Women’s Retirement Participation Rising

By Jessica Marquez

Feb. 16, 2006

Women are more likely to participate in their retirement plans than men are, according to a study conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. While the overall results of the study show that men actually participate more than women do in their retirement plans, the reverse is true when looking at men and women in similar income levels, says Craig Copeland, senior research associate.

    “Overall it has been well known that men have been more likely to participate than women, but this is largely due the fact that women have been in lower-paying jobs and are more likely to work part time, which accounts for their lower rates of participation,” he says. “As women are in the workforce longer, this trend is shifting.”

    The study shows that among all wage and salary workers ages 21 to 64, a slightly smaller percentage of women (47 percent) participate in their retirement plans than men (49 percent). But among all full-time, full-year workers, the study shows that 58 percent of women participate in their retirement plans, compared with 55 percent of men.

    Similarly, the study shows that within each earnings level, the proportion of women participating in their retirement plans is higher than for men.

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