May 24, 2012

Domestic Partner Benefits

Overview

Employers and administrators of employee benefits continue to be challenged by state and federal activity regarding domestic partner, civil union partner, and same-sex spouse issues. The implementation of employer-provided domestic partner benefits involves the intersection of state laws, the federal tax code, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

The limitations and requirements of these laws present unique challenges for employers who extend benefits to domestic partners of employees. Whether employers are considering offering domestic partner benefits or already provide domestic partner benefits, employers will be updated on recent developments and practical solutions for domestic partner benefits. 

Join Gayle Skolnik, and Megan Hladilek, attorneys in Faegre Baker Daniels' Benefits and Executive Compensation group, as they address employer-provided benefits for domestic partners, civil union partners, and same-sex spouses, including:

  • The purpose or objective for providing domestic partner benefits - diversity and inclusion or legal compliance
  • Which benefits to offer - from medical coverage to survivor coverage under pension plans and everything in between
  • What legal requirements and limitations influence benefits or features to offer
  • What definition to use for domestic partner, civil union partner, same-sex spouse
  • How the Defense of Marriage Act may limit what you can offer for domestic partners
  • An overview of the state laws regarding relationship recognition
  • What practical steps are needed for plan documents, forms, communications
  • What best practices are recommended for taxation and payroll
  • What best practices are recommended for human resource administration

 

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