Your Financial Future:
GAO Releases A New Report On Older Women And Retirement Security
(July 25, 2012) - The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a new report, “RETIREMENT SECURITY: Older Women Remain at Risk,” that highlights the negative financial realities of many women reaching retirement age.
As highlighted in the report, the GAO found that within the last decade, women 65 and over had consistently less retirement income on average and had higher rates of poverty when compared to men. The report concluded that one reason for this is that women in this age bracket have over the last decade had a median income of approximately 25% less than that of men.
The report also found that women were less likely than men to be eligible for employer-sponsored retirement plans, as well as less likely to participate in these plans when eligible, due to lower wages, part-time work schedules, and parental responsibilities. Women that did participate in employer-sponsored retirement plans tended to contribute to their plans at lower levels than men. Finally, divorce and widowhood also had more pronounced negative retirement effects on women than men.
Discussion of this report was part of the focus of a Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing today titled “Enhancing Women’s Retirement Security,” led by Committee Chairman , Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI).
The Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement commends the GAO and the Senate Committee on Aging for addressing this important topic. These activities are another step in the right direction towards shedding light on this issue that greatly affects the livelihood of older women. For 16 years, WISER has been dedicated to eradicating the retirement security gap between men and women. We know that the only way women can protect themselves from lack of income in retirement is to recognize the risks they face, learn their options, and create a financial plan. WISER is committed to reaching as many women as we can, providing them with the tools and the knowledge needed to avoid poverty and running out of money in retirement.
To access the GAO report, click here.
To read WISER’s written testimony, click here.