6 Ways COVID-19 Puts Women’s Retirement at Risk

4 min readMar 5, 2021

By Deb Hipp for Debt.com

Women already face obstacles to retiring securely, such as lower pay and possible time away from work for parenting or caregiving duties. Now the COVID-19 pandemic brings even more challenges to women trying to save for retirement, according to “Women and Retirement: Risks and Realities Amid COVID-19,” a report from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS).[1]

“Amid the pandemic, these challenges have intensified with layoffs, furloughs, and extended periods of time working from home,” said Catherine Collinson, president of Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies and one of the authors of the report. As a result, many women face pressing short-term priorities they feel they must place ahead of saving for retirement.

“Before the pandemic, women were already financially vulnerable, and their ability to achieve a secure retirement was uncertain. The pandemic has exacerbated their risks,” said Collinson.

Even during the pandemic, however, women can still take steps to improve their retirement outlook.

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1. Reduced income due to the pandemic

More than half of women workers’ reported their employment situation has been impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the report. Many experienced reduced work hours (24%), layoffs (16%), reduced salaries (13%), furloughs (13%) and/or early retirement (4%).

Taking steps to remain as employable as possible is key to continuing to save for retirement, according to the report. TCRS recommends keeping job skills up-to-date, networking and meeting new people, along with staying on top of the employment market and job opportunities.

Find out: 6 Ways the Coronavirus Crisis Affects American’s Retirement Plans

2. Competing financial priorities

Nearly 6 in 10 women (59%) surveyed told TCRS that paying off debt is a financial priority…


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