August 26 is known as Women’s Equality Day. On that date in 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was signed, giving women the right to vote.
Social Security treats men and women equally. Men and women with identical earnings histories are treated exactly the same. However, there are things women in particular should know about Social Security. Although treated equally by Social Security, there are trends and differences in lifestyle that can affect benefits.
For example, women tend to care for many people: spouses, children, and parents. Taking time away from the workplace to care for a newborn child or aging parent can have an impact on your future Social Security benefits.
Also, despite significant strides through the years, women are more likely to earn less over a lifetime than men. Women are less often covered by private retirement plans, and they are more dependent on Social Security in their retirement years.
And, women tend to live about five years longer than men, which means more years depending on Social Security and other retirement income or savings.
If a woman is married to a man who earns significantly more than she does, it is likely she will qualify for a larger benefit amount on his record than on her own.
Want to learn more? Visit our Women’s page at www.socialsecurity.gov/women. Follow the link on that page to our publication, What Every Woman Should Know. You can read it online, print a copy, or listen to it on audio. We provide alternate media as well to reach as many women as possible and to provide the information the way you’d like to receive it.
Learning about your future Social Security benefits and how men and women are treated just the same in the eyes of Social Security: what better way to celebrate Women’s Equality Day?
— Brenda Brown is a Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Fayetteville, N.C.