Retirement made hard for women

WASHINGTON (AP) Traditional sources of retirement income are biased against women and could be putting many on the road to poverty, an advocacy group said yesterday.

Private pensions and Social Security benefits are structured to reward the male worker, contended a study released by the Older Women's League.

About a quarter of women aged 65 or over live below or near the poverty line, and younger women aren't likely to do much better when they retire, the group said.

To make matters worse, many working women can't afford to save much money for retirement, the report said.

''The inadequacies of Social Security and pensions would not be so harsh for women if the third traditional source of retirement income savings were more available to women,'' league president Johnetta Marshall said. ''But most women are not able to save because housing, food, health care and other everyday necessities of life consume most or all of their income.''

The group is advising women to plan carefully for retirement. It also is calling on the federal government to correct what it says are legal flaws and biases that penalize women over 65 and women who will reach that age.

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