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Opinion: Using Social Security for Parental Leave is a Bad Idea

Alicia Munnell argues against passage of Senator Marco Rubio’s “Economic Security for New Parents Act” in this MarketWatch piece.  The bill would create an option for new parents to use a portion of their Social Security benefits for parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child.  Munnell notes about half of all private sector workers have no workplace retirement plan.  Many of these will end up solely dependent on a contracting Social Security system.  The plan is thus not affordable.  She argues these proposals would increase the administrative costs and complexity of the Social Security program.  Munnell also believes the idea might create a slippery slope by later opening up benefits to those to pay for college, buy a first time home, or pay unemployment, thus dramatically changing and confusing the mission of Social Security.  Read her full piece in opposition to the parental leave bill here.

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