Gender and Family: Conceptual Overview

This paper starts from the fact that women receive lower pensions than men on average, and considers policies to address that fact. Women typically have lower wages than men, a greater likelihood of part-time work and more career breaks, and thus generally a less complete contribution record. In addition, pension age may be lower for women and annuities may be priced using separate life tables for women. The paper looks at three strategic ameliorative policy directions: policies intended to increase the size and duration of women’s earnings and hence improve their contribution records; policies to redirect resources within the pension system, including for survivors and after divorce; and ways of boosting women’s pensions with resources from outside the pension system.