US - Secretary of labour Elaine Chao has urged women to learn more about managing their earnings, as studies continue to show women lag behind men in retirement planning.
She said women retiring at 65 could expect to live three years longer than men retiring at the same age, so she added "careful savings and retirement planning is especially critical for women".
A further reason of concern, according to Chao, was women might contribute less than men toward their retirement, as studies showed they were more likely to work part-time and to interrupt their careers to take care of family members.
By contrast, she said the 'automatic enrolment' provision contained in the Pension Protection Act enacted in 2006 would increase the rate of participation to defined contribution pension schemes to more than 90% of eligible workers.
She added experts projected an increase of retirement savings in the US by as much as $134bn by 2034 resulting by such provision.
With automatic enrolment, employers can enrol workers in their defined contribution pension plan unless workers affirmatively say they do not want to participate.
Chao also urged women to reach out to other women and spread the message of the importance of financial literacy and financial planning for retirement.
Global Pensions reported last week a study by Hewitt found women would need to replace, on average, 130% of their final pay at retirement compared to men who would need to replace 123% (www.globalpensions.com; 10 July 2008).
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