Posted on 04 September 2010
By Mark Miller
What are the special considerations for retirement planning that gay and lesbian couples need to keep in mind? Retirement educator Steve Vernon offers an excellent run-down at CBS Moneywatch.
Vernon delves into must-do beneficiary paperwork issues surrounding pensions and estates. But he also highlights a key benefit arena where not much can be done–Social Security.
Spousal and survivor benefits are among the most important and valuable in Social Security, but the system doesn’t recognize gay marriage due to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was signe din 1996 by President Bill Clinton. U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez, a member of the House Subcommittee on Social Security, has said she plans to sponsor legislation to provide equal Social Security benefits for same-sex couples, but the odds of success look long with President Obama’s deficit commission weighing possible cuts in Social Security, rather than enhancements of benefits.
I’ve argued that Social Security benefits should be beefed up, not cut–and gay/lesbian couple benefits are a good example of a deficiency that should be addressed.