Committee examines Keystone Saves Retirement Accounts

Rep. Mullins highlights valuable retirement options his bill provides

HARRISBURG, May 8 – The House Majority Policy Committee highlighted Keystone Saves Retirement Accounts, a piece of legislation by Rep. Kyle Mullins that would allow employees to make simple tax-free payroll deductions for retirement with better returns than IRA.

“The reality is, roughly 2 million Pennsylvania workers don’t currently have access to a retirement savings plan through their place of employment,” said Mullins, who represents portions of Lackawanna County. “If we act now, this plan will not cost taxpayers a single dollar. But if we don’t address the retirement security crisis, it will cost the state nearly $20 billion in social safety net programs by 2040. This legislation not only provides help for retiring workers, but it also takes a major burden off our small business owners.”

Keystone Saves, H.B. 577, passed the House in May of last year with bipartisan support. No action has been taken in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Wednesday’s House Majority Policy hearing featured testimony from John Scott, the project director of retirement savings for Pew Charitable Trusts; Nora Dowd Eisenhower, the volunteer state president from AARP Pennsylvania; and David Gonzalez, the director of economic initiatives from York County Economic Alliance.

“Nobody should have to work until they die. Today, we learned more about Keystone Saves, which is not a scam or an effort to privatize retirement. This will function as a public-private partnership with oversight under state law,” House Majority Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro said. “We also know this type of savings plan has a history of success in other states – most notably Illinois. Keystone Saves will not be a mandate but rather a valuable option for small business owners.” 

Scott explained most small businesses do not provide retirement savings options for employees – since many small businesses are priced out of access to 401K or other retirement plans – and absent a simple, cost-effective means, they won’t add in the future. Households without retirement savings are expected to place an undue burden on social services throughout the state filling the gap in delivering the services seniors need.

“A dignified retirement is not a partisan issue,” Mullins said.

Furthermore, Dowd Eisenhower cited a recent poll that 77% of voters favor the creation of Keystone Saves or a similar program. She also noted that many younger generations do not believe Social Security will be viable for them because of government cuts, and they need a long-term retirement option.

Information about this hearing and other House Majority Policy Committee hearings can be found at Photos to be used for publication can be found at A livestream of the hearing can be found here.

Wednesday’s hearing marked the 22nd Policy Committee hearing spread across 12 ZIP codes this year.