There are significant gaps between mothers and fathers in terms of their retirement security due to the impacts of occupational segregation, pay gaps, and care responsibilities. What’s more, the COVID-19 pandemic affected many drivers of retirement security in ways that disproportionately harm mothers, including by introducing new care responsibilities for them and reducing labor force participation rates for women. In particular, mothers from communities of color are more likely to face retirement insecurity: only 37 percent of Black individuals own retirement accounts, according to the Census Bureau.
Now is the time to help prepare the next generation—especially women—for retirement. Steps needed to improve equity in retirement include: passing paid family and medical leave, building an accessible and affordable child care and early learning system, raising the minimum wage, and passing anti-wage discrimination measures.