Heads Up

Understanding UC’s benefits for domestic partners

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The University of California offers comprehensive benefits to faculty, staff and retirees, and to their families. The rules around these benefits can be complicated, though, especially for domestic partners. If you are in a domestic partnership, check out establishing a domestic partnership and benefits for domestic partners to make sure you understand the rules and how to ensure your partner doesn’t lose out on any valuable benefits.

One important reminder is that eligibility requirements for health and welfare benefits are different from eligibility requirements for UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) benefits. That means your partner might be eligible for one kind of benefits, but not the other — and only if you take the necessary steps.

Health and welfare benefits

Opposite-gender domestic partners are only eligible for health and welfare benefits if the employee or the domestic partner is age 62 or older. For same-gender domestic partners, there is no age requirement for health and welfare benefits eligibility.

While no documentation of the relationship is required to enroll and start coverage, you will receive a Family Member Eligibility Verification packet which will require you to provide proof of your domestic partnership in order to continue the coverage. If you do not provide proof, your partner will be disenrolled.

UCRP survivor and death benefits

UCRP is different. There is no age requirement for eligibility for UCRP survivor and death benefits for same-gender or opposite-gender domestic partners. But your domestic partnership must be established by an approved method, apart from the Family Member Eligibility Verification process described above. See establishing a domestic partnership and benefits for domestic partners for details.

It is very important to know that if you pass away before completing the steps to establish your domestic partnership, your partner could forego UCRP benefits. Protect the UCRP benefits to which your partner may be entitled by formally establishing your domestic partnership as soon as possible, regardless of whether you’re enrolling your partner in UC health and welfare benefits.

Please note that Savings Choice does not include UCRP survivor or death benefits, but you can leave the vested balance of your Savings Choice account to the beneficiary or beneficiaries of your choice. Establishing a domestic partnership explains how to make sure all of your beneficiary information is up to date.

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