Help more working Pennsylvanians save for the future!

Retirement savings plans help working Americans reach a secure financial future. But in Pennsylvania, as many as 2 million workers lack access to a workplace retirement plan. because small businesses often cannot afford to offer retirement benefits. Workers and small business owners need a basic, no-cost retirement savings option.

Helping more Pennsylvanians save will also reduce the burden on taxpayers. A 2018 study of the fiscal and economic costs of insufficient retirement savings found that every corner of Pennsylvania suffers from a savings shortfall — resulting in increased public assistance costs, reduced tax revenue, decreased household spending, and lower employment.

The price tag? An estimated $14.3 billion over 15 years. A burden that falls directly on the shoulders of Pennsylvania taxpayers.

But there's good news: Even small savings now could help offset the effects of this shortfall. New legislation – HB2156 – introduced by Representatives Tracy Pennycuick and Michael J. Driscoll, would create the Keystone Saves Program, a state-facilitated automatic enrollment retirement savings program, that would:

1. Give businesses a no-cost individual retirement account (IRA) for their workers;
2. Help hard-working Pennsylvanians secure their financial future; and,
3. Reduce the state's $14.3 billion fiscal burden from low retirement savings.

Keystone Saves is meant for Pennsylvania businesses without a retirement plan and relies on regular payroll contributions to fund IRAs. Workers can opt out of the program or adjust contributions at any time. Participants can withdraw contributions tax- and penalty-free for any reason, such as a financial hardship, and savings stay with them even if they work for different employers. The workers would always own the IRAs; neither the state nor the employers would ever have a claim on their savings.

Keystone Saves would be a low fee, public-private partnership in which IRAs are professionally managed by a third-party financial firm overseen by the state.  Nine states — California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, and Virginia — have already adopted what are known as auto-IRA programs. Businesses are largely satisfied with the program and a majority of eligible workers are participating.

Like the rest of the country, Pennsylvania faces the fiscal costs of an increasingly older population. But making it easier for people to set aside even modest levels of savings during their working years will pay dividends for individuals and state taxpayers in the long run.
Dear [Decisionmaker],

I'm writing to urge you to support HB2156 — The Keystone Saves Program Act – to help more working Pennsylvanians save for the future.

More than 2 million working Pennsylvanians lack access to a retirement savings plan through an employer. And now more than ever, we know how important it is to have money saved.

The pandemic had an enormous impact on the economy, but one thing we learned was the true identify of our "essential" workforce. In the past year, many of these essential workers were among the millions in Pennsylvania that found themselves with hours cut or without a job altogether — and little in the way of savings to fall back on.

We also know that every county in the state suffers from a savings shortfall which leads to increased state spending on social services. And that's money that comes out of taxpayers' pockets. It takes less than $100 a month in savings to address this looming fiscal crisis.

The Keystone Saves Program Act is a piece of commonsense legislation with bipartisan support that will help more workers save for their future, give businesses a no-cost retirement benefit for employees, and help address the mounting fiscal strain facing taxpayers.

I urge you to support HB2156. Make the Keystone Saves Program a reality for Pennsylvania. Thank you.

[Your Name]
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