Gender pay gap hurts women in retirement

By February 23, 2016Feature, Leadership

By Mark Miller, Reuters reporter, Minneapolis Star Tribune |

Women who work full-time, year-round, made just 79 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts in 2014, U.S. Census Bureau data show.

But the injustice of the gender pay gap also impacts retirement security.

A woman who works full-time over a 40-year period loses $435,480 in lifetime income (today’s dollars) due to the wage gap, according to the National Women’s Law Center, a nonprofit legal and advocacy group.

The income gap translates directly to lower income from Social Security and pensions — since those benefits are determined by wage history — and it hampers the capacity of women to save for retirement.

And since women typically live longer than men, savings often must be stretched across more years of retirement.

Paying women less than men for the same work has been illegal since 1963. Seven years ago, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier for workers to challenge pay inequality. He announced last month that employers with more than 100 workers will be required to start reporting compensation data by gender to the federal government.

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