Benefits Update, Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decisions on Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)


As a result of the recent U.S. Supreme Court issued decisions in U.S. v. Windsor (Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)), and Hollingsworth v. Perry relating to same-sex marriage, CalPERS is offering a one-time exception to allow impacted employees to enroll a same-sex spouse and eligible dependent children on a CalPERS health plan.

The CalPERS enrollment period is effective now through December 31, 2013.

Employees who currently have a domestic partner enrolled in their health plans may make this one time change to designating their partner as spouse if they meet the criteria for enrollment exception listed below:

*Employees who married during the period in 2008 when same-sex marriage was initially allowed in California; or

*Employees who married prior to June 26, 2013, in another state where same-sex marriage was legal.

Additionally, newly married same-sex couples can enroll their spouse in benefits within 60 days of the marriage date.

Please note: The IRS has not issued regulations on this topic. It is unclear if the IRS will regard same-sex marriages that occurred prior to June 26, 2013 as a “change of relationship status” (i.e., change in legal marital status). In the event the forthcoming IRS regulations require, adding a same-sex spouse or domestic partner to your benefits could result in taxable income to the employee for Federal tax purposes only.

*It is recommended that impacted employees consult with a tax advisor prior to making a change. Employees can decide whether to enroll now or wait until IRS regulations are issued.

*Once the IRS regulations are issued, the campus will provide an update.

At this time, all changes to enrollment must be done manually by our office. We hope to have an update to MySJSU shortly. Please contact your benefits representative for assistance. We are happy to help and answer any questions you may have. Representatives are listed by department on our website: 

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