Driscoll co-introduces bipartisan auto-IRA program bill

HARRISBURG, Nov. 22 – State Reps. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., and Michael Peifer, R-Pike/Wayne, introduced bipartisan legislation that would make Pennsylvania the latest state to enact an auto-IRA program.

The legislation would establish the Keystone Saves Program, a voluntary program that aims to expand access to private retirement savings plans to more than 2 million Pennsylvanians who currently do not have a workplace retirement plan.

“We must do more to ensure retiring Pennsylvanians aren’t plagued with financial burdens as a result of rising costs and unforeseen expenses during what is supposed to be their golden years,” Driscoll said. “I am proud that this legislation transcends partisanship and allows lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to focus our attention on doing what’s right for residents of the commonwealth.”

Driscoll said the program would allow enrolled employees to have a portion of their income automatically deposited into an account overseen by the state Treasury. There, the state treasurer will manage the accounts like the previously enacted 529 College and Career Savings Act, while also consulting with private financial planners to ensure the maximum return and minimal risk for enrollees.

Additionally, Driscoll added, employees will be the sole proprietor of all funds they deposit into these accounts, meaning the money cannot be used or become property of the state.

As it stands, economic forecasts indicate that between 2015-2030, financially unprepared retirees will cost the state an additional $14 billion in social services and decrease tax collections by an estimated $1.4 billion, putting further strains on the state’s resources.

“When residents are well-prepared for the financial realities of retirement, it conserves the resources that would have otherwise gone to the group to be allocated for other social programs,” Driscoll said.