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Gay Professionals Must Work Longer And Pay More For Retirement According to Study

Study Shows Gay Professionals Face More Difficulties Towards Retirement

As I mentioned in a previous post, Google is paying gay, partnered employees more to offset the federal taxes when their partners receive health benefits. An article written by Todd Henneman for Workforce Management reveals the tough financial and legal challenges the LBGT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered) community faces and the gradual policy changes that affect the LBGT partners.

A study sponsored by the MetLife Mature Market Institute called, “Still Out, Still Aging,” compares 1201 boomers age 45 to 64 who identify as LGBT with the same amount of heterosexual people of the same age.

Few baby boomers—the estimated 78 million Americans born from 1946 to 1964— have saved enough to retire at 65, according to the report’s findings. Only 21 percent of the LGBT respondents and 25 percent of the general population have achieved their retirement-savings goals or are on track. Nearly half of the LGBT boomers surveyed plan to work until at least age 70. Those findings show the importance of educating employees about retirement savings and expanding automatic enrollment in 401(k) plans and automatic escalation, which automatically increases the contributed percentage of earnings over time, says Barbara Howard, director of gerontology at MetLife Mature Market Institute. LGBT employees also should inquire about domestic-partner benefits and designating a domestic partner as a beneficiary for their pension plan, she says.

I have gay friends who often complain of the difficulties they face in estate planning and how their retirement will cover their spouses. Even if you are a non-married straight couple or live with your siblings or other family members, it’s advisable to check with your human resources department and all of your retirement packages to be sure how your loved ones will be covered in the event of untimely death or at the time of your retirement/medical crisis.

If you are a young LGBT professional, be sure to follow up on your rights and get involved when possible.

To read the rest of the WorkForce article, click here.


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