Close
ThinkAdvisor

Retirement Planning > Saving for Retirement

Gender Gap in Retirement Savings Narrowing

X
Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) examined in its November 2007 EBRI Issue Brief the percentage of working women participating in a retirement plan, how participation differs from men, and how the “gender gap” in retirement coverage is changing.

EBRI found that while there is still a gender gap in retirement participation rates, it has narrowed sharply as more women enter the work force. Here are some of the key EBRI findings concerning gender differences in employment-based retirement plan participation in 2006:

All wage and salary workers: Among all wage and salary workers aged 21–64, women participated at higher levels. However, women participated in a plan at an overall lower level than men, since more women than men tend to work part-time and part-year.

  • Women, all wage and salary workers: 44.9% participated in a retirement plan.
  • Men, all wage and salary workers: 46.2% participated.

Full-time, full-year wage and salary workers: Workers in this category are considered to have the strongest connection to the work force, and in this category women have a slight edge over men. Participation levels among workers aged 21–64 in this category:

  • Women: 54.4% participated in a retirement plan.
  • Men: 51.4% participated.

Full-time, part-year wage and salary workers: Participation among workers aged 21–64:

  • Women: 35% participated in a retirement plan.
  • Men: 29.4% participated.

Part-time, full-year wage and salary workers: Participation among workers aged 21–64:

  • Women: 26.4% participated in a retirement plan.
  • Men: 18.2% participated.

Part-time, part-year wage and salary workers: Participation among workers aged 21–64:

  • Women: 13.3% participated in a retirement plan.
  • Men: 8.6% participated.

Earnings level: The proportion of women wage and salary workers aged 21–64 participating in a plan was higher than for men across all earnings levels, except for the very lowest earners (less than $5,000 in annual earnings). Overall, EBRI’s Issue Brief reported that in 2006, participation in employment-based retirement plans fell to 53% among full-time, full-year wage and salary workers aged 21–64 (those with the closest connection to the work force). This was down from 55% in 2005.