Posted on 22 June 2012
By Mark Miller
June is Gay Pride Month in the United States. And you can tell the times they are a changing when U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta salutes the event by taping a video personally thanking gay members of the military for their service.
But when it comes to retirement security, LGBT Americans still have a long way to go. The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is a core obstacle to equality for a range of important benefits and legal protections, because it defines the word “spouse” as applying only to different-sex married couples for any purpose involving interpretation of federal law.
The ground is shifting quickly, though. Legal challenges related to DOMA and same-sex marriage are making their way toward the Supreme Court. And the workplace is changing quickly as companies reshape their benefit programs to ensure equality.
But LGBT individuals and couples also can take action on their own to improve their retirement security. Here’s a checklist of five key areas LGBT Americans should be sure to address.