Saturday, January 18, 2014
Joan Entmacher and Amy Matsui (both of the National Women's Law Center) have published Addressing the Challenges Women Face in Retirement: Improving Social Security, Pensions, and SSI, 46 John Marshall L. Rev. 749 (2013).
It is a truth universally acknowledged (or it should be) that women are more economically vulnerable than men in retirement. On average, women’s lifetime earnings are lower than men’s, and divorce, single parenthood, and widowhood have a particularly detrimental impact on women’s economic security. Thus, women reach retirement with lower Social Security benefits, smaller pensions and retirement savings, and fewer assets than men. However, women actually need more assets to achieve retirement security because they generally live longer than men, face higher health care costs, and spend more years alone. In 2011, almost 11 percent of women 65 and older lived in poverty compared to about six percent of men 65 and older, and about one in five older single women and older Black and Hispanic women were poor.2 For these reasons, addressing America’s retirement crisis requires policy solutions that specifically address the challenges women face in retirement, especially low-income women, women of color, and single older women.