The two years since the coronavirus pandemic led to sweeping lockdowns across the U.S. have hit women in the workforce especially hard. Now, the gap between their retirement savings as those of their male counterparts has widened further.
Only 19% of women are confident they’re on track to retire without running out of money, according to a survey from TIAA that questioned more than 3,000 adults. That’s compared to 35% of men, the survey found.
In 2013, the gap between men’s and women’s perception of their retirement readiness was 9 percentage points. The 2022 study showed the gap had grown to 16 percentage points.
In addition, only 31% of women surveyed said they were able to save for retirement as compared to 44% of men.
The gap between what men and women have saved for retirement has long been documented, and generally gets wider with age, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Going into 2022, women overall still earn about 83 cents to every dollar a man makes, a gap that is even bigger for women of color.
That impacts women’s ability to pay their bills and save for retirement. About 29% of women surveyed by TIAA are currently struggling to pay monthly bills, the study found.
The pandemic has also kept many women out of the workforce, which often means they’re not actively saving for retirement. Since 2020, about 2 million women have left the workforce, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. When women stop working, those lost earnings can result in their retirement savings generating 30% less income over time, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development