Female Baby Boomers Face ‘Retirement Gap’

The first baby boomer to file for Social Security was a woman, highlighting women’s greater dependence on the precariously balanced retirement program. So far ’08 candidates are not singling out the “retirement gap” for special attention.

Boat Ride Reveals Undertow of Thai Sex Trade

Molly Ginty spent a day interviewing a local prostitute and her American client while boating off the coast of Thailand, a nation where as many as 2.8 million sex workers serve the tourist trade. She found the scales of their partnership off balance.

U.K. Funds Caretaker Pensions; Baby Held for Bill

(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersThe British government plans to offer all caregivers, mostly women, weekly financial credits to equal the payments they would have made into the state pension fund had they been in the labor force, The Guardian reported on March 14. A new proposal would recognize the contributions of female caregivers who leave or never enter the work force, and, as result, are left with a meager cushion of pension funds when they retire.In Britain today, only 30 percent of women who reach official retirement age are eligible to receive full pension benefits. The average woman receives 70 percent of the pension, which the government says is not enough for the 10 million women that survive on that amount. John Hutton, the United Kingdom’s work and pensions secretary, is hoping the new plan will change that.”As modern life becomes increasingly more diverse–and men and women alike bring up children and caring for family and friends–this could be a win for men as well,” Hutton said.The government estimates that currently 2.2 million women living in the United Kingdom are not accruing the full basic state pension and 600,000 of them fall below the lowest earnings threshold.More News to Cheer This Week:An annual study comparing the academic performance of male and female athletes in the NCAA women’s and men’s basketball tournament teams revealed that female players do better academically and have higher graduation rates than male athletes, and that the gap between white and African American female players is smaller than the same gap for males. The March 15 report showed that 95 percent of women’s teams surveyed graduated at least 50 percent of their players, 31 percent higher than the men’s teams. The graduation gap was also affected by race: on women’s teams, whites had a 19 percent higher rate than African Americans, while on men’s teams, the gap was 33 percent.

Women Lose With Social Security Reform

Women live longer, earn less and fill more caretaking roles than men. For all these reasons they have a lot to lose if Social Security is changed, says economist Heather Boushey. So who would win? Wall Street brokers spring to her mind.

Stakes High for Women in Social Security Battle

As the public debate intensifies over the Bush administration’s drive to privatize Social Security, women have a special stake in the outcome. Sixty percent of recipients are women and for a quarter of all women over 65, the program is their only income.