Transamerica: COVID-19 Undermined Women’s Retirement Security

Transamerica: COVID-19 Undermined Women’s Retirement Security

More than half of working women (51 percent) indicate their financial situation has been negatively impacted by the pandemic, according to a study released by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® titled Life in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Women’s Health, Finances, and Retirement Outlook.

As part of TCRS’ 21st Annual Retirement Survey of Workers, one of the largest and longest-running surveys of its kind, the study examines the retirement outlook of women in the workforce. It is based on a survey of employed workers conducted in late 2020 and contains recommendations for women, employers, and policymakers to improve retirement security.


  • Forty-two percent of women workers experienced one or more impacts to their employment as a result of the pandemic, including reduced work hours (28 percent), reduced salaries (13 percent), furloughs (9 percent), layoffs (8 percent) and/or early retirement (3 percent);
  • Six in 10 made adjustments due to pandemic-related financial strain, such as reducing daily expenses (35 percent), dipping into savings accounts (25 percent), and/or accumulating new credit card debt (17 percent). Approximately one in eight women skipped health care (13 percent), borrowed money from others (13 percent) and reduced or stopped contributing to retirement accounts (12 percent);
  • Sixty-two percent cited paying off some form of debt as a financial priority. Other financial priorities included saving for retirement (56 percent), building emergency savings (46 percent) and just getting by to cover basic living expenses (32 percent); and
  • Almost four in 10 say they are having trouble making ends meet (38 percent) — and 42 percent often feel anxious and depressed.

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Darryl Hicks

Darryl Hicks is Vice President of Communications for the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. In this capacity, Hicks writes for NRMLA's publications, manages the association's web sites and social media accounts, assists committees and the Board of Directors, and manages the Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional designation. Prior to joining NRMLA in 1999, Hicks spent three years in the Washington, D.C. bureau for National Mortgage News.