Domestic Partnerships...Crash Course

From www.lacity.org

1. What is a domestic partner?

Effective January 17, 2000, Domestic Partners are defined as two adults who have chosen to share one another’s lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring. They must have a common residence, jointly be responsible for each other’s basic living expenses, not married, not related by blood, be at least 18 years of age, and each consent to the domestic partnership.

2. How do I register a domestic partnership relationship?

You must file a Domestic Partnership Declaration Form with the Board of Fire and Police Pension Commissioners along with a copy of a valid driver’s license of each partner. This declaration is applicable to pension benefits only (survivor pension and health subsidy after member dies). To obtain a form, call Member Services at (213) 978-4522.

3. What benefits can a qualified domestic partner get?

A domestic partner who meets the eligibility requirements can receive a survivor pension and health subsidy benefits, the same benefits available to qualified surviving spouses.

4. What are the domestic partner eligibility requirements for receiving a survivor pension?

The requirements for qualified domestic partner pension benefits are the same as for a qualified surviving spouse. Following are the requirements to receive a surviving spouse/domestic partner pension:

• Service Pension – if your spouse/domestic partner is on a service pension, to qualify for a survivor pension you must be married to or be the qualified domestic partner of the member for at least one year prior to the effective date of the pension and on the date of death.

• Service-connected disability pension – you must be married to or be the qualified domestic partner of the member on the effective date of the pension and on the date of death.

• Service-connected death – you must be married to or be the qualified domestic partner of the member on the date of death.

• Non-service connected death and non-service connected disability pension – you must be married to or be the qualified domestic partner of the member at least one year prior to the effective date of the pension and on the date of death. The member must also have had at least 5 years of service. (Note that the member must have at least 10 years of service for the member or the surviving spouse/domestic partner to qualify for a health subsidy.)

5. What are the domestic partner eligibility requirements for receiving a surviving spouse/domestic partner health subsidy?

If you receive a surviving spouse/domestic partner pension, you qualify for a health subsidy if the following conditions are met:

• You are in a City approved (one offered by Fire Relief, Police Relief, UFLAC or the Personnel Department) health plan.
• Your domestic partner had at least 10 years of service.
• Your domestic partner would have been at least 55 years old.

6. When are qualified domestic partners eligible to begin receiving the pension and health subsidy benefits?

The effective date of this benefit is January 17, 2000. However, you must meet the eligibility requirements for the various types of pensions. Those requirements are covered above in the question "What are the domestic partner eligibility requirements for receiving a survivor pension?"

7. I am already retired. Can I file a domestic partner declaration and qualify my domestic partner for a pension?

If you retired prior to the effective date of January 17, 2000, you cannot qualify a domestic partner to receive survivor pension or health subsidy benefits.

8. I filed a Domestic Partner affidavit with the city's Personnel Department, do I still have to file one with the Department of Fire and Police Pensions?

Yes, you must file a form with the Department of Fire and Police Pensions on or before March 31, 2000. If you do this and we verify the form filed with the Personnel Department, the effective date of your domestic partnership will be the date you filed with the Personnel Department.

If you file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the Department of Fire and Police Pensions after March 31, 2000, the effective date of your domestic partnership will be the date the Department of Fire and Police Pensions receives your application.

9. If I file a domestic partner declaration with the Department of Fire and Police Pensions, should I still file one with the Personnel Department?

The form you file with the Fire and Police Pension System is for pension benefits and retiree health subsidy. If you are an active employee and want to cover your domestic partner on your health insurance, you must file a form with the City’s Personnel Department. Call the Employee Benefits Section at (213) 485-2440 to get a form.

10. How do I terminate a domestic partnership?

A domestic partnership terminates when any of the following occurs:

• One partner gives or sends to the other partner a written notice that he or she is terminating the partnership.
• One of the domestic partners dies.
• One of the domestic partners marries.
• The domestic partners no longer share a common residence.

Whenever one of these events ends the partnership, one of the domestic partners must file a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership Form with the Department of Fire and Police Pensions.

A new declaration of Domestic Partnership cannot be filed until at least six months after the filing of a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership Form. This six-month waiting period does not apply where the domestic partnership was terminated because of death or marriage.
1. What is a domestic partner?

