By David Pitt, AP Personal Finance Writer
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The slow climb out of recession has workers mired in skepticism about their ability to recover financially. And it looks like their pessimism will be reflected in the November elections. In a national survey released Tuesday by Sun Life Financial Inc. (Stock Quote: SLF), a majority of respondents said they plan to vote against any incumbent regardless of political party affiliation.
The economic climate and financial insecurity creates a gloomy outlook that permeates the finding of Sun Life's latest Unretirement Index.
More than 80% of workers believe they will need at least three years to rebuild their retirement savings as a result of the recession. That's a dramatic increase over the 64% who responded that way a year ago.
Some 20% of workers believe they will never get their savings back to pre-recession levels, the survey revealed.
The Unretirement Index was created in 2008 as the financial crisis deepened. The survey focuses on how workers are reacting to economic conditions and how their behavior and retirement plans are changing.
"Even though the headline news is that we're through the recession, the average person doesn't really see it and in fact they are still feeling it," said Wes Thompson, U.S. president of Sun Life Financial. "They were assuming things would have gotten better by now and it has not from their point of view."
Indeed more workers are saying that the economic crisis will delay their retirement plans by a year or more. This year 64% of workers reported delayed plans. That's up from 54% in 2008.
More than half of workers responding — 52% — expect to work at least three years longer than originally planned.
Delayed retirement, along with the belief that Social Security and Medicare will not be there when they retire, has soured workers on the government and policymakers, which means it's a bad time to be an incumbent.