The Wage Gap Persists Into Retirement

The difference can compound and leave women with far less retirement income.

(Image credit: Greg Brave, photopathway.com (Greg Brave, photopathway.com (Photographer) - [None])

Men and women contribute to their 401(k) at similar rates — 7.9% and 7.5% of income, respectively. But combined with the wage gap — a woman, on average, earns about 80 cents for every dollar a man makes — the difference can compound and leave women with far less retirement income.

After 40 years in which a man and woman earned the average salary for their gender, the man would end up with a 401(k) balance that could generate a $2,200-a-month lifetime payout, but the woman would get only $1,500 a month, according to data compiled by Human Interest (opens in new tab), a 401(k) provider for small and midsize businesses. “Just like savings can compound, the wage gap can compound, too, by the time a woman reaches retirement,” says Jeff Schneble, CEO of Human Interest.

Married people tend to be better savers than singles. And married women save more in their 401(k) — an average of 9.0%, compared with 8.2% for men.

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