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retirees walkers Copyright Sean Gallup, Getty Images

Women Globally Retire With a Quarter Less Wealth Than Men

The gap is highest among the most-skilled and lowest among front-line workers, study finds.

(Bloomberg) -- Women around the world retire with a quarter less wealth than men, and the gap widens in the highest-skilled roles, Willis Towers Watson found in a study released Thursday.

At retirement, women overall have 74% of the assets of men.  In the most skilled roles, they retire with about 62% and in front-line jobs 89%, WTW found in a study of 39 countries. The gap in the US, 75%, fit the global pattern.  The highest gap was 60% in Nigeria and the narrowest was 90% in South Korea.

The disparity in retirement wealth, both globally and in the US,  follows trends showing a similar pay gap for senior executives. Experts say that women tend to be in roles with less compensation in stock and may not negotiate as well for non-salary compensation that often gains value over time. In 2020, for example, women in the top ranks of S&P 500 leadership earned only 75% of male executives, the widest gap in nine years, with most of the disparity from gains in stock ownership, according to Morningstar. The differences increase for women of color.

The retirement wealth gap is an indication of the accumulation of disparity throughout a woman’s career and is less understood than the pay gap for working women, said Manjit Basi, senior director, Integrated & Global Solutions at WTW and one of the authors of the study.

To contact the author of this story:
Jeff Green in Southfield at [email protected]

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