Women socking more away in 401(k) accounts: Fidelity

November 26, 2014

BOSTON (12/1/14)--Women have saved an average of $2,000 more than men on average in their retirement accounts over the past year, according to a breakdown of 13 million retirement accounts by Fidelity Investments.

For women with incomes between $20,000 and $40,000, the average 401(k) has a balance of $17,300 compared with $15,200 for men in the same income range as of Sept. 30.

Women join employer-offered retirement plans at a higher rate than men, and they contribute 6% to 12% more than men on average, according to figures from Vanguard Group.

Women are still challenged overall because of wage differences and, in some cases, fewer years in the workforce (Bloomberg Nov. 26).

Once men and women exceed the $150,000-threshold for salaries, men pull ahead for overall 401(k) balances, Fidelity noted, with $108,800 for men compared with $73,100 for women.

The difference is critical because women who reach 65 typically live longer than men by roughly two years, meaning they have to make their retirement dollars last longer.

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