Lawmakers: Social Security Shortchanges Women
The Social Security retirement insurance program could run into serious financial problems in the future, but many retirement planning experts say it already is unfair to working women.[@@]
Unless lawmakers make eliminating sex discrimination a goal of Social Security reform efforts, “this Congress will continue to uphold outdated policies and programs that actually punish women, divorced women and widows,” said Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla., according to a version of her remarks published in the Congressional Record.
Brown-Waite spoke during a recent discussion on the U.S. House floor about Social Security program rules that discriminate against women.
Women represent 58% of all Social Security beneficiaries age 62 and older, and about 70% of beneficiaries 85 and older, according to Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., another lawmaker who spoke during the discussion.
When Social Security was created, few marriages ended in divorce, and the rule that a woman had to be married 10 years before being entitled to share in her husband’s Social Security benefits might have made sense, Biggert said.
Today, Biggert said, the 10-year rule is an anachronism.