Completes commitment to donate all automatic pay raises to the Keystone Scholars program
Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella today announced that, as he has done at the end of each year of his term, he has written another personal check to donate his automatic pay raise to the Keystone Scholars program. This final check, representing the cumulative amount of automatically raised pay he received during calendar year 2020, is the completion of his pledge to donate all of his pay raises every year.
“When I took the job of State Treasurer, both I and the taxpayers knew the salary of the position. Being the State Treasurer to me was always about service, and rebuilding a sense of community in the Commonwealth that I love. I never asked for a pay raise, yet in most years a pay raise came due to laws already in place. I said at the start of my term that I would donate the amount of those pay raises to charity, and that’s a promise I’ve been proud to keep.”
Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Joe Torsella
Treasurer Torsella is one of many Pennsylvania state officials who received a pay increase in 2020. The automatic increase is linked by state law to the year-over-year change in the consumer price index published by the U.S. Department of Labor for urban consumers in the mid-Atlantic region.
The Keystone Scholars Program was unveiled by Torsella in 2018 as Pennsylvania’s first universal children’s savings account program. It became law with bipartisan support as part of the 2018-2019 budget — making Pennsylvania the first state to legislate a universal opt-out savings program for children at birth.
Keystone Scholars provides a $100 starter deposit in a PA 529 College and Career Savings Program account for every baby born to or adopted by a Pennsylvania family for higher education savings. Expansion to the program was announced last month to include a $50 Bright Future Booster in addition to the $100 starter deposit to benefit babies born to mothers enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) in January 2021 through June 2021. This addition makes Pennsylvania the first state to automatically target low-income families.
Treasury’s PA 529 program offers two plans for families to choose from — the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP) and the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP). IP plan returns are tied to market performance, while GSP returns are based on college tuition increases. Families can open a PA 529 for a child of any age with as little as $10 and can contribute any time.