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Department of Employee Trust Funds
April 13, 2015

ETF Launches EMPOWER Campaign to Help Women Achieve Retirement Security

For a number of reasons, women save significantly less money for retirement than men. ETF, the Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Program and Affirmative Action Committees at several Wisconsin state agencies are sponsoring a year-long, statewide educational campaign to inspire and encourage women to save for their retirement.

The educational campaign, “EMPOWER: Guiding Women of All Cultures Toward a Strong Financial Future,” will provide a greater awareness among public employees of their current Wisconsin Retirement System benefits, improve basic financial literacy, and build understanding of the tax advantages of supplementing their retirement savings through the WDC.

EMPOWER will begin with a free educational forum, “A Woman’s Road to Retirement – Why It’s Different,” on Thursday, April 23, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. at the Tommy Thompson Commerce Center, 201 W. Washington Ave., in Madison. There is no registration required for the event, which is being held in conjunction with national Money Smart Week, April 18-25.

Lara Hinz, program director of the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement, will present on the unique challenges women face in achieving retirement security. WDC representatives will also be present before and after the event to answer questions about the WDC program and schedule one-on-one consultations.

Women are twice as likely as men to live below the poverty line during retirement. This is especially true for single and minority women. According to WISER, the poverty rate for Hispanic women over age 65 is 41.1% and Black women is 38.5%, compared to White women at 16.7%.

“Unfortunately, women are often not financially prepared for retirement. They stop working to care for loved ones, have lower earnings and live longer than their spouses or partners. We want to empower women to save, plan and prepare for a secure retirement,”
says Hinz.

EMPOWER partners include WISER, Wisconsin Women’s Council, Summit Credit Union, Willett Consulting, and other supporters. To learn more about EMPOWER, follow Twitter at @WI_ETF.

If you are attending the educational forum on April 23, convenient parking may be available at the Overture Center Garage on W. Mifflin St.

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