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October 8, 2008    DOL Home > Women's Bureau > Quick Facts on Saving for Retirement and Security

Quick Facts on Saving for Retirement and Security

  • Of the 59 million wage and salaried women working in the United States as of June 2000, less than half—just 47 percent—participate in a pension plan.

  • On average, a female retiring at age 55 can expect to live another 27.5 years, four years longer than a male retiring at the same age, and needs to save for these extra years.

  • Studies indicate that women tend to invest more conservatively than men, receiving lower rates of return from their investment over time, thus reducing the amount of savings they have at retirement.

  • Matching contributions and automatic enrollment can help turn more workers into savers, while lifestyle and lifecycle funds can help workers already saving for retirement.

  • Majority of non-participants also say they would be more likely to participate in their employer’s retirement savings plan if the plan included a life style fund option (designed for individuals in specific age and income groups which automatically becomes more conservative as retirement nears) or a feature that automatically raises their contribution rate when they receive a pay raise.

  • For every ten years you delay before starting to save for retirement, you will need to save three times as much to catch up.

  • The earlier you start to save, the more likely you are to secure a financially sound retirement.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Women and Retirement Savings, September 2005, Retirement Confidence Survey, 2005 Fact Sheet.

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