Same-sex marriage

Posted 05-Dec-2012

Same-sex spouses of state retirement system members will be eligible for the same benefits as opposite-sex spouses under a new law that takes effect this week.

The state’s Civil Marriage and Domestic Partnership law goes into effect Dec. 6. The law, which legalizes same-sex marriage in Washington, was ratified when voters approved Referendum 74 in the November General Election.

The law entitles all spouses (regardless of gender) to rights and benefits provided in the retirement systems and plans.

Same-sex marriages are not recognized in federal law, so there may be differences in how taxes are handled at the federal level. Please consult your tax advisor if you have questions.

If you are currently part of a state-registered domestic partnership, there are a few things you need to know.

  • On June 30, 2014, the definition of domestic partner is changing:
    • Only partnerships where at least one member is 62 or older will continue to qualify as domestic partnerships.
    • Same-sex partnerships where both parties are younger than 62 will convert into marriages unless the partnership is dissolved or the partners marry before June 30, 2014.

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