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HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania lawmakers are proposing a new initiative to help people save for retirement-Auto-IRA’s.

2 million Pennsylvanians don’t have money set aside for retirement, and nationally one in three Americans have less than $5,000 set aside.

An Auto-IRA is gaining steam across the country as a way to offer a new way to help close that gap.

“The bad news is that we in fact do have a pretty serious retirement savings crisis in Pennsylvania… the good news though is there is actually something we can do about it., State Treasurer Joe Torsella said.

That something is a state-facilitated Auto-IRA. Which Treasurer Torsella’s Retirement Security task force is now recommending be implemented.

State Senator Pat Browne was a member of the task force.

“Actuaries will tell us that for any person that’s born this year, the average life expectancy is gonna be 100 years. So to have a retirement for that period of time with no savings? it is a real problem,” Browne said.

The Auto-IRA would be state facilitated, allowing any worker to deduct a percentage of their pay into a retirement savings account.

“The employer’s obligation is just setting up a payroll deduction. That’s it,” Browne said.

Employers can match the contribution but are not required.

“In the end all it’s doing is making it easy for people to save their own money,” Torsella said. “They will get an IRA that will follow them from job to job through the course of their lives.”

Eight states across the country have enacted auto IRA’s, with New Jersey being the latest.

Senator Mike Doherty is one of the six members to vote against it.

“I think individuals need to take care of themselves,” he said.

“It’s not only for their purposes. It’s for everyone else’s because if individuals don’t have retirement savings they look to public sources for support,” Brown said.

Both Torsella and Browne feel confident that legislation can be put forward some time within the next two-year session. Once that legislation hits the govenor’s office, it would take some time to get it fully up and running.