What You Need to Know
- The legislation would strengthen consumer protections to safeguard retirement savings.
- The measure would expand spousal protections for defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans.
- It would also help women with low incomes and survivors of domestic abuse get retirement benefits.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chairwoman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., reintroduced Thursday the Women’s Retirement Protection Act of 2021, legislation intended to address the retirement gap and bolster women’s financial security.
The lawmakers reintroduced their bill in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis that they argue have disproportionately affected women, particularly women of color.
“COVID-19 has upended the finances of families across the country and led to severe job loss, especially in sectors like child care that disproportionately employ women, particularly women of color,” Murray said in a statement. “Even before this pandemic, women in America typically had less money saved for retirement, in part because they were paid less than their male counterparts for the same work throughout their careers.”
Murray cited a recent survey that found that 40% of women said they expect the past year to have a long-term impact on their finances.