Saving for Retirement is a monumental task that forces a plan participant to be saver, an investor, an asset allocator, an actuary, a record keeper and a fiduciary. That is not an easy task for members of a Benefit Committee where the committee has the benefit of professional advice. And it is no simpler when these duties fall squarely on the shoulders of all workers – whether they are highly educated or not.
Retirement Realities Facing Women
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as described in the Health, United States 2015 Publication (published in May of 2016) – at birth a woman has a life expectancy which is 4.8 years longer than that of a man who is born at the same time. The stark reality remains that self-funding a future retirement benefit that is approximately 5 years longer than that of their male counterparts will always be more challenging than it will be for the male population based upon numbers alone.
The average retirement age for women, as published by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College was 2 years lower than the average retirement age for men. This study was published in March of 2015 using 2013 data.
Another salient point circling the greying-workforce of America is that many women historically have not taken an active role in overseeing the family finances. Such a practice does not result in disaster 100 percent of the time; however such a laissez-faire attitude is a recipe for uncertainty and turmoil at a future date.
The Plan Sponsor Can Address the above Circumstances
There certainly are other obstacles which women in the workforce have struggled with and continue to face along their working careers. The above three have been identified as their being more circumstantial than vindictive or oppressive.
Plan Sponsors should spend time educating their entire workforce with the above identified challenges. Such an education is practical and will likely help female co-workers, or Moms and Nieces, to be better informed and better prepared when they contemplate exiting the active workforce.