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Survey: Gender gap remains in retirement planning

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Men think about and talk about retirement more frequently than women and believe they are more educated about the tools needed to prosper during their golden years, according to results of a survey by OneAmerica, a mutual organization of financial companies.

The online survey gathered responses from more than 10,500 participants and studied the role gender plays in retirement readiness.

Related: Where are all the women in financial services?

Men who participated in the survey self-scored themselves as having a significantly higher level of knowledge than women across 10 personal finance and retirement topics, including student loans and taxation on Social Security benefits.

“We’ve known for quite some time that men and women don’t just think about retirement differently, they also talk about it differently,” said Marsha Whitehead, vice president of marketing for retirement services for the companies of OneAmerica. “By understanding these differences, plan sponsors can tailor their education programs to increase the influence they have on male and female participants.”

Men and women were on the same page in several areas when it comes to retirement planning:

  • Both sexes expressed a reluctance to take out loans or hardship withdrawals to address pre-retirement debt.
  • Both sexes valued an employer match to an employee’s 401(k) contribution, ranking it as the top workplace benefit followed by having investment options.
  • Both sexes emphasized the importance of retirement plan features that encourage active planning.

But the genders differed on other topics.

  • Sixty-nine percent of men report thinking about retirement at least monthly, while 55 percent of women report thinking about retirement monthly.
  • Men are more likely to discuss retirement with work colleagues (29 percent) compared with women (22 percent).
  • Men monitor their retirement plan more frequently. Fifty-three percent of men examine their retirement plan monthly, compared with 36 percent of women.

See also:

Millennial women save more than mom but less than men

Life choices aren’t to blame for the gender pay gap

The jobs with the highest gender pay gaps

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