Domestic Partner Benefits
Wisconsin Act 28 (2009) permits same-sex and opposite-sex domestic
partners to be treated similarly to spouses for the benefit programs
authorized in Chapter 40 of the state statutes. Chapter 40 benefit
programs are administered by the Department of Employee Trust Funds
(ETF), and include the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), group
health insurance, deferred compensation, life insurance and other
programs. The provisions became effective on January 1, 2010.
- You must submit a notarized Affidavit
of Domestic Partnership form (ET-2371) to ETF to establish
a Chapter 40 domestic partnership. You can submit the affidavit
to ETF any time but, for Chapter 40 benefit purposes, a domestic
partnership does not become effective until the date ETF receives
your Affidavit of Domestic Partnership, regardless of how long
your actual relationship has been in effect.
- To enroll your domestic partner in the group health insurance
administered by ETF (and his or her dependents, if applicable),
ETF must receive your completed Affidavit
of Domestic Partnership form (ET-2371) and a Group
Health Insurance Application/Change form (ET-2301) within
30 days after the date that your Chapter 40 domestic partnership
becomes effective. ETF will send an acknowledgement of your affidavit
establishing the effective date of your Chapter 40 domestic partnership.
- There is no connection between the Domestic Partner
Registry and the domestic partnership benefits administered by
ETF. The forms ETF will use to verify the creation and
dissolution of a domestic partnership are the ETF affidavits,
not the domestic partner registry.
- You should submit an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership
to ETF even if you are not applying for health insurance benefits
for your domestic partner. You must have established
a Chapter 40 domestic partnership with ETF for your domestic partner
to be eligible for certain benefits in the event of your death.
- Adding a domestic partner to your health insurance
can affect your tax liabilities. Due to federal law,
adding a domestic partner and his/her dependents to your group
health insurance coverage can increase your taxable income. Please
consult your tax professional before adding a domestic partner
to fully determine how your specific tax situation may be affected.
- Consider filing a Beneficiary Designation form.
Upon your death, ETF will pay your WRS death benefits and any
group life insurance benefits according to the latest Beneficiary
Designation form (ET-2320) received by ETF prior to your death,
regardless of any changes in your personal situation. If you never
filed a beneficiary designation, ETF will pay any death benefits
according to the statutory standard sequence. As of January 1,
2010, if you have filed an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership (ET-
2371) (and your domestic partnership has not been terminated prior
to your death), by law your domestic partner would be your primary
beneficiary under the standard sequence once the domestic partnership
Please Refer to the Following Domestic Partner Benefits Materials
for More Information:
Domestic Partner Benefits brochure (ET-2166)
Affidavit of Domestic Partnership form
Affidavit of Termination of Domestic Partnership
Beneficiary Designation form (ET-2320)