Gender and the devolution of pension risks in the US


Journal Article

This article uses data from multiple waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine inequality in the accumulation of pension balances in private accounts for two cohorts of workers in the US. The new occupational pension environment is characterized by the rise of defined contribution plans and the devolution of risk and responsibility for retirement saving. While men and women in this environment face new pension risks, women continue to bear greater risks associated with lower workplace earnings and family position. Unmarried women consistently have the greatest risk of low pension balances in defined contribution plans (DC) and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Divorce, unstable employment histories and lower levels of education and income decrease pension savings. The authors conclude that although recent changes have increased women's access to occupational pensions, these changes have preserved, and perhaps increased, familiar disadvantages associated with gender, marital status and labor market position. © International Sociological Association SAGE.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • O'Rand, AM; Shuey, KM

Published Date

  • March 1, 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 55 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 287 - 304

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1461-7064

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0011-3921

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0011392107073315

Citation Source

  • Scopus