clear
Tuesday August 4th, 2015 10:15AM

Ga. university system changes gay couples' benefits

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) Married same-sex couples will get tax benefits equal to heterosexual couples through a retirement plan offered by the University System of Georgia, following a Monday vote by the system's governing board. <br /> <br /> Gay marriage remains a contentious issue in Georgia, where a lawsuit is challenging the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage that was added to the state's constitution in 2004. Attempts to get full domestic partner benefits at the largest university system school, the University of Georgia in Athens, have stalled in recent years. <br /> <br /> University system officials said Monday's vote was prompted by federal guidance, based on the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision striking part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act only allowing marriage between a man and a woman. The Internal Revenue Service ruled certain retirement plans that did not include same-sex couples in the definition of `spouse' had to be updated. <br /> <br /> Previously a university system employee who chose the defined contribution retirement plan could list anyone as beneficiary, but a same-sex spouse could pay a higher tax rate than a spouse recognized under Georgia law. State law defines marriage as between a man and a woman, preventing same-sex spouses from receiving the same federal tax benefits as heterosexual couples. <br /> <br /> Now, a university system employee who chooses the Optional Retirement Plan could list his or her spouse as beneficiary and know that person will pay lower federal fees and be able to roll the retirement money into another account. <br /> <br /> The change doesn't affect the university system's finances, and system officials aren't sure yet how many couples will be eligible, said Marion Fedrick, vice chancellor of human resources. About 27,240 system employees use the Optional Retirement Plan affected by the decision. <br /> <br /> ``It's a very small change for us,'' she said. ``It's really to the benefit of the beneficiary.'' <br /> <br /> Since Georgia doesn't recognize same-sex marriage, spouses won't be eligible for any other benefits through the university system, including health care.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US stocks post sixth straight year of gains
U.S. stocks ended a strong 2014 with moderate declines Wednesday.
4:43PM ( 7 months ago )
Palestinians push ahead in pursuit of war crimes charges against Israel
Stung by a resounding defeat in the U.N. Security Council, the Palestinians announced Wednesday that they joined the International Criminal Court to pursue war crimes charges against Israel.
1:57PM ( 7 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 7 months ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 7 months ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 7 months ago )
Local/State News
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 7 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 7 months ago )
Conviction of Putin foe sets off protest in Moscow
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
6:03PM ( 7 months ago )
Politics
Contract awarded for bridge repair on Hwy 53 West in Gainesville
The Georgia Department of Transportation has awarded the contract to repair the Highway 53 West Bridge near Gainesville Marina in Hall County.
8:25AM ( 1 hour ago )
Man believed missing in the Chattahoochee River found safe at home
Authorities say a man who was the object of an hours-long search on the Chattahoochee River Monday night was found safe at his home Tuesday morning.
By AccessWDUN staff
7:13AM ( 3 hours ago )
Structural issues delay Clarkesville downtown redevelopment
Clarkesville leaders learned Monday night the downtown redevelopment planned for the east side of the Clarkesville Square will be delayed due to structural issues.
11:05PM ( 11 hours ago )
Report: US-led strikes in Iraq, Syria killed 459 civilians
BAGHDAD (AP) — U.S.-led airstrikes targeting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria have likely killed at least 459 civilians over the past year, a report by an independent monitoring group said Mo...
9:09PM ( 13 hours ago )
Helen officials hash out city park changes
Discussions are continuing about the future of Helen Riverside Park.
7:57PM ( 14 hours ago )