City Pension Funds Recognize Gay Marriage

Trustees for five municipal employees’ retirement funds approve mayoral plan

The five pension systems that comprise the retirement funds for New York City municipal employees have all voted to approve a decision announced November 17 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg that the spouses and partners of same-sex marriages sanctioned in other jurisdictions and of Vermont civil unions will be recognized as though they are legal spouses.

The action will allow couples that include a municipal employee or former employee who marry legally in Massachusetts or Canada or enter into a Vermont civil union to receive the same pension benefits, including accidental death payments, as married couples.

The November announcement by the Republican mayor followed by one month a similar move by New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, a Democrat, with respect to state employees.

New York State and New York City oversee, respectively, the second and third largest public pension systems in the nation. State and municipal employees become, then, the first gay and lesbian New Yorkers to win tangible public benefits from same-sex marriage.

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