How Much Does Social Security Offset the Motherhood Penalty?
The brief’s key findings are:
- When women become mothers, their earnings often take a substantial, and permanent, hit that becomes larger with each additional child.
- The question is, how do Social Security provisions address this motherhood penalty once women enter retirement?
- The results show that Social Security offsets a substantial portion of the motherhood penalty, both for mothers in general and for each additional child.
- Despite Social Security’s equalizing role, a motherhood penalty will remain in retirement without policy intervention, such as earnings credits for caregivers.