Social Security Reform: Implications for Women's Retirement Income

TitleSocial Security Reform: Implications for Women's Retirement Income
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsCackley, APuente
InstitutionWashington, DC, United States General Accounting Office
KeywordsAdult children, Demographics, Net Worth and Assets, Social Security, Women and Minorities

This report examines why women's benefits are lower than men's under the current Social Security system and evaluates the possible differential effects of the new privatization reform proposals on women. Average SS benefits are currently lower for women because of their lower rates of labor force participation and lower earning levels- both factors that contribute to the calculation of benefits. The reform proposals that would most affect women differently than men are the ones that create individual private savings accounts and change the way benefits would be distributed from those accounts. Because women earn less than men on average and are less likely to engage in risky high yielding assets, they would have less to invest and most likely would accumulate relatively less. Although differences in labor force participation and earnings between genders are expected to be reduced, they will not disappear. Therefore, any reform that bases benefits on earnings will continue to benefit men more than women. A system that relied mostly on individual investments would allow women workers a chance to increase their retirement benefits.

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Endnote Keywords

Economic Status/Family/Basic Demographics/Social Security/Women

Endnote ID


Citation Key5346