Social Security keeps millions of American women out of poverty in old age, but many low-income unmarried women remain at risk. Renewed attention to Social Security's long-term deficit offers an opportunity for reform to recognize women's changing roles without creating inequities, discouraging work, or harming the most vulnerable. This brief discusses features of Social Security that have greater ramifications for women and considers proposals to make benefit distribution more equitable to women. Since women have diverse work and family experiences, any reform is likely to have disparate effects. We highlight differences among groups of women while recognizing diversity within them.
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