7 out of 10 Americans Age 50+ Doubt They Will Receive Full Social Security Benefits as Promised

PlanGap Releases the Results of the 2023 Social Security Confidence Survey

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#plangap–Americans are growing angrier and more scared that the government may be unable to pay their Social Security benefits in full, according to the 2023 Social Security Confidence Survey from PlanGap.

Survey respondents were informed the Social Security Board of Trustees has projected that the Trust Fund responsible for retirement benefits would be depleted in 2033, one year earlier than previously expected, and at which time, the government would be able to pay only 77% of benefits.

“Americans have watched the protests in response to benefit reductions in France, so it is no wonder 7 out of 10 people, at or near retirement age, believe benefit reductions could happen here,” said David Duley, Founder and CEO of PlanGap. “Social Security is a significant source of income for 90% of retirees, and its uncertain future is naturally leading to fear, frustration, and doubt among the American public.”

This year’s survey results continue to highlight Americans’ lack of confidence in the projections provided by the Social Security Administration Board of Trustees. 53% of survey respondents answered they are not confident in the official insolvency estimates and believe the Social Security program is in worse shape than indicated in the report.

The survey also found that this lack of confidence goes hand in hand with increasing widespread concern:

  • 87% of respondents expect Social Security to have a moderate to major role in their retirement income plan.
  • 84% of respondents indicated they are frustrated/angry or scared/nervous that benefit cuts will negatively affect their retirement plan’s success.
  • 63% believe Congress will primarily look to cut benefits vs. raising taxes or increasing the national debt.

When thinking about the potential 23% reduction in Social Security retirement benefits and how stressful a reduction would seem to them, the top 3 responses included:

  • Being diagnosed with Cancer (16%)
  • Death of a loved one (13%)
  • Getting into a car accident (11%)

Additional responses included comparing the stress of a Social Security benefit reduction to:

  • Getting divorced (10%)
  • A global pandemic (9%)
  • Starting a new job (9%)
  • Being late for a meeting (7%)
  • Being pulled over for a speeding ticket (6%)
  • A terrorist attack (6%)

Only 9% of respondents indicated they are hopeful the government will solve the funding challenges facing Social Security without reducing benefits.

“With insolvency just 10 years out, people are looking for answers and solutions now so that they can feel more confident in retirement. They do not want the success of their retirement plan to be subject to political football,” Duley said.

PlanGap conducted an online survey, the 2023 Social Security Confidence Survey, of 1,018 U.S. adults age 50 and older following the publication of the Social Security Board of Trustees’ Annual Report on March 31, 2023.

About PlanGap:

Headquartered in Atlanta and founded in 2017, PlanGap is a product innovation company creating a suite of “trigger-based” annuity and life insurance products – retirement insurance – that solve previously unaddressed financial concerns for retirees. PlanGap, through its insurance carrier partners, empowers people to protect themselves against disruptions to their retirement income, providing solutions for those worried that institutions have made retirement promises they cannot, or will not, keep. Visit plangap.com for more information.


PlanGap Public Relations

Richard Drye

(404) 508-5725

[email protected]