HARRISBURG, Pa., June 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — AARP Pennsylvania joined State Senator Art Haywood and Representative Kyle Mullins to discuss Keystone Saves, legislation that would help over 2 million Pennsylvania workers earn retirement savings through their jobs.
Keystone Saves would expand the ability of private-sector workers to save without having access to an employer-provided retirement plan. At no cost to employers, Keystone Saves creates an individual retirement account (IRA) program that automatically enrolls workers, who have the option to opt-out.
Nearly half of workers in Pennsylvania do not have access to a retirement plan at work, according to a new study released by AARP. Nearly 2 million people — 41% of Pennsylvania’s private sector employees ages 18 to 64 — work for an employer that does not offer a traditional pension or a retirement savings plan.
“Having access to a retirement plan at work is critical for building financial security later in life. And we know people are much more likely to save for retirement if they can do so automatically through their paycheck,” said Bill Johnston-Walsh, State Director, AARP Pennsylvania. “The 41 percent of workers in Pennsylvania that do not have access to a plan come from all walks of life and work in a range of occupations. We must make it easier for all workers to save for retirement so they can take control of their futures.”
Research shows that the share of Pennsylvania households with people ages 65+ with less than $75,000 in annual income – which indicates financial vulnerability – is expected to increase by 17% from 2020 to 2035. As these workers age, inadequate retirement savings will likely force reductions in retirement income and thus in the quality of life for many. At the same time, this shortfall in retirement income will increase state spending for Medicaid and other assistance programs.
“My Keystone Saves legislation allows retirees to retire with greater dignity and security,” said State Sen. Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia), the prime sponsor of the Senate version of the bill. “Keystone Saves will establish automated retirement savings payroll deductions that are then professionally invested. I have seen first-hand the struggle that people without retirement savings face when reaching their golden years. The work of those without employer-based retirement plans is no less valuable to our economy than any other profession, and their work is no less dignified.”
Haywood added: “These workers should have the same opportunities to retire with dignity as anybody else. With rising costs in housing and everyday items, working folks need every opportunity to better prepare for retirement. With Keystone Saves being passed in the House, it is now our responsibility in the Senate to do right by the everyday worker. It is time to pass Keystone Saves Program.”
In a recent AARP poll, four in five small businesses in Pennsylvania agree that state lawmakers should support a state-facilitated retirement savings program, citing that offering a voluntary, portable retirement savings program helps local small businesses attract and retain quality employees and stay competitive. To date, 18 states, not including Pennsylvania, have enacted state-facilitated payroll deduction retirement savings or “Work & Save” programs.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.
Randy LoBasso, [email protected], 267-964-8001
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SOURCE AARP Pennsylvania