Marriage benefits for gay couple


Q. We are a gay couple of 18 years trying to decide if it makes practical sense to get married:

Partner 1: CSRS, will max out with 40 years of federal service in two years.

Partner 2: eight years of federal service under FERS; military reservist recalled to active duty in 2001, still on active duty. In two years, will be eligible for military pension (total reserve and active time will equal about 3/4 of an active-duty O-5 pension); will then return to federal service, put a military deposit on active-duty time and work four years to a minimum retirement age of 56. Retirement will be about 24 years under FERS and Thrift Savings Plan account and military retirement.

We own condo and boat together. We have no children.

Can you help us determine if there are any benefits to getting married?  The only ones I can think of is a higher Basic Allowance for Housing for one to two years left of active duty and getting prescriptions cheaper.

A. You may find the Office of Personnel Management’s Benefits Administration Letter on same-sex spouses published July 3 to be of help in making a decision. You’ll find it at


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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