March 12, 2011: Treasurer McCord wants Pittsburgh residents to retire well!
WPXI-TV Consumer Reporter Robin Taylor sits down with Treasurer McCord to introduce the RetirePA initiative to Pittsburgh viewers. Watch the clip
Oct. 20, 2010: Treasurer McCord encourages NBC 10 viewers to save!
Treasurer McCord discuss the importance of retirement saving and RetirePA.com with Tracy Davidson, consumer reporter for NBC 10 in Philadelphia. Watch the clip
Treasurer McCord Op-Ed / September 2010
Fall Reflection: It’s Time to Help the Women Who Can’t Take a Summer Vacation
By Rob McCord
With summer over, many Americans savor memories of sun and fun. Yet for others – women especially – summer is actually a busier-than-normal time.
When schools let out, working mothers start juggling more than usual, managing their year-round jobs and their summers-off kids. It is hard work to find summer programs and child care and then to get kids there and back -- and it all gets tougher in August, when most camps and recreation programs close.
If working mothers are single, as my mother was for a decade in my childhood, these obstacles become even greater. In summer, I saw how hard my mother worked -- as others vacationed -- to provide for my brother and me and how much she worried about money.
Now, every time I take even a brief summer break, I recall that after a bad divorce, my mom went without a vacation for years at a time. She eventually got back on her feet, but memories of those lean years left me with a deep commitment to helping increase women’s economic security.
Now, as autumn arrives, I think about the twilight years of paid work. In my new position as State Treasurer, I focus on the fact that it is especially hard for women to save enough for retirement.
The statistics are sobering. Women suffer from clear disadvantages when it comes to saving for retirement. They earn, on average, only 79 cents for every dollar earned by a man for the same job, a $300,000 loss in income over the course of their careers -- and less to invest for retirement.
There are 62 million women in the U.S. workforce today aged 21-64, but only 45 percent of them have access to, or participate in, a retirement plan. Research just released by the Employee Benefits Research Institute shows that over 44 percent of Americans 28 and older are not saving nearly enough to retire.
Women are far more likely than men to take time off work to raise children – and usually during peak earning years. This may be good for families but bad for the women themselves. Women retiring today have 13 years of missed income. As a result, their Social Security and employer-provided retirement benefits are often much smaller as well. The average Social Security benefit to women is $867, while men receive $1,130 – a $263 monthly difference.
Then, of course, women must face the math of living longer, on average. Consider widowed women. They have only 59 cents for every $1 of wealth owned by a widowed man in this country, and 80 percent of women in this country die single.
Today, we know 25 percent of female-headed households have zero or negative net worth, and we know women are three times more likely than men to fall for the first time into poverty after retirement – for the reasons described above and because they are more likely to help others in medical emergencies, as well.
It is a sad fact that women are often disadvantaged economically by doing what we should value the most -- taking time to care for others.
This fall, even in this challenging economic period, we should stretch to help women improve their economic security. If you are an employer, please do make that job offer to a returning-to-the-workforce mom -- and provide retirement benefits! If you are a woman working in the paid work force, please set aside the cable bill or the money you want to give to a friend in need and invest instead in a Roth IRA. And any man or women who can afford it should consider contributing to your mom’s or sister’s investment account or Roth IRA.
You can visit Treasury’s Web site at www.patreasury.org to learn more about just two of the ways Treasury is trying to help – our Women & Money Project, which supports women entrepreneurs and business owners, and RetirePA, a Pennsylvania Treasury Retirement Security Initiative (check our online tool to help all Pennsylvanians plan and save for retirement.)
I will continue to work to help secure the future of those we love – and who love us -- the most.