How does gender affect the likelihood of participating in a retirement plan?

Although overall women have participated in retirement plan at lower levels than males have, among full-time workers women have participated at higher rates, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

According to EBRI's November report on employment-based retirement plan participation in 2008, female wage and salary workers between 21 and 64 had a higher level of participation: 56.2% for women, compared with 53.7% for men.  

Also, the proportion of females participating in a retirement plan was higher than it was for males at each earnings level.

Female workers' lower probability of participation in the aggregate results from their overall lower earnings and lower rates of full-time work in comparison with males, EBRI says.