Report: Nearly 40 percent of PA residents lack significant savings

Written by Craig Layne and Radio Pennsylvania | Apr 3, 2013 1:59 PM

(Undated) -- A new report shows two in five Pennsylvanians do not have enough savings to support them if they suddenly find themselves dealing with a major crisis, like the loss of a job.

The Corporation for Enterprise Development's "Assets and Opportunity Scorecard" ranks the commonwealth 15th among states after examining data in five key areas, like financial assets and housing.

Lyn Kugel of the women and children's advocacy group PathWays PA says too many people are living paycheck to paycheck.

"We need to encourage residents to build savings and prepare for the unforseen, so that fewer residents are one incident away from financial devastation," Kugel says.

Advocates say a number of things can be done to help people save, including the establishment of a state Earned Income Tax Credit, similar to what the federal government offers.

They add "asset limits" for programs like food stamps disincentivize savings.

The study also shows some 13 percent of Pennsylvanians live below the federal poverty threshold.

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