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Women's Pension Project

The Pension Rights Center’s Women’s Pension Project focuses on preventing poverty among older women by eliminating inequities in the nation’s pension programs that uniquely affect working women, widows, and divorced women.   

Because they generally live longer, earn less, and spend less time in the workforce than men, women are particularly vulnerable to unfair pension policies. Without income from pensions to supplement Social Security, women are much more likely than men to retire into poverty. According to the Congressional Research Service, older women living alone are among the poorest demographic groups in the nation.

Take a look at these statistics and you’ll see why the work of the Women’s Pension Project is so important.

  • Women earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by men (U.S. Census Bureau). The lower one’s earnings are, the less a woman is able to save in a 401(k) and the less she will earn in a traditional pension.
  • More women than men live in poverty. Among Americans age 65 and older, 12.1 percent of women live in poverty while only 7.4 percent of men do (U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey).
  • Older women have lower household incomes than men. In 2014, the median household income for women age 65 and older was $23,820, but $32,241 for men (U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey).

Learn about the history of the Women’s Pension Project. Read about the items in the Center’s Consumer Agenda for Retirement Security that address retirement security for women.

Read our fact sheets on spousal benefits and divorce.