WASHINGTON - Young Americans have more faith in UFOs than in Social Security, says a poll released today by Third Millennium.
The nonpartisan organization started by the so-called Generation Xers said its survey tells a "chilling tale of young people convinced that the social contract between the generations has been dissolved."
According to its poll, only 9 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 believe Social Security will have the money to pay their retirement benefits.
Just over one-fourth say Social Security will still exist when they retire, compared with 46 percent who think that there are unidentified flying objects, or UFOs.
The poll, conducted in early September, surveyed 500 young people.
"Despite their faith in UFOs, young people know that the solution to the Social Security funding crisis - and the national-debt crisis - will not fall from the sky," says Richard Thau, Third Millennium executive director.
Indeed, a draft report by the Congressional Budget Office concludes that "no easy fixes to the funding problems of the Social Security system exist."
A House subcommittee on Social Security begins hearings tomorrow on the system's long-term solvency.
Right now, the Social Security trust funds take in more than they spend. This year alone, CBO estimates that Social Security will collect about $58 billion more than it will pay out in benefits.
But during the retirement years of the baby boomers, the generation of people born between 1946 and 1964, under current projections, annual benefits will exceed receipts and the funds will be exhausted by 2029.