It's difficult to precisely quantify wage inequality. One often-quoted statistic, however, says that in the U.S., women are paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.

I'll leave it to politicians and interest groups to argue over the accuracy of applying such a precise statistic to such a complex problem. Instead, I'll focus my attention on a gender equity issue that is more easily quantified: defined benefit lump-sum conversions.

In terms of single-sum payments for future pension promises, men and women are treated as exact equals. Although that may sound like good news, we need to understand that actuarially, this is a bad deal for women.

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