Older couples are more likely to have retirement account savings than older single people, especially older single women

Share of older households with retirement account savings, by gender/marital or domestic partnership status and age, 2019
Gender and marital status Has retirement account savings No retirement savings
Couples 64.4% 35.6%
Single men 36.1% 63.9%
Single women 44.7% 55.3%
Couples 55.8% 44.2%
Single men 27.5% 72.5%
Single women 33.9% 66.1%
Median account balances of older households with retirement account savings, by gender/marital or domestic partnership status and age, 2019

Conditional median retirement account balance (2019$)
Couples $197,000
Single men $97,000
Single women $59,000
Couples $174,000
Single men $172,000
Single women $50,000

 

Notes: Retirement account savings include funds in 401(k)-style defined contribution plans and in IRAs, but not in defined benefit pension plans.

Retirement account savings include funds in 401(k)-style defined contribution plans and in IRAs, but not in defined benefit pension plans. A household’s age is based on the age of the reference person, who, in households of more than one person, is defined by the Survey of Consumer Finances  as the male in a mixed-sex couple or the older person in a same-sex couple. The median household retirement account savings includes reported savings in accounts held by both spouses or partners, in the case of married or partnered couples, and—less commonly—the retirement account savings of other people who are financially interdependent with the “economically dominant” individual or couple in the household (Bhutta et al. 2020).

Source: Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA) analysis of Survey of Consumer Finances 2019 microdata (Federal Reserve 2022a).

View the underlying data on epi.org.