NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Women Are More Aggressive Savers

June 8, 1998

Female workers sock away more of their pay in 401(k) plans than men do. And they are more likely to invest more aggressively than men, according to a study by the management consulting firm of Watson Wyatt Worldwide.

  • Except for workers in the youngest age group -- those under 33 -- and those earning less than $15,000, female corporate workers are more likely to participate in 401(k) plans than men.
  • Among workers earning $75,000, the female participation rate is 12 percentage points higher than male participation -- 87 percent versus 75 percent.
  • Women tend to invest a larger proportion of their pay in equities, as opposed to less risky fixed-income securities.

However, female workers on average still have lower 401(k) balances than men because they generally earn less and have shorter job tenures than men. But at equivalent levels of pay and tenure, they are likely to put more of their pay aside and invest more aggressively.

Source: Gene Koretz, "Women's 401(k) Finesse," Business Week, June 8, 1998.


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