Every now and then, I really love being surprised.
And by that, I'm referring to my hometown of Fort Worth, Texas, which announced recently that it will be extending spousal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married in other states.
The city currently offers health insurance to same-sex partners; however, by deciding to begin treating them as spouses, those married will now be eligible for other benefits, including pension plans. The change means the city will adhere to IRS rules issued in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Windsor v. United States.
From the city's employee newsletter:
The City of Fort Worth will be extending spousal benefits to same-sex couples beginning Feb. 1, 2015.
This change will allow the city to follow the IRS's definition of "spouse" as defined for federal income taxes in the granting of survivor benefits.
Since the city's retirement ordinance does not specifically define "spouse," surviving spouses in a same-sex marriage will be eligible for survivor benefits if the survivor can prove, through documentation, that they were legally married to the employee/retiree in a state where same-sex marriage is legally recognized.