Benefits and Compensation

Domestic Partner Benefits? 45% Offer or Plan to Offer (Survey Results)

However, 53% of organizations do not offer domestic partner benefits at all, and have no plans to do so. Of the 93% percent of respondents that offer spousal benefits to benefit-eligible U.S. employees, a little over half (55%) offer these benefits to different-sex spouses only.

The Spousal and Domestic Partner Benefits survey, conducted in September 2011, received 604 responses, of which just over 70% originated from organizations with fewer than 500 employees.

Additional Findings:

  • Just under 70% of organizations offering domestic partner benefits require a Domestic Partner Affidavit or other certification of the domestic partner relationship.
  • Few organizations offer retirement benefits, including detailed benefits plans or hardship distribution options, to either spouses or domestic partners.
  • Amongst other benefits most commonly offered to spouses and/or domestic partners, are an employee assistance program (EAP), FMLA leave, bereavement leave, and attendance at employer events/functions.

The tables below present the detailed national results. [Go here for detailed breakdowns by company size, geographical region, and organization type.]


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Q1. Does your organization offer benefits to SPOUSES of benefit-eligible U.S. employees?

Answer Options

Response Percent

Response Count

Yes, organization-wide

92.7%

558

Yes, in certain sections of the organization

1.7%

10

No, but plan to in the next 12 months

0.5%

3

No, but plan to at some point

0.7%

4

No, with no plans to

3.8%

23

Unsure

0.7%

4

 

answered question

602

 

skipped question

2

Q2. For how long has your organization been offering SPOUSAL benefits?

Answer Options

Response Percent

Response Count

Less than a year

1.4%

8

1-3 years

3.2%

19

4-6 years

4.3%

25

7-9 years

3.6%

21

More than 10 years

82.1%

482

Unsure

5.5%

32

 

answered question

587

 

skipped question

17

Q3. Does you organization offer SPOUSAL benefits to:

Answer Options

Response Percent

Response Count

Different sex spouses only

54.9%

304

Same sex spouses only

6.1%*

34*

Different and same sex spouses

35.7%

198

Unsure

3.2%

18

 

answered question

554

 

skipped question

50

*Note; this response puzzles us; it’s not clear in what situation an organization would offer benefits to same sex spouses but not to different sex spouses. Any readers care to enlighten us?

Q4. Does your organization require dependent eligibility or proof of relationship documentation for SAME SEX spouses, beyond what it requires for OPPOSITE SEX spouses?

Answer Options

Response Percent

Response Count

Yes

18.8%

84

No

64.6%

288

Unsure

16.6%

74

 

answered question

446

 

skipped question

158

Q5. A domestic partner of an employee is usually classed as a person who has attained a minimum age (typically 18) and has been sharing a committed, exclusive relationship for at least six months with the employee, to whom they are not related,  with both partners being financially interdependent.  Does your organization offer benefits to DOMESTIC PARTNERS of benefit-eligible U.S. employees?

Answer Options

Response Percent

Response Count

Yes, organization-wide

36.2%

207

Yes, in certain sections of the organization

1.9%

11

No, but plan to in the next 12 months

1.6%

9

No, but plan to at some point

4.9%

28

No, with no plans to

53.3%

305

Unsure

2.1%

12

 

answered question

572

 

skipped question

32


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Q6. For how long has your organization been offering DOMESTIC PARTNER benefits?

Answer Options

Response Percent

Response Count

Less than a year

9.6%

21

1-3 years

30.3%

66

4-6 years

21.6%

47

7-9 years

8.3%

18

More than 10 years

22.0%

48

Unsure

8.3%

18

 

answered question

218

 

skipped question

386

Q7. Does you organization offer DOMESTIC PARTNER benefits to:

Answer Options

Response Percent

Response Count

Different sex domestic partners only

6.5%

14

Same sex domestic partners only

19.0%

41

Different and same sex domestic partners

72.2%

156

Unsure

2.3%

5

 

answered question

216

 

skipped question

388

Q8. Does your organization ask for a Domestic Partner Affidavit to certify a domestic partnership?  (This is a document which sets out benefit eligibility requirements for domestic partners and which is confirmed and signed by both partners).

Answer Options

Response Percent

Response Count

Yes

69.3%

147

No

26.9%

57

Unsure

3.8%

8

 

answered question

212

 

skipped question

392

Q9. Does your organization ask for any other types of dependent eligibility or proof of relationship documentation for domestic partnerships?

Answer Options

Response Percent

Response Count

Yes

35.8%

76

No

58.5%

124

Unsure

5.7%

12

 

answered question

212

 

skipped question

392

Q10. Which of the following health insurance benefits does your organization offer to spouses and domestic partners of benefits-eligible U.S. employees?

Answer Options

Offered to spouses & domestic partners

Offered to spouses only

Offered to domestic partners only

Not offered to either

Response Count

Health/
medical

216

320

2

15

553

Dental

206

307

2

29

544

Vision

167

244

2

100

513

 

 

 

 

answered question

554

 

 

 

 

skipped question

50

Q11. If your organization offers health insurance benefits to spouses, are they offered to:

Answer Options

Response Percent

Response Count

Different sex spouses only

56.1%

310

Same sex spouses only

5.1%

28

Different and same sex spouses

34.2%

189

Unsure

3.6%

20

We don’t offer health insurance benefits to spouses

1.1%

6

 

answered question

553

 

skipped question

51

Q12. Which of the following retirement benefits does your organization offer to spouses and domestic partners of benefits-eligible U.S. employees?

Answer Options

Offered to spouses & domestic partners

Offered to spouses only

Not offered to either

Response Count

Defined benefit plan: Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity

34

135

345

514

Defined benefit plan: Qualified pre-retirement Survivor Annuity

25

98

375

498

Hardship distribution option

17

88

396

501

 

 

 

answered question

522

 

 

 

skipped question

82

Q13. Which of the following other benefits does your organization offer to spouses and domestic partners of benefits-eligible U.S. employees?

Answer
Options

Offered to spouses & domestic partners

Offered to spouses only

Offered to partners only

Not offered to either

Response Count

FMLA

105

185

0

212

502

Bereave
ment leave

137

138

1

227

503

Employer-provided supplemental life insurance

58

194

1

241

494

Relocation/
travel assistance

29

54

0

406

489

Adoption
benefit

24

50

0

416

490

Employee discounts

86

87

0

320

493

Employee assistance program

147

164

1

188

500

Access to employer facilities

129

49

0

314

492

Attendance at employer events/functions

334

66

1

97

498

 

 

 

 

answered question

513

 

 

 

 

skipped question

91

Q14. If your organization offers other benefits to spouses, are they offered to:

Answer Options

Response Percent

Response Count

Different sex spouses only

31.7%

161

Same sex spouses only

3.9%

20

Different and same sex spouses

22.8%

116

Unsure

4.1%

21

We don’t offer other benefits to spouses

37.4%

190

 

answered question

508

 

skipped question

96

Q15. Does your organization offer benefits to eligible dependents (for example, children) of domestic partners?

Answer Options

Response Percent

Response Count

Yes to different sex partners

34.7%

180

Yes to same sex partners

26.4%

137

None offered

48.8%

253

Unsure

10.6%

55

 

answered question

518

 

skipped question

86

Go here for detailed breakdowns by company size, geographical region, and organization type.]

Thanks to all who participated in this survey. Upcoming topics include:

  • Social Media
  • Heathcare
  • Flexible Work Policies