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80 Percent of U.S. Women Say the Nation Faces a Retirement Crisis

Vast Majority of Women Agree Congress Should Act Now to Shore up Social Security

Eighty percent of working age American women believe that the U.S. faces a retirement crisis, and 78 percent say the typical worker just can't save enough on their own to guarantee a secure retirement according to a new research infographic from the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS). Regarding Social Security, nearly all U.S. women (86 percent) agree Congress should act now to shore up funding rather than waiting ten years to enact a solution.

Most American women (82 percent) also say all workers should have a pension so they can be independent and self-reliant in retirement, while 75 percent agree that those with pensions are more likely to have a secure retirement.

These findings are detailed in a new research infographic from NIRS, What Do Women Think About Retirement? The findings are based upon a national survey of working age Americans conducted by Greenwald Research. Download the infographic.

This research infographic is a supplement to a recent NIRS report, Retirement Insecurity 2024: Americans' Views of Retirement. Read the report.

"Women face an uphill battle when it comes to retirement," said Dan Doonan, NIRS executive director. "The wage gap is stubbornly persistent for women and they typically live longer than men. Women are less likely to have access to a workplace retirement plan and have caregiving demands throughout their lifetime that often hurts their earning potential. Generally, women need a larger nest egg, yet most are in a weaker financial position as compared to men. This new infographic sheds light on a range of retirement worries facing working age women, along with their desire for a return to the retirement certainty that pensions provide."

"If policymakers are serious about improving the financial resilience of women, they'll need to implement pragmatic retirement solutions that will help women shore up their retirement position. Women clearly see increasing pension coverage as part of the retirement equation, and they want to see action now on Social Security," Doonan said.

The research infographic reports:

  • U.S. women are worried about retirement. When asked if the nation faces a retirement crisis, 80 percent of women agree there indeed is a retirement crisis and 81 percent say employers should contribute more money to workers' retirement plans. More than three-fourths (76 percent) say retirement is only getting harder, and it's getting harder due to inflation (77 percent), rising healthcare costs (77 percent), debt (58 percent), and fewer pensions (58 percent).
  • Women express strong support for pensions. Eighty-two percent of women say that all workers should have a pension so they can be independent and self-reliant in retirement, and 75 percent say the disappearance of pensions has made it harder to achieve the American Dream. Seventy-five percent say those with a pension are more likely to have a secure retirement, and about three-fourths (73 percent) have a favorable view of pensions.
  • Women want action now to safeguard Social Security. Nearly all women (89 percent) say it is important for the next administration to work with Congress to develop a Social Security funding solution. Also, 87 percent of women say the program must remain a priority no matter the state of federal budget deficits, while 86 percent say Congress should act now to shore up Social Security funding rather than waiting another ten years to find a solution.
  • Working age American women are worried about long-term care costs in retirement. Eighty-one percent of women are worried about the costs of long-term care, and only 38 percent feel confident they will be able to pay for any needed long-term care costs. Most women (86 percent) agree that the government should do more to help Americans get access to quality long-term care when the need arises.

The National Institute on Retirement Security is a non-profit, non-partisan organization established to contribute to informed policymaking by fostering a deep understanding of the value of retirement security to employees, employers, and the economy as a whole. Located in Washington, D.C., NIRS membership includes financial services firms, employee benefit plans, trade associations, and other retirement service providers. More information is available at

Annuity Alliance is not affiliated with The National Institute on Retirement Security. This article is for informational and educational purposes only. It should not be used to make a buying decision. If you would like to speak with a financial professional, please use Annuity Alliance’s contact form