How Women Can Save More for Retirement

Making the most of an employer-sponsored retirement plan can prove beneficial for your future.

Whether you're in the early stages of your career, getting ready to retire or somewhere in between, it's important to plan for retirement.

For women, there are some well-documented, unique considerations that bring additional urgency to the need for thoughtful planning, including a longer life expectancy.1 Many women take time off from work for childcare and are more likely than men to work part-time. As a result, they haven't had access to a retirement plan at work.2

"I tell [my daughter], if you don't invest now, you're going to pay later," says Sara Carpenter, Associate Executive Director of Wisconsin Community Services, a Mutual of America client. "You'll have to work until you're 90. She really understands the importance [of saving] in the short time she's been working."

Faced with such challenges, here are some helpful tips to consider when looking to maximize your savings through a retirement plan:

  • Enroll and contribute. Sounds obvious, and yet, among women who are working, only about 46 percent participated in a retirement plan during 2019.3 If you're eligible, make sure to contribute to your employer's retirement savings plan. The sooner you begin, the more time your money has to grow.
  • Increase contributions when possible. If you selected a percentage of your salary to contribute to your retirement plan when you started working, consider increasing that rate. Even a percentage-point-or-two increase can make a significant difference over time without putting too much of a dent in your day-to-day finances.
  • Maximize employer matching contributions. If your company-sponsored retirement plan offers a match, take full advantage of it, if you're eligible. Contributing to your plan but not maxing out the match means passing up additional tax-deferred contributions that your employer would put directly into your account.
  • Remember to "catch up." With longer life expectancy comes more expenses, so if you need to "catch up" on savings, the following can help. If you're age 50 or older, the IRS allows you to contribute an additional $6,500 annually to an employer-sponsored retirement plan and an additional $1,000 annually to an Individual Retirement Account.4  

If you have any questions, and to learn more about your savings options, contact your local Mutual of America representative today.


Social Security Administration,


Under a provision of the SECURE Act of 2019, most retirement plans will be required to include long-term, part-time workers by January 1, 2021.


U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Women and Retirement Savings, September 2019.


Tax-Deferred Annuity, 403(b), 401(k) and Governmental Section 457(b) Plans. Section 457(b) Eligible Deferred Compensation Plan participants can make a special catch-up contribution if they are within three years of their normal retirement age.

You should consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of the variable annuity contract and the underlying investment funds carefully before investing. This and other information is contained in the contract prospectus or brochure and underlying funds prospectuses and summary prospectuses, which can be obtained by calling 1-800-468-3785 or visiting Read them carefully before investing.

Mutual of America's group and individual retirement products are variable annuity contracts and are suitable for long-term investing, particularly for retirement savings. The value of a variable annuity contract will fluctuate depending on the performance of the Separate Account investment options you choose. Upon redemption, you could receive more or less than the principal amount invested. A variable annuity contract provides no additional tax-deferred treatment of benefits beyond the treatment provided to any qualified retirement plan or IRA by applicable tax law. You should consider a variable annuity contract's other features before making a decision.

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