Same-Sex Couples Face Significant Disadvantages in Retirement
Female same-sex couples over 65 have almost 20% less income than different-sex married couples.
Older female and male same-sex couples receive less income from traditional retirement sources—retirement, survivor, and disability pensions--than older different-sex married couples.
Men in same-sex couples earn less than their heterosexual counterparts, but appear to work for more years.
Even in states where same sex couples can marry, private employers can discriminate against same-sex married couples for the purpose of welfare and pension plans because of the reach of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA); thus, same-sex couples typically cannot avail themselves of pension survivor benefits.
Surviving same-sex spouses or partners are unable to access social security spousal or survivor benefits. As a result, they lose out on an estimated $5,700 each year in benefits.
Because same-sex surviving spouses cannot have the balance of their dead spouse‘s 401k transferred directly to them, they must begin making withdrawals immediately- often resulting in a higher tax rate and missing out on potential earnings and the ability to withdraw when they are really needed.