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Older Workers Worried About Promised Medicare and Social Security Benefits, Watson Wyatt Survey Finds
Date:10/2/2008

orry more about Social Security and Medicare because they cannot rely on personal savings. And these fears may be further exacerbated by the recent turmoil in financial markets," said Alan Glickstein, a senior retirement consultant at Watson Wyatt. "Yet, this anxiety is not based only on current market pressures: With an aging U.S. population, both systems are starting to pay out benefits to a rapidly growing older population while the pool of workers paying into each is growing much more slowly."

Confidence in having enough resources to live comfortably

5 years into retirement More than 20 years into

retirement

Confident Not confident Confident Not confident

Medicare SS Medicare SS Medicare SS Medicare SS

Not at all/

Not too

confident of

receiving due

benefit 4% 4% 13% 15% 33% 34% 56% 59%

Somewhat/Very

confident of

receiving due

benefit 96% 96% 87% 85% 67% 66% 44% 41%

The Watson Wyatt analysis further showed that older workers' attitudes towards their promised Medicare and Social Security benefits differ by age, gender, education and income level:

-- Workers at the lower end of the age range are less confident about their future benefits: Those 50-54 years old are much less confident of receiving their due than those aged 54-64, when it comes to both Social Security and Medicare.

-- Women tend to be less confident than men about the government making good on its Medicare promises -- roughly 64 percent of responding women had no confidence in the system compared with roughly 58 percent of men. The trend was similar for Social Security.

-- Generally, workers with more education have more confidence in the system -- roughly 78 percent of resp
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SOURCE Watson Wyatt
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