How Might Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage Affect Retirement Incomes and Federal Programs?

Research Report

How Might Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage Affect Retirement Incomes and Federal Programs?

Abstract

Federal recognition of same-sex marriage raises retirement incomes for some same-sex couples by providing them access to spouse and survivor benefits from Social Security and employer­ sponsored retirement plans. DYNASIM, the Urban Institute's dynamic microsimulation model, projects that average per capita income in 2045 net of taxes and Medicare premiums for gays and lesbians ages 62 and older will be $ I,200 higher than it would have been had same-sex marriage not been legalized. Federal recognition of same-sex marriage also raises Social Security outlays but will not materially affect the Social Security trust fund because relatively few beneficiaries have a same-sex spouse.

Cross-Center Initiative

Cross-Center Initiative: 
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