“Because women earn lower wages and take time out of the work force for caregiving, they receive smaller Social Security checks than do male workers. In 2009, the average annual Social Security income of a retired man was $15,620 compared to $12,155 for a woman.

Women Hit Harder

“This disparity hurts women because they live longer than do men and have fewer assets for retirement,” said Heidi Hartmann, president of the Washington-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the leading U.S. think tank that focuses on issues of American women. “Congress must modernize the Social Security system to reflect women’s roles as breadwinners and caregivers,” she said at an event in May for the release of the report.”