Domestic Partner Information

Domestic Partner Policy

Kalamazoo College has adopted a policy extending certain benefits to the Domestic Partners of its employees effective October 1, 1998. This is in an attempt to try to equalize employment benefits between married couples and couples who are not married.

Medical coverage offered through the College has been extended to domestic partners. Coverage will also be available for the children of domestic partners provided that they meet the Plan definition of a qualified dependent.

Tuition Remission Benefits have been extended to the children of domestic partners provided that the employee meets all of the eligibility requirements for the benefit and that the children are claimed as the employee’s IRS dependents or could be claimed as the employee’s IRS dependents if the employee and
his or her partner were legally married. Kalamazoo College will honor requests for tuition remission through the end of the academic year in which the child reaches age 26.

Under current tax regulations, Kalamazoo College may be required by the IRS to report as taxable income, the premium value related to covering domestic partners and their children under the medical plan. Since the children of domestic partners do not meet the definition of the children of spouses for the purposes of the IRS Code, the value of educational benefits received under the College’s tuition remission plan will be includible in the gross income of the employee. If you have questions regarding your tax status you may want to contact a qualified tax advisor or accountant.

Domestic Partnership Information

For the purpose of Kalamazoo College medical insurance and tuition remission benefits, “domestic partnership” shall exist between two persons regardless of their gender and each of them shall be the “domestic partner” of the other if they both complete, sign, and file with the Human Resources Department the “Affidavit of Domestic Partnership” which includes the following statements:

  1. the two parties reside together, have done so for at least six months, and intend to reside together indefinitely and share the common necessities of life;
  2. the two parties are subject to the same 30-day “window” periods governing all other employees who are covered by or applying for health plan coverage.
  3. the two parties are: not married, eighteen (18) years or older, not related by blood closer than would bar marriage in the State of Michigan, and mentally competent to consent to contract;
  4. the two parties declare that they are each other’s sole domestic partner and they are responsible for their common welfare;
  5. the two parties agree to notify the College if there is any change in the circumstance attested to in the affidavit.
  6. the two parties affirm, under penalty of perjury, that the assertions in the affidavit are true to the best of their knowledge.
  7. the two parties understand that willful falsification of information on this affidavit may lead to disciplinary action of the employee, up to and including discharge from employment.

A member of a domestic partnership may end said relationship by filing a “Termination of Domestic Partnership” with the Human Resources Department. In the statement the individual filing must affirm, under penalty of perjury that: 1) the partnership is terminated, and 2) a copy of the termination statement will be mailed to the other partner unless both have signed the termination statement.

No individual who has filed an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership may file another such affidavit until one year after a statement of termination of the previous partnership has been filed with the Human Resources Department.

Any person, employer or company who suffer any loss because of a false statement contained in an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership or failure to notify the employee of changed circumstances may bring a civil action to recover their losses, including reasonable attorney’s fees.

Signing the Affidavit of Domestic Partnership and completing the necessary enrollment forms will grant the above benefits to employees with domestic partners. If you have questions regarding the potential legal effects of signing the Affidavit of Domestic Partnership, you may want to consult an attorney. For other questions, please call the Human Resources Department at 269.337.7223.

Tax Information on Health Benefits for Domestic Partners

Your premium cost share for health benefits for a Domestic Partner and/or children of a Domestic Partner is the same as for a spouse and/or children. However, the Internal Revenue Code treats spouses and children through
marriage differently as respects health benefits. The cost of coverage for a spouse and stepchildren is automatically exempt from taxes, but for a person who is not a spouse or a stepchild through marriage, a payment for health benefits coverage is not entitled to tax exemption unless the person is a “dependent” as defined in the Internal Revenue Code.

If your Domestic Partner and his/her children are not your dependents, your contribution for the health insurance premium for your Domestic Partner and/or his/her children will be deducted from your pay on an after tax basis, and the College’s contribution for the coverage for your Domestic partner and/or his/her children will be considered taxable income to you, and the College will withhold state and federal taxes on it.

Definition of Dependency: Domestic Partner qualifies as your dependent if you meet several tests, chiefly 1) Your Domestic Partner is a member of your household, and has his or her principal place of residence in your home for
the entire calendar year, and 2) You furnish over half of the Domestic Partner’s support for the year. In calculating this, the amount you contribute must be compared with the amounts received for support of the Domestic Partner
from all other sources, including any amounts supplied by him or her, including earnings. If you elect to have the children of your Domestic Partner covered by the health benefits, the same rules on dependency apply. The cost of coverage will be taxable to you unless the child(ren) are your dependent(s) as defined under IRC Section 152. If the children do not receive over half of their support from you, the cost of their coverage will be taxable to you.

We recommend that you consult a tax advisor to determine if you may claim your Domestic Partner and/or his or her child(ren) as dependent(s) for tax purposes, before you certify that they are your dependents.