Current Affairs - Vocabulary - SPLessons

Current Affairs Vocabulary Day 15

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Current Affairs Vocabulary Day 15

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A Newspaper is a printed or online publication that provides readers with news and articles i.e. the current affairs of a country and the world. Current Affairs play a prominent role in several government related recruitment exams in India. To better understand the current state of affairs, a candidate should acquire rich vocabulary primarily used by editors and publications of newspaper articles and editorials. SPLessons has made an effort to provide a comprehensive list of commonly used words in newspaper articles and editorials. Current Affairs Vocabulary Day 15 provides the readers with a collection of useful vocabulary for newspapers.

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Unequal at work, men and women are even more so in retirement

The gender pensions gap is even wider than the pay gap

“THE retirement-savings crisis is a women’s crisis,” says Sallie Krawcheck, co-founder of Ellevest, a financial-advice firm for women in America. When it comes to retirement income, women are far worse-off than men. The gender pension-gap may be less well-known than the gender pay-gap, but it is in fact far larger.

Among those retired in the EU, women on average receive 39% less in pension income—from state and workplace pensions—than men do. This puts women at greater risk of old-age poverty. The European Institute for Gender Equality, a think-tank, warned in a study in 2015 that it also makes them more likely to stay with abusive partners. Reforms to European pensions, tying benefits even closer to individual contributions and thus income, mean the gap may widen further.

The schism is primarily a reflection of the labour market. Women on average work fewer hours than men, in less well-paid jobs, for fewer years. So of course their workplace pensions are smaller. But retirement is more costly for women. In Europe they retire on average earlier than men and live five years longer. Longer lives are not a problem if the state or a company has promised to pay a fixed income until death. In the EU, annuities are not allowed to discriminate on gender grounds and so are a better deal for women than men. But women also have longer periods of illness and are twice as likely to live alone in old age. And they tend to be more cautious than men, often preferring cash or fixed-income investments. Mercer, a consultancy, found that women are 67% more likely than men to invest in a defensive fund with a lower expected level of growth. So women without a fixed pension tend to be worse off.

The gap is greatest in countries where workplace pensions make up a big chunk of retirement savings, or where state benefits—such as social security in America—are linked to lifetime contributions. In the Netherlands, which has a long tradition of quasi-mandatory workplace pensions, men are not only more likely to have a work pension pot, but it will also be twice as large, because most women work part-time and retire earlier.

In Germany the gap is far more pronounced in the west than in the east, where more women work, partly a hangover of the communist past. Then women worked almost as much as men and pensions were tied to years worked, not income. That helps explain the small pension gaps among the retired in former Soviet countries. Such historical
legacies must be kept in mind when projecting what the gaps might be in the future, says Ole Beier, from the OECD, a think-tank.

A few recent developments, however, may aggravate the problem, notably a steady shift from public to private pensions. This is vital if state pensions are to be affordable as societies age. But unless women earn and save more, the gap will widen. And after years of progress in many countries, the pay differential between men and women has stopped narrowing.

Add to this the growing divorce rates among the over-60s (in America they have doubled since 1990), and it is clear a storm is brewing, most urgently for women entering retirement. Some women can count on spousal pensions, others may not be so lucky. Women starting their careers have most cause for concern. Their pensions will depend more than previous generations’ on what they put in.

Prescriptions for narrowing the gap in workforce pay are well-known. Access to affordable child care, paid parental leave and flexible working all help. Abolishing lower retirement ages for women, as is happening in most OECD countries, will also help. But even so, for the immediate future women are likely to continue to have different career trajectories from men’s, with more breaks—for raising children and caring for the elderly—and fewer promotions. Diane Garnick, from TIAA, a financial-services firm, says that many women think that so long as they put the (default) recommended share of their pay into a savings pot they are on track, even if in absolute terms the number is too low.

She suggests that part of the solution could be for employers to nudge women to contribute a larger share of their pay towards their pension than men do. She estimates that an American woman graduate starting on the same salary as a man will need to save 18% of her salary compared with a man’s 10% to achieve the same retirement outcome over a lifetime. Mr Beier adds that it also makes a big difference if pension savings continue during maternity leave, thanks to (near) full maternity pay.

Merely focusing on equality, however, is not enough. Yet among the 75-plussers in the EU, none is poorer than an Estonian; and almost nowhere is the gap between male and female life-expectancy greater, meaning older women often live alone in poverty or close to it. That men are not much better off is little consolation.

shape Vocabulary

Word Definition Synonyms Usage
Schism (Noun) A split or division between strongly opposed sections or parties, caused by differences in opinion or belief
  • Division
  • Split
  • Rift
  • Breach
  • Rupture
  • Break
The widening schism between Church leaders and politicians.
Discriminate(Verb) Recognize a distinction; differentiate.
  • Differentiate
  • Distinguish
  • Draw/recognize
  • A distinction
Babies can discriminate between different facial expressions.
Cautious (Adj) Careful to avoid potential problems or dangers.
  • Careful
  • Wary
  • Aware
  • Heedful
He’s a very cautious drive
Chunk (Noun) A thick, solid piece of something
  • Lump
  • Hunk
  • Wedge
  • Block
  • Slab
  • Nugget
  • Nub
  • Square
Huge chunks of masonry littered the street.
Legacy (Noun) something left or handed down by a predecessor.
  • Consequence
  • Effect
  • Outcome
  • Upshot
  • Spin-off
  • Repercussion
The rancorous legacy of the Vietnam war.

Word Definition Synonyms Usage
Aggravate (Verb) Make (a problem, injury, or offence) worse or more serious.
  • Bother
  • Irritate
  • Provoke
  • Bug
Military action would only
the situation.
Brew(Verb) Soaking, boiling, and fermentation
  • Ferment
  • Make
  • Blend
  • Drink
Within five years the company will brew as much beer in China as in Australia.
Trajectory(Noun) The path followed by a projectile flying or an object moving under the action of given forces.
  • Course
  • Route
  • Path
  • Track
  • Line
  • Orbit
  • Flight
  • Flight path
Aerodynamic forces change the trajectory of the ball
Nudge (Verb) prod (someone) gently with one’s elbow in order to attract attention
  • Poke
  • Elbow
  • Dig
  • Prod
People were
each other and pointing at me.
Merely(Adverb) Just; only
  • Only
  • Purely
  • Solely
  • Simply
  • Entirely
They were merely
exercising their rights.