Data and Research

Caregiving Women Make Up for Retirement Savings Gaps

More than half of caregiving Millennial women saved extra money for retirement to make up for leaves from work—significantly more than the older generations, research finds.

By Rebecca Moore editors@plansponsor.com | September 21, 2016

Half of working women who have taken leave to take care of a family member (parent, child, etc.) are worried about the impact their leave will have to their retirement security, according to a LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute study.

Forty percent of working women proactively compensated for gaps in their employment because they needed to leave their job to care for a family member. Actions they took included:

  • Saved additional money in a non-workplace savings plan or account – 19%;
  • Increased workplace retirement savings rate prior to or following their leave – 15%;
  • Increased spouse/partner’s workplace retirement savings rate before or after taking leave – 14%; and
  • Other action – 1%.

However, the study found that more than half (55%) of caregiving Millennial women saved more money for retirement to make up for leaves and are more likely to have done so than older generations (38% of Gen X and 21% of Baby Boomers).

“As our population ages, the demand for caregiving will increase and if history is any indication, much of this will fall on women,” says Cecilia Shiner, assistant research director, LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. “It is important that we educate women on ways they can mitigate the loss of income—and therefore retirement savings—that occurs if they have to stop working to provide caregiving.”

The research is based on a May/June 2016 survey of 1,864 women who are household decision makers, ages 20 to 75, and working for pay.

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