Sen Romney, colleagues unveil plan for paid family leave

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A new plan unveiled in Washington would allow working parents to tap into retirement benefits to take care of newborn children.

The balance between work and family life can be tricky, especially when a newborn comes along.

No one knows that like we do here in Utah.

“We have a lot of kids in Utah, people are having babies in Utah and as I talk to people across our state one of the things I hear time and again is how difficult it is, economically, to make ends meet particularly when the child comes home from the hospital,” said Senator Mitt Romney, (R) Utah.

Labor statistics show just a small fraction of U.S. families can afford to take the time off, and only 17 percent of workers get paid parental leave.

That’s why Senator Romney is teaming up with some colleagues to roll out the New Parents Act.

It would open up the option of using the money we are already contributing for later in life.

“Our proposal would let new parents pull forward a portion of their social security benefits for one, two or three months of paid parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child,” said Senator Marco Rubio, (R) Florida.

The bill also provides two options to pay that money back:

– A temporary reduction when you claim the benefit later in life

– Delaying retirement by the amount of time you take leave

“One of the things I like about this is not only that it helps these young families that are having children, but also it’s something that doesn’t add to the national debt, we’re not borrowing more money. It also doesn’t raise taxes on the American taxpayer,” said Romney.

Senator Mike Lee is working on a similar bill with Iowa Senator Joni Ernst.

The idea is meeting resistance from Democrats who say we shouldn’t be toying with an already unstable social security system.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...