Women Are behind Men in Retirement Savings

February 4, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A study from LIMRA finds defined contribution plan participation and deferral rates are nearly identical for women and men.

However, women’s average DC plan balances are only 60% of men’s average, according to LIMRA’s Gender Matters report. Half of women and 37% of men have $15,000 or less saved in their DC plans.   

The study found 54% of women and 62% of men cite retirement as one of their household’s most important reasons for saving.   

Women are slightly more likely than men to believe they have not done enough planning for retirement, 62% and 56%, respectively. Less than half (47%) of women say they are very involved in monitoring and managing their retirement savings, compared to 55% of men.  

Fifty-six percent of women rate themselves as somewhat to very knowledgeable about financial products and services, compared to 73% of men. Among employees whose households typically work with a paid professional to make at least some their investment decisions, 68% of men and 74% of women identify a financial adviser or planner as one of their sources of information on financial products and services.   

Men are more likely than women to consult the Internet for information on financial products and services, 54% and 40%, respectively. 

For the new analysis, LIMRA used data from the Comparison of Not-for-Profit Employees and For-Profit Employees study (see Comparing DC Plan Behavior of For-Profit and Not-For-Profit Employees), which included interviews with 1,211 women and 1,282 men.  

More about LIMRA is at http://www.limra.com.