GAO Comptroller Discusses Covid-19 Impact on Retirement Planning for Women

In testimony before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, GAO Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro reported that the pandemic’s economic devastation ” … will affect the retirement security of older workers because they have less time to recover from any effect on their savings, housing and investments.” Although his remarks covered the general impact of older workers having less time to recover from the financial consequences of the economic downturn, much of his focus was on women’s retirement security. Citing longer lifespans, he observed that the likely higher healthcare expenses that result and the increased potential for outliving savings as unique challenges facing women. Dodaro’s remarks are outlined in a post today on by Kimberly Bonvissuto, which you can access here…

Dodaro’s concerns, when coupled with generally lower earnings by women during their working years and the frequent need to serve as primary caregivers, lead to less than half of households with women aged 70 or older having a high level of confidence in their retirement security, according to the Federal Reserve’s 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances. The Senate hearing included remarks from Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) calling for action to address the overall problem by, ” … strengthening Social Security and increasing benefits for those most likely to fall into poverty, securing multi-employer pensions and protecting benefits, closing the pay gap for women, and creating permanent paid sick, family and medical leave.”

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