Gender Savings Gap Closing Among Younger Generations, Bank of America Reports

Account balances among millennial men exceed women by 23%, significantly less than the average gender gap of 50%.

The gender savings gap is closing among younger retirement investors, according to a recent study from Bank of America Corporation. On average, men’s 401(k) account balances exceeded women’s by 50%, while for Millennial (ages 28-42) men and woman, the gap was significantly less at 23%.

Among Baby Boomers (ages 58-76) and Generation X (ages 43-57) men had significantly greater 401(k) account balances than women in those generations. Baby Boomer men had 87% more in their account balances than their female counterparts, while for Gen X the gender gap was 53%.

“The gender savings gap is an issue we can and must address. It carries personal implications for many, as well as macroeconomic implications for us all,” Lorna Sabbia, head of retirement and personal wealth solutions at Bank of America, said in a statement. “We are encouraged by the strides young, female employees are making, and want to encourage everyone to invest in their futures and leverage the workplace benefits available to them.”

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However, when it comes to pretax contribution rates, older participants and men continued to allocate more than women and younger workers. The survey compared the pretax contribution rates of men and women across different generations. The difference in contribution rates between men and women broke down as: Generation Z (4.5% vs 4.2%), Millennials (5.5% vs 5.2%), Gen X (7.1% vs 6.6%) and Baby Boomers (8.9% vs 7.9%).

For both genders, participation rates went down slightly in recent years, according to the report. For men, participation rates decreased to 61% in 2023 from 62% in 2021, while for women the number went down to 52% from 55% during the same period of time.

Bank of America’s 2023 Financial Life Benefits Impact Report is based on data from employee benefits programs provided by the bank as of December 31, 2022. Comparisons to 2021 reference data derived as of December 31, 2021. Bank of America’s employee benefits programs serves more than 25,000 companies and more than 6 million employees.