Domestic Partner Benefits

Topics: Same-sex marriage, Marriage Pages: 7 (2084 words) Published: June 24, 2006
Domestic Partner Benefits:
A Report on the Cost and Value of Providing Benefits to Employees To:The Board of Directors
From:Human Resources Department
Subject: The Cost and Value of Providing Domestic Partner Benefits
Many of the employees at _____, have been requesting benefits for their families. These employees are those who are not married, but still have partners and families to care for. We, at Human Resources, have researched this issue, and developed a report and presentation. In this report we have included guidelines for determining a domestic partner relationship, reasons for this type of relationship, the financial cost for offering benefits to partners, the negative cost to the company, the view of the public, and employee values. We hope that you will take our report into consideration when making you decision about this issue. What Constitutes a Domestic Partnership

When considering a domestic partnership, the employee must be able to provide proof. The Oregon Public Employees' Benefit Board requires that both parties declare the following: Are at least 18 years of age

Are each other's sole domestic partner
Are not married to anyone and have not had another domestic partner within the prior six months Are not related by blood closer than would bar marriage
Have jointly shared the same regular and permanent residence for at least six months Are jointly financially responsible for basic living expenses and any other expenses of maintaining a household. Domestic partners need not contribute equally as long as they agree that both are responsible for the cost. If requested, both would be able to provide at least three of the following as verification of their joint responsibility (a) Joint mortgage or lease

(b) Designation of the domestic partner as primary beneficiary for a life insurance or a retirement contract (c) Designation of the domestic partner as primary beneficiary in the employee's will (d)Power of attorney for health care or financial management (e) Joint ownership of a motor vehicle, joint checking account, or joint credit account (f) A cohabitation contract which obligates each of the parties to provide support for the other party(PEBB) Reasons for a Domestic Partnership

There are many reasons why people choose a domestic partnership over marriage. These include philosophical, political, economical, religious and personal reasons. Philosophical:
Many feminists believe that marriage is an establishment that has oppressed women throughout history. They prefer bonding in a non-marital family. Political:
Women who have divorced due to violence or abuse often are reluctant to re-marry once they find another mate. They see domestic partnership as a way of establishing a family without surrendering themselves to a spouse through marriage. Some people are making a political stand as a show of support for same-sex couples who do not have the option of marriage. Economical:

People of all ages who are widowed or have disabilities do not marry because they may loose pension survivor benefits or government aid. Many seniors are fearful that a new marriage might upset estate plans for their adult children. Religious:

Some people whose spouses have died or have been divorced against their own will have vowed to never marry again. To many, marriage is a religious experience that they will only have once in life. Personal:

Widows or divorcees may want a domestic partnership for companionship and security without sexual overtones. Financial Cost for Offering Benefits
According to a Human Rights Campaign paper, a 2005 Hewitt Associates study revealed that the majority of employers, 64%, experience a total financial impact of less than 1% of total benefits cost, while only 5% of employers experience financial impacts of 3% or greater of total benefits cost.

Furthermore, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, employers that have offered domestic partner benefits...

References: American Civil Liberties Union. (2005). Helgeland v. Wisconsin - The True Cost of Providing DP Health Benefits. Retrieved on May 31, 2006, from
Human Rights Campaign. (2006). Domestic Partner Benefits. Retrieved May 30, 2006, from The_Issues/DomesticPartnerBenefits-March2006-Final.PDF
Public Employees ' Benefit Board. (n.d.). Retrieved June 1, 2006, from
San Francisco Human Rights Commission. (2006). Domestic Partner Insurance Provider Search. Retrieved May 30, 2006, from
The Domestic Partnership Organizing Manual. (n.d.). Retrieved May 30, 2006, from
Thomson, Linda (2006,May 13). S.L. Can Offer Benefits to More Than Spouses.
Deseret News, p. A1 (2006). Cole v. State Farm Insurance Co.
Retrieved May 26, 2006, from
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