Women in the Workforce

Sixteen Facts That Illustrate Women's Risky Retirement Prospects

Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® raises awareness in recognition of International Women’s Day

LOS ANGELES, March 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Today, nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® (TCRS) has released a new report, Sixteen Facts About Women’s Retirement Outlook, based on findings from its 16th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of American Workers, including 2,421 women and 2,129 men.

TCRS released this new report (including a fact sheet and infographics) in recognition of International Women’s Day, March 8, and its focus on women’s social, political and economic advancement.


A Retirement Obstacle Course

“Women in the 21st century are better educated and enjoy career opportunities that our grandmothers’ generation could only dream about,” says Catherine Collinson, president of TCRS. “However, even in 2016, a woman’s ability to achieve a secure retirement is filled with obstacles, such as lower pay and time out of the workforce for parenting or caregiving, which can negatively affect her own long-term financial prospects.”

Sixteen Facts About Women in the Workforce

  • Only 12 percent of women are “very confident” in their ability to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle.
  • 56 percent of women plan to retire after age 65 or not at all.
  • Half (51 percent) of women plan to work after they retire.
  • Most (64 percent) Baby Boomer women do not have a backup plan if forced into retirement sooner than expected.
  • 46 percent expect to their primary source of retirement income will be 401(k)s and/or other savings and investments, while 29 percent expect to rely on Social Security.
  • 81 percent of women are concerned that Social Security won’t be there for them when they are ready to retire.
  • Of women who have or plan to take time out of the workforce to be a caregiver, 67 percent believe that it will negatively impact their ability to save for retirement.
  • 28 percent of women work part-time so are less likely to have workplace retirement benefits.
    even in 2016, a woman's ability to achieve a secure retirement is filled with obstacles
  • 62 percent of women are offered a 401(k) or similar employee-funded retirement plan.
  • 76 percent of women who are offered an employee-funded plan participate in the plan.
  • Women who participate in their employer’s plan contribute 7 percent (median) of their salary to the plan.
  • 53 percent are saving for retirement outside of work in an IRA, mutual fund, bank account, etc.
  • Women estimate that they will need to have saved $1 million (estimated median) in order to feel financially secure in retirement.
  • Among women who estimated their retirement savings needs, the majority (62 percent) say they “guessed.”
  • Only 36 percent of women use a professional financial advisor, most (75 percent) doing so for retirement investment recommendations.
  • 52 percent of women say information that is easier to understand would motivate them to learn more about retirement.

Retirement risk awareness

For more than a decade, TCRS has published research each year illustrating that women are at greater risk of not achieving a financially secure retirement compared to men.

The goal of this research is to raise awareness of the retirement risks that women are facing and to highlight opportunities in which they can take greater control of their long-term financial security. Additionally, in September 2015, TCRS in collaboration with Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement published, Homemakers Are Not Off the Hook: How Should They Be Planning For Retirement?, a study of 1,600 homemakers (including 1,378 women) in 15 countries around the world.

Please visit TCRS www.transamerica.org to view the full survey report including comparisons between women and men, fact sheet, infographics, and additional materials. Follow TCRS on Twitter @TCRStudies.




About Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies®
The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® (TCRS) is a division of Transamerica Institute®, a nonprofit, private foundation. The Transamerica Institute is funded by contributions from Transamerica Life Insurance Company and its affiliates and may receive funds from unaffiliated third parties. For more information please refer to www.transamericacenter.org.
About the 16th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of American Workers
This online survey was conducted within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of TCRS between February 18 and March 17, 2015 among a nationally representative sample of 4,550 full-time and part-time workers, including 2,421 women and 2,129 men. Potential respondents were targeted based on employment status and company size. Respondents met the following criteria: U.S. residents, age 18 or older, full-time workers or part-time workers in for-profit companies, and employer size of 10 or more. Results were weighted to account for differences between the populations available via the Internet versus by telephone, and to ensure that each quota group had a representative sample based on the number of employees at companies in each employee size range. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
TCRS 1316-0316