Americans Say Cutting Pensions Not Solution to Budget Shortfalls

Vast majority of Republicans and Democrats agree that law enforcement and first responders deserve to have a secure retirement

Americans Say Cutting Pensions Not Solution to Budget Shortfalls

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Director, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, October 3, 2018 – A new Ipsos poll shows that the vast majority of Americans have a favorable opinion of paramedics (94%), nurses (94%), firefighters (93%), teachers (91%), doctors (89%), and police officers (82%). On the other hand, government employees (53%), lawyers (50%), reporters (45%), and elected officials (27%) have lower favorability among Americans. The occupations with the widest favorability margins between Republicans and Democrats are reporters (67% vs. 26% of Republicans), police officers (78% vs. 94% of Republicans), and government employees (62% vs. 49% of Republicans).

A large majority of both Republicans (86%) and Democrats (86%) agree that police offers and firefighters deserve to have a secure retirement if they’ve served 20 or more years. However, there is a 9-point difference between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to whether or not they believe that public employee pensions are more generous than most people’s retirements (58% vs. 67% of Republicans), and a 10-point difference on whether or not guaranteed pensions are a luxury American society cannot afford (30% vs. 40% of Republicans).

When asked what the local government should do to balance its budget if there were a budget shortfall, almost half say they would support raising taxes (46%) while only a third say they would support reducing spending on infrastructure like roads or sewers (33%). While Republicans are relatively split between the two options (36% for reducing infrastructural spending vs. 38% raising taxes), Democrats are much more inclined to choose the latter (29% vs. 52% raising taxes)

About the Study

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted October 1-2, 2018. For the survey, a sample of 1,005 adults 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii were interviewed online in English. The sample includes 320 Democrats, 354 Republicans, and 208 Independents.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2013 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,005, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-5 percentage points).

The poll also has a credibility interval plus or minus 6.2 percentage points for Democrats, 5.9 percentage points Republicans and 7.7 for Independents.

For more information about conducting research intended for public release or Ipsos’ online polling methodology, please visit our Public Opinion Polling and Communication page where you can download our brochure, see our public release protocol, or contact us.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Vice President, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025

Mallory Newall
Director, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2014

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. Through our media partnerships, Ipsos Public Affairs is a leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and internationally. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.
With offices in 88 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,782.7 million in 2016.

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Director, US, Public Affairs

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