Closing the gender pay gap would have a direct effect on a woman’s Social Security benefits and her ability to save for retirement, according to research released by Social Security Works in conjunction with a press conference call on Thursday with Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.
Closing the pay gap “would help women and families now and in the future and into retirement,” DeLauro said.
Social Security Works looked at research that showed—because Social Security benefits are based on lifetime earnings—the gender pay gap during working years creates a gender gap in Social Security benefits. In 2012, women aged 65 or older received an average Social Security benefit of $12,520, compared to $16,396 for men.
Ben Veghte, research director for Social Security Works, added during the call that “social security benefits are directly related to what you earn now.”
“With that additional income they would be paying more into Social Security and hence getting more earned benefits when they retire,” Veghte said.
He added that many of the women currently receiving Social Security benefits are suffering because they did not earn enough so they did not pay enough into Social Security to get comfortable benefits when they retire.
DeLauro stressed that this is why you see such a high poverty rate in elderly women.