US President George W Bush's plan to radically reform and part privatise the social security retirement system has received a boost from investors.
According to a survey conducted by Putnam Investments, 43% of American investors support a partial privatisation of social security, 35% are opposed and 22% are not sure.
The survey of 1,500 retirement account holders also found that only 37% of those over the age of 55 support the privatisation, compared to 47% oppose it. Fifty percent of men favoured privatisation compared to 32% against. Women oppose it by 40% for and 30% against.
Additionally, 28% of investors said they expected a 401(k) to be the chief source of retirement income. Sixteen percent said the primary source would be an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and only 14% said social security.
*A presidential commission is considering whether to allow American workers to invest a portion of income normally devoted to social security taxes in a private investment account. If Bush's plan to part privatise social security is implemented, it could create a windfall for asset managers. The commission, announced in the President's first budget address, will make its recommendations by the third quarter of next year.
By Geoffrey Ho
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