The Fiscal Impact of Extending Federal Benefits to Same-Sex Domestic Partners

Publication Date: September 2008


Author(s): M.V. Lee Badgett; Christopher Ramos; Naomi G. Goldberg

Research Area: Government; Labor

Keywords: employer-provided benefits; sexual orientation; federal government; domestic partner

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


This report finds that offering health and other benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees would add $41 million to the federal budget in the first year of coverage. Over ten years the report predicts the budgetary cost will be $675 million, a small percentage of the federal budget. The report also takes into account the added federal income taxes that will be paid by federal employees if they sign a partner up for health insurance. It estimates the cost of including partners in retirement benefits, work injury and death compensation, and travel and relocation expenses. Many benefits offered to federal employees, such as life insurance and family and medical leave, can be offered to domestic partners at no additional cost to the federal government.