Gender Issues and Social Security Reform: Assessing the Role of Social Security and Personal Savings in Well-Being During Retirement
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The adequacy of retirement savings is central to the U.S. debate about the effects of Social Security reform and pension changes that would place greater responsibility on individuals for accumulation of retirement resources. While gender issues have not been neglected in Social Security reform discussions, there has been little attention to gender issues in the discussion of the relative importance of Social Security benefits to retirement savings adequacy. We contribute to this discussion by examining the extent to which Social Security plays a role in the economic status of individuals as they age, specifically whether there is a gender effect on the maintenance of resource adequacy as women and men survive in retirement and experience changes in health and marital status. We use our results to draw conclusions about the importance of Social Security to the well-being of women and men during retirement.