May 2016 Issue
June 03, 2016

Women 'shortchanged' in retirement

Source: NYSUT United

A recent report by the National Institute on Retirement Security, a nonprofit research and education organization, finds women are 80 percent more likely than men to be impoverished in retirement. The findings support other research on the gender pay gap and its long-term repercussions.

"Shortchanged in retirement: The continuing challenges to women's financial future" found the pay gap between women and men age 65 and older is about 25 percent. Those numbers increase with age, with the gap widening to 44 percent by age 80 and older.

"This new data is troubling — it shows that a woman's nest egg is substantially smaller than a man's and that we're not making real headway toward closing the retirement gender gap," said Diane Oakley, NIRS executive director and report co-author.

In 2010, the report notes, men received 33 percent more retirement income from pensions. The results were similar when looking at assets in defined contribution or 401(k) plans. In 2014, the median savings were $36,875 for men and $24,446 for women.

Other findings: women are working longer, perhaps to make up for decreased savings; women who are 70 or older, divorced or widowed rely on Social Security for a majority of their income.

To read the full report, visit