By: Stacy Van Alstyne​

One year after the landmark Supreme Court Windsor decision, employers have moved beyond hesitation and have adjusted their plans, including extending benefits to become compliant.  According to the Foundation’s recent survey, Empl​oyee B​enefits for Same-Sex Couples: The DOMA Decision One Year Later, most employers reported the decision has made an impact on their organization.   ​

Beyond the compliance mandates, more than half of surveyed employers are reporting a desire to be more inclusive of different types of families as part of their corporate culture. On the surface, the changes employers are making seem small.  They are striking out terms like husband and wife from plan documentation to replace them with spouse. They are adjusting the definition of spouse and domestic partner in benefit plans and policies. But the bigger impact is much more significant.  The decision resulted in a 34% increase in same-sex benefits from last year, including:

  • Health care
  • Life insurance beneficiary
  • Employee assistance plan services
  • Family/sick/bereavement leave
  • Pension/retirement plan beneficiary.

The infographic below shows additional findings.

DOMA full infographic.png
The survey questionnaire was open from June 2 through June 16, 2014. Responses were received from 538 corporate human resources and benefits professionals and industry experts. These individuals represent a comprehensive range of organizations with respect to size, industry and region. ​​

​[Related: Industry thought leader Neal Schelberg shares insights on DO​MA and P​ension/Benefit Plans.

Stacy Van Alstyne, CEBS

Communications Director at the International Foundation 

Favorite Foundation service/product: Personalized research services. The information the specialists come up with is gold—so much better than Google searches.

Benefits related topics that get her attention: Given she works in PR, whatever is hot now. Retirement security—loves the chance to encourage people, especially those starting out, to save.

Favorite Foundation conference/event moment: Meeting the President during the DOL’s Savers Summit which the Foundation helped produce; experiencing the power of 6,000 members in one room during Annual Conference’s opening session; trying not to cry during Scott Hamilton’s talk in 2012. Felt better when I saw a Teamster next to me sniffling.

Personal Insight: What does Stacy do to unwind from the stresses of life in the PR pressure cooker? She paints cows. No, not paint on cows. Paintings of cows. As our resident “foodie,” Stacy’s lunch leftovers are a delicacy to her office mates.


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