The Gender Gap in Pension Coverage: What Does the Future Hold?

Lois Shaw, Catherine Hill

May 1, 2002
  • ISBN:
  • ID: D447

This report documents pension coverage among male and female employees
and examines voluntary and involuntary reasons why women and men do not participate
in pension plans. The good news is that women are participating in pension plans
in greater numbers, and, for women working full-time, near equality with men has
been achieved. Part-time workers (who are disproportionately women), however, remain
much less likely to participate in employer-sponsored pension plans. Less than a
third of part-time workers participate in a pension plan. The largest difference in
participation between female and male employees occurs for older workers (aged 45-
64), with 35 percent of women saying they work too few hours to participate in their
company’s plan compared with 20 percent of men. Overall, older female employees are
less likely to expect to have a pension in retirement from any source than are older male
workers; 36 percent of male employees lack a pension from any employer compared
with 44 percent of female employees.