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Local News

Underwood bill to address retirement gap, women's financial future

Lauren Underwood
Lauren Underwood

U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood helped introduce a bill to address the gender retirement gap and strengthen women’s financial security.

Underwood, D-Naperville, introduced the Women’s Retirement Protection Act of 2019 along with Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Evanston, and
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, according to a news release.

The congresswoman’s office cited data from the National Institute on Retirement Security, which found that women of retirement age typically have an income that is three-fourths that of men, and they are 80% more likely than men to be impoverished.

The representatives also argued that since women tend to live longer than men, they need to make their typically smaller retirement savings stretch over a longer period of time.

“Women deserve the same economic opportunity as men throughout their lifetime, but often retirement is left out of that conversation as women continue to face disproportionate barriers,” Underwood said. “Retirement security is economic security. We must strengthen consumer protections, including working to ensure a spouse cannot undermine the retirement of their partner without consent.”

The bill would also strengthen consumer protections to safeguard retirement savings, expand access to retirement savings plans by changing participation standards, increase access to information about retirement and savings tools, and support low-income women and survivors of domestic abuse seeking retirement benefits.

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