University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

Same-sex Domestic Partnership

Benefits Available

The University provides the same benefit package to registered same-sex domestic partners of employees as it does to legal spouses of employees. Your registered same-sex domestic partner and your partner's children, even if they are not legally adopted by you, may be eligible for these benefits:

  • Medical/Pharmacy benefits
  • Dental benefits
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Life insurance
  • Long-term care coverage

Same-sex Domestic Partnership Definition & Registration

University Definition

The term "registered same-sex domestic partner" refers to two persons of the same gender, age 18 or older, who are not related by blood closer than permitted by the state of Minnesota marriage laws. The couple declares that they are each other's sole domestic partner and are responsible for each other's welfare.

This definition is intended to cover same-sex relationships — people who are partners and not roommates. A "registered same-sex domestic partnership" is defined as two individuals of the same gender who formally declare they are in a committed relationship of an indefinite duration, who support each other, and whose relationship resembles a mutually exclusive partnership that parallels a marital relationship.

Same-sex Domestic Partner Registration

You must complete an affidavit registering your same-sex domestic partnership in order to be eligible for benefits. Complete a Declaration of Same-Sex Domestic Partnership and send to Employee Benefits. Registration and application for benefits must take place within the first 60 days of the hire date or within 30 days of a family status change.

Taxability of Benefits

Because the Internal Revenue Service does not recognize same-sex domestic partners as dependents, the value of the University's contribution for medical and dental benefits provided to your domestic partner is considered taxable income.

Your taxable compensation will consist of:

  • Your regular earnings for the year, plus
  • The University cost for medical and dental coverage for your same-sex domestic partner (unless your same-sex domestic partner and his/her children meet the IRS definition of dependents).

This total compensation will be reflected on your W-2 form at the end of the year. The University will not withhold taxes on the cost of the medical and dental plan rates.

The only exception to the taxability of same-sex domestic partner benefits is if your partner meets the definition of dependent as defined by IRS Section 152. A same-sex domestic partner and his/her children can meet the definition of a dependent for the purposes of family coverage if the following conditions are met:

  1. They lived with you for the entire year as a member of your household.
  2. They were U.S. citizens or resident aliens of the U.S., or residents of Canada or Mexico for part of the calendar year in which your tax year began.
  3. They did not file a joint tax return.
  4. You provided over half of their support for the calendar year.

If your registered same-sex domestic partner and children meet all of the above requirements (even if you cannot claim an exemption for them on your tax return), you will need to complete a Certification of Dependent Status form. Once you submit this form, taxes will not be withheld.

Medical Benefits

In most cases the University's cost for family medical coverage will be considered taxable income and will increase by the following amount when you cover your registered same-sex domestic partner and his/her dependent children:

Medical Plan2014 Taxable Amount Per Pay Period
Medica Elect/Essential - Twin Cities & Duluth $355.70
Medica Choice Regional - Greater Minnesota $355.70
Medica ACO Plan $340.16
Insights by Medica $360.81
Medica Choice National $357.98
Medica HSA $326.85
Grandchildren - All Medical Plans $105.15

Dental Benefits

In most cases the University's cost for family dental coverage will be considered taxable income and will increase by the following amount when you cover your registered same-sex domestic partner and his/her dependent children:

Dental Plan2014 Taxable Amount Per Pay Period
Delta Dental PPO $10.76
Delta Dental Premier
Greater Minnesota
 $16.89
Delta Dental Premier
Twin Cities & Duluth
 $11.93
Delta Dental Premier
Out-of-State
 $16.89
UPlan HealthPartners Dental $11.11
UPlan HealthPartners Dental Choice $11.55
University Choice $12.79
Grandchildren - All Dental Plans $4.15

Eligibility for Flexible Spending Accounts

You may also submit claims for your registered same-sex domestic partner and his/her dependent children under the Flexible Spending Accounts if they meet the IRS definition of dependents.

Eligible expenses for registered same-sex domestic partners and their children may be covered under the flexible spending health care and dependent day care accounts if they meet the definition of dependents under IRS Section 152. They would normally qualify as dependents if the following key requirements were met for the calendar year in which the expenses were incurred:

  1. They lived with you for the entire year as members of your household.
  2. They were U.S. citizens or residents, or residents of Canada or Mexico for some part of the calendar year in which your tax year began.
  3. You provided over half of their total support for the calendar year.

If your registered same-sex domestic partner and his/her children meet all of the above requirements (even if you cannot claim an exemption for them on your tax return), you will need to complete a Certification of Dependent Status form.

Naming Beneficiaries

You have the option of choosing any beneficiary, including your registered same-sex domestic partner, when naming a beneficiary for the University's life insurance and retirement plans. If you want your same-sex domestic partner to receive benefits in the event of your death, you must specifically designate your partner as your primary beneficiary. Otherwise, on the University life insurance and retirement plans that do not require a specific beneficiary be named, the plans would pay according to the following priority listing:

  1. Your surviving lawful wife or husband
  2. Your surviving children in equal shares
  3. Your surviving parents in equal shares
  4. The duly appointed legal representative of your estate.

Even if you have drafted a will, and your same-sex domestic partner is listed as the main beneficiary, the beneficiary forms sometimes carry more weight. For more information contact the Employee Benefits Service Center at 612-624-9090 or 1-800-756-2363, press 2.

Additional Changes and Benefits