Changes in pension laws are being proposed in the Senate to make the laws more equitable and less harsh on working women and elderly women. Introducing a proposal at a news conference Tuesday (5-14), Sen. Carol Mosley-Braun (D-Ill.) stated that current laws are out-of-date and do not protect the pension rights of divorced women and widows. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) pointed out that women often put work on hold and change jobs in order to raise children or take care of elderly parents, making it difficult to build up pension rights. According the Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the gap in pensions is an “institutionalized” form of discrimination like pay inequities in general.
Mosley-Braun anticipates her proposals will become part of broader pension legislation currently being drafted after an outline given by President Clinton last month. A recent report issued by the Women’s Research and Education Institute found that only one of every five women retiring in 1992 got a pension compared to 47 percent of men retiring that year.