Effective January 17, 2000, Domestic Partners are defined as two adults who have chosen to share one another’s lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring. They must have a common residence, jointly be responsible for each other’s basic living expenses, not married, not related by blood, be at least 18 years of age, and each consent to the domestic partnership.

2. How do I register a domestic partnership relationship?

You must file a Domestic Partnership Declaration Form with the Board of Fire and Police Pension Commissioners along with a copy of a valid driver’s license of each partner. This declaration is applicable to pension benefits only (survivor pension and health subsidy after member dies). To obtain a form, call Member Services at (213) 978-4522.

3. What benefits can a qualified domestic partner get?

A domestic partner who meets the eligibility requirements can receive a survivor pension and health subsidy benefits, the same benefits available to qualified surviving spouses.

4. What are the domestic partner eligibility requirements for receiving a survivor pension?

The requirements for qualified domestic partner pension benefits are the same as for a qualified surviving spouse. Following are the requirements to receive a surviving spouse/domestic partner pension:

• Service Pension – if your spouse/domestic partner is on a service pension, to qualify for a survivor pension you must be married to or be the qualified domestic partner of the member for at least one year prior to the effective date of the pension and on the date of death.

• Service-connected disability pension – you must be married to or be the qualified domestic partner of the member on the effective date of the pension and on the date of death.

• Service-connected death – you must be married to or be the qualified domestic partner of the member on the date of death.

• Non-service connected death and non-service connected disability pension – you must be married to or be the qualified domestic partner of the member at least one year prior to the effective date of the pension and on the date of death. The member must also have had at least 5 years of service. (Note that the member must have at least 10 years of service for the member or the surviving spouse/domestic partner to qualify for a health subsidy.)

5. What are the domestic partner eligibility requirements for receiving a surviving spouse/domestic partner health subsidy?

If you receive a surviving spouse/domestic partner pension, you qualify for a health subsidy if the following conditions are met:

• You are in a City approved (one offered by Fire Relief, Police Relief, UFLAC or the Personnel Department) health plan.
• Your domestic partner had at least 10 years of service.
• Your domestic partner would have been at least 55 years old.

6. When are qualified domestic partners eligible to begin receiving the pension and health subsidy benefits?

The effective date of this benefit is January 17, 2000. However, you must meet the eligibility requirements for the various types of pensions. Those requirements are covered above in the question "What are the domestic partner eligibility requirements for receiving a survivor pension?"

7. I am already retired. Can I file a domestic partner declaration and qualify my domestic partner for a pension?

If you retired prior to the effective date of January 17, 2000, you cannot qualify a domestic partner to receive survivor pension or health subsidy benefits.

8. I filed a Domestic Partner affidavit with the city's Personnel Department, do I still have to file one with the Department of Fire and Police Pensions?

Yes, you must file a form with the Department of Fire and Police Pensions on or before March 31, 2000. If you do this and we verify the form filed with the Personnel Department, the effective date of your domestic partnership will be the date you filed with the Personnel Department.

If you file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the Department of Fire and Police Pensions after March 31, 2000, the effective date of your domestic partnership will be the date the Department of Fire and Police Pensions receives your application.

9. If I file a domestic partner declaration with the Department of Fire and Police Pensions, should I still file one with the Personnel Department?

The form you file with the Fire and Police Pension System is for pension benefits and retiree health subsidy. If you are an active employee and want to cover your domestic partner on your health insurance, you must file a form with the City’s Personnel Department. Call the Employee Benefits Section at (213) 485-2440 to get a form.

10. How do I terminate a domestic partnership?

A domestic partnership terminates when any of the following occurs:

• One partner gives or sends to the other partner a written notice that he or she is terminating the partnership.
• One of the domestic partners dies.
• One of the domestic partners marries.
• The domestic partners no longer share a common residence.

Whenever one of these events ends the partnership, one of the domestic partners must file a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership Form with the Department of Fire and Police Pensions.

A new declaration of Domestic Partnership cannot be filed until at least six months after the filing of a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership Form. This six-month waiting period does not apply where the domestic partnership was terminated because of death or marriage.

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