1. Union Home
  2. Offices & Services
  3. Human Resources
  4. Benefits
  5. Domestic Partnership Benefits

Domestic Partnership Benefits

POLICY

Union College will extend all benefits now available to spouses of employees to domestic partners of employees.

ELIGIBILITY

Domestic Partner

A domestic partner is the adult partner of an eligible employee who is sharing a long-term committed relationship of indefinite duration with the following characteristics:

  • We are both eighteen (18) years of age or older, and legally competent to contract.
  • We are not related by blood in a manner that would bar marriage under the laws of the State of New York.
  • We have an exclusive, committed personal relationship similar to that of marriage and intend to continue as domestic partners indefinitely.
  • We are not in a domestic partnership solely for the purpose of obtaining benefits. 
  • Neither of us has been registered as a member of another domestic partnership or been part of a civil union or marriage within the last twelve (12) months.
  • We currently reside together, have done so continuously for at least the last six (6) months, and intend to do so indefinitely.

Dependent Children

The definition of eligibility for dependent children is determined by the type of benefit being considered.  Please refer to the Insurance and Tuition Program Eligibility guidelines.

Method of Implementation

The method of implementation requires that domestic partners sign an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership and Financial Interdependence with the Human Resource Office.  The employee and/or domestic partner will be required to provide additional documentation in support of the Affidavit.

Tax Considerations

Under current Federal tax laws, pre-tax dollars cannot be used to purchase benefits for domestic partners who do not qualify as Federal tax dependents under IRC Sec. 152.  If a domestic partner is enrolled in medical, dental or vision coverage, the employee will pay for the partner’s share of the coverage with after-tax dollars.  Union College’s cost of providing these benefits is taxable income to the employee.  Because of tax laws and other legal considerations, medical care and dependent care reimbursement accounts cannot be extended to domestic partners.

Termination of Domestic Partnership

Any change in the criteria certified on the Affidavit of Domestic Partnership and Financial Interdependence will invalidate the affidavit necessitating the completion of a new form.  Should the relationship end, the employee must complete a “Statement of Termination of Domestic Partnership” form within thirty (30) days of the change.  The employee may not cover another domestic partner for at least twelve (12) months from the date benefits were canceled.

Benefit Continuation Right of Domestic Partners

Domestic partners are not considered qualified beneficiaries under COBRA.  However, Union College extends rights similar to COBRA for medical, dental and vision insurance to domestic partners.

December 2012