50-61 cohort. Although most baby boomers were not included in the above survey question, perhaps because many of them are already retired and collecting Social Security, they weighed in on other parts of the survey.

Gallup found that older Americans are more likely to place a high priority on ensuring the future sustainability of Social Security and Medicare. Nearly nine in 10 (87%) of those age 65 and older give these programs the highest priority, double the percentage of 18- to 29-year-olds.

Another key finding is that nearly six in 10 Americans report that they are somewhat more likely (37%) or much more likely (20%) to support a political candidate who makes issues affecting older Americans a top priority. This view is more prevalent among the elderly, peaking at 77% among those aged 65 and over.

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This article originally appeared on This generation is the most concerned about Social Security benefits and isn’t powerful

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