The median 401(k) account balance for women is 65 per cent lower compared to men, according to a new survey by T. Rowe Price.
The survey, which polled roughly 3,900 401(k) plan members and more than 1,100 retirees, found the median annual contribution for women was 43 per cent less than men. It also found women are generally less confident about retirement than men (22 per cent compared to 37 per cent).
Although women were saving less, the survey noted there were no meaningful gaps in access to retirement plans between men and women. According to 2022 U.S. census data, retirement plan participation appeared consistent among all private sector wage and salaried workers aged 21 to 64.
It cited other possible contributing factors to the gender savings gap, including lower average incomes and shorter job tenures — a median of six years for women compared to eight years for men.
“The gender income gap is contributing to a domino effect of women’s finances,” said Judith Ward, thought leadership director at T. Rowe Price, in a press release. “Lower earnings can have an effect on their current financial decisions, which ultimately impacts their financial future, including retirement savings.”