HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Workers are 15 times more likely to invest in their retirements if their employers offer a plan. But, in Pennsylvania, many employers are not doing that and the state is pushing a plan of its own.
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“Pennsylvania has a big problem. Our residents are not saving enough for retirement,” Stacy Garrity (R), Pa. Treasurer, said.
Garrity says more than two million Pennsylvanians don’t have access to retirement accounts. “These are all people that we know. Hairstylists and barbers, truckers and mechanics, our favorite waitresses and bartenders,” Garrity added.
Enter the Keystone Saves program, which would let workers without plans invest for their retirement. They set the contribution rate and risk level. All employers have to do is facilitate the dedication, no match required. So why should Pennsylvanians care about unprepared retirees? Because they cost a billion dollars a year in social services.
“Pa. taxpayers will ultimately be on the hook for rising costs that retirees cannot cover,” said State Representative Tracy Pennycuick’s (R – Montgomery County), the author of the bill that would create the program.
Organic farmer John Good says it would let him offer his handful of employees a benefit he cannot now.
“Offering a retirement account to employees is something that isn’t remotely on our radar it’s not something we’d have the wherewithal without help,” Good said.
The state treasurer will oversee the program, which is similar to 529 plans for college savings. Senior-related groups like AARP, United Way, and nursing home advocates as all on board.
There is a risk, especially if workers choose riskier options. If this plan becomes law, the treasurer says it would take four years to phase it in.