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10 sobering stats about women and retirement

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

A new survey by the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found widespread pessimism among women about their ability to save for retirement and about their retirement prospects in general. Some of the findings:

1. Only 10% of women are “very confident” they will be able to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle.

2. Women believe that they will need to save a median of $500,000 to feel financially secure in retirement—but 56% said that was just a guess.

3. Women’s median total household retirement savings is $34,000. The median age when women started saving for retirement was 28.

4. 40% of women plan to retire after age 65; 13% don’t think they will ever retire. Half of women planning to retire think they will still continue to do some work.

5. 64% of women do not have a backup plan if forced into retirement sooner than expected.

6. 72% are saving for retirement through a workplace plan or outside of work in an Individual Retirement Account, mutual fund, bank account, etc.

7. 47% expect their primary source of retirement income will be 401(k)/403(b) accounts/IRAs, or other savings and investments; while 27% expect to rely on Social Security.

8. 68% of women have access to a 401(k) or similar employee-funded retirement plan. However, 26% work part time and are, therefore, less likely to have workplace retirement benefits.

9. Only 75% of those with access to a work-based retirement plan actually participate in it.

10. They contribute a median of 6% of salary to their retirement.

The full survey findings are available at www.transamericacenter.org/retirement-research/women-and-retirement.

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