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Another Gender Gap: Money at an Older Age

Research spotlights long-term effects of wage inequality

retirement gender gap

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A new survey indicates that the pay disparity between genders is compounded in old age, when men have far more wealth than women.

The gender gap in pay is well-documented, but new research spotlights another, even wider gap: The amount of money men and women have when they are at an older age.

New research indicates young, well-paid women in the developed world will be 38 percent less wealthy than their male counterparts by age 85, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reports. Citing research from Swiss banking giant UBS, the foundation reports the difference widens if a woman works part time for a period or takes a “gap year” during her career.

The research, which was done for the bank’s wealth management unit, uses a model of workers with at least $100,000 in annual salary and a $1 million inheritance, the foundation reports. A 25-year-old woman living in a wealthy country earns 10 percent less than a man of the same age on average, according to UBS research. That leaves men with more money to invest over time and more ability to take advantage of compounding.

In the United States, the gender pay gap remains substantial: Median earnings in 2016 were  $41,554 for women and $51,640 for men, the Census Bureau reported last month.