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Domestic Partner

Benefits eligibility and coverage will be extended to same sex and opposite sex domestic partners of our faculty and staff. Benefits for domestic partners will be administered in the same manner, as possible, to the benefits for legally married couples.

The following details the procedure and eligibility criteria for enrollment of domestic partners under the University's benefit programs.


Registration

To establish the eligibility for University benefits of a same sex or opposite sex domestic partner an affidavit, titled "Statement of Domestic Partnership," along with other evidence of relationship (e.g. lease,utility bills etc.) must be completed by the employee and domestic partner accompanied with supporting documentation of financial interdependence and common residence for the past two years.

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Benefits Eligibility

Once the "Statement of Domestic Partnership" is completed and approved, the employee’s domestic partner and the partner’s natural or legally adopted children become eligible to apply for University benefits.

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Medical/Dental Plan

As a full-time employee, you may elect to add a domestic partner and/or dependent children of a domestic partner under the "employee plus one" or "family" coverage options of our medical and dental plans.  Please Note: Medicare Parts A (hospitalization) and B (medical) must become primary for the domestic partner of an active employee once the domestic partner turns age 65. The employee may elect to continue to cover his/her domestic partner on the medical plan after age 65, but the University’s coverage for the domestic partner will be secondary to Medicare.

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Tuition Remission

The same eligibility rules that apply to all employees’ spouses and children will apply to registered domestic partners and their natural and adopted children. Application for on-campus or off-campus tuition remission benefits may be made as soon as the "Statement of Domestic Partnership" is completed and approved for benefit coverage.

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Other Benefits

Employees who are not married may name anyone as a beneficiary on group life insurance or annuity accumulations. It is not necessary to register a domestic partner to name that person as beneficiary.

Employees who retire and who, according to policy, have sufficient age and years of service to retain medical insurance in retirement, may also retain medical insurance coverage for a registered domestic partner, in the same manner that such coverage is made available to spouses of retiring employees.

Pace University policy language regarding leaves of absence to care for newborn and/or adopted children or ill family members, or for purposes of death in family will be extended to include domestic partners and children of domestic partners.

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Tax Implications

The Internal Revenue Code does not recognize the tax exemption of benefits extended to domestic partners, as such, there will be certain tax consequences to the employee who enrolls a domestic partner. An employee’s contributions for additional medical and/or dental coverage of a domestic partner and that person’s dependent children will be deducted from pay on an after-tax basis. In the case of tuition remission for domestic partners and their children, the value of the tuition will be treated as "imputed" or direct income to the employee, as well, and taxes will be withheld based on that additional income.

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FAQs

1. What is the cost of adding my Domestic Partner and my Partner’s child (ren) to my Health and/or Dental Plan?
Semi-monthly cost for health and/or dental coverage are the same as those for employees who cover spouses and dependent children. However, the deduction will be withheld on an after tax basis since the IRS does not recognize domestic partnerships.

2. If I am eligible to participate in a Health or Dependent Care Employee Flex Spending Account (FSA), may I use the FSA to reimburse the health or dependent care expenses incurred by my Domestic Partner and my Partner’s child (ren)?
The IRS, and not the University, defines what type of expenses qualify for tax-free reimbursement. Since the IRS does not recognize Domestic Partners and the children of Domestic Partners as spouses or dependents, a Flexible Spending Account is not available for their expenses.

3. Are there tax consequences if my Domestic Partner or my Partner’s child (ren) use Tuition Remissions benefits?
As with Health and dental benefits, the Internal Revenue Code does not extend tax-exempt benefits status to Tuition Remission benefits for Domestic Partners and their child (ren). The University must include the full value of the tuition benefits used by your Domestic Partner and your Partner’s dependent child (ren) in your income, and taxes will be withheld accordingly. If the child using Tuition Remission benefits is your natural child or your legally adopted child, there may or may not be tax consequences. A tax professional should be consulted.

4. What happens if my Partner and I terminate our relationship?
You must notify the Human Resources Office within 31 days of the date the relationship ends. Your former Domestic Partner will no longer be eligible for University benefits and privileges, and you must remove your former Domestic Partner and former Domestic Partner’s child (ren) from all University benefit plans. Former Domestic Partners and their children will be eligible to continue health and/or dental benefits under COBRA. Please contact the University Benefits Office for more information.

5. What else should I consider?
You are encouraged to speak with a tax advisor before enrolling your Domestic Partner and/or your Partner’s child (ren). You may name anyone as a beneficiary on group life insurance or retirement plan. It is not necessary to register a Domestic Partner to name that person as beneficiary.

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