As we spend the month of March celebrating the historic achievements of women, it is important to pay attention to the economic challenges women face, including the myriad obstacles to retirement security. The dream of retiring with security is out of reach for most women.
It is a stone cold fact that women earn less than men on the dollar doing the exact same work. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that women are more likely to work part-time and low wage jobs.
Even though women earn less, they are responsible for more. Caring for children and elderly relatives reduce the number of years that women can spend in the workforce and deplete savings and opportunities for retirement investments. And lastly, women are at a higher risk for retirement insecurity than men because they live longer. It’s no wonder that polls find that some 78 percent of women believe that the volatility of the stock market makes it impossible to predict retirement savings.
It’s no secret that working people with pensions have the best chance of being self-sufficient in retirement. This is particularly true for women. As union members with protected pensions, we are proud of the fact that we have a union contract that guarantees us a pension and the financial peace of mind that a defined benefit pension offers.
But we still lose sleep when we think of our moms, cousins, best friends , grandmothers,or aunts who works just has hard as us, but feel totally vulnerable to the whims of our volatile economy. They have no idea when they can retire. The problem is so bad that most don’t even like to think about it.
We can’t afford to let whole groups of women fall into poverty after a lifetime of service as breadwinners and caregivers. That’s why we are starting the Retirement Security for All campaign. We are calling on you to join our state wide effort. Sign up here.
Women deserve to be celebrated for their victories but we must continue to build off those gains for an even brighter future for all Americans. So, this Women’s History Month let’s our call for women’s economic security for all women for generations to come.
We also encourage you to recruit the strong women in your life to join this campaign. Start by learning about some of the unique issues women face when it comes to retirement. Watch this short video. It’s pretty eye opening.