Obergefell v. Hodges Decision
ERIC President/CEO Annette Guarisco Fildes Comments on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision

June 26, 2015


For Immediate Release: 
Washington, DC

ERIC President/CEO Annette Guarisco Fildes Comments on
the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision on Obergefell v. Hodges

“Today’s decision means that same sex marriages must be recognized throughout the U.S.  Because of this, more employees will be able to marry and provide benefits for their spouses on a tax-free basis. 

“The nation’s top employers, many of whom are members of ERIC, will be relieved to be able to treat their employees uniformly, regardless of where they live or work.

“ERIC supports the uniformity of common employee benefit rules and policies across the country, as its members operate and provide benefits to their employees in all 50 states.  Today’s decision helps our industry with that federally needed consistency.”

All quotes attributable to Annette Guarisco Fildes,
President and CEO of The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC)

ERIC’s membership have been surveyed twice on the issue of same-sex domestic partnerships: in 2013 prior to the U.S. v Windsor ruling and in June 2015. The results show that the country’s largest employers offer health and benefits coverage for same-sex domestic partners, and will generally continue to do so.

The results of the nine-question survey taken this year show that 92 percent of respondents voluntarily provide health care to same sex domestic partners and 54 percent offer retirement coverage for same-sex domestic partners.

Other highlights include:

  • A large majority of ERIC’s members (83 percent) offer benefits to same-sex partners who have entered into civil unions.
  • Most companies (80 percent) did not change their benefit eligibility coverage as a result of the 2013 DOMA decision, but about a quarter of respondents added benefits for both same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partners.
  • More than three-quarters of respondents (76 percent) said they consider same-sex spouses to be married even if they live in a state that that does not recognize same-sex partners.
  • More than half of the respondents (69 percent) stated that they would not drop the benefits that are currently offered to domestic partners if the Supreme Court decides that states must recognize the right of same-sex couples to marry. While almost one-quarter (22 percent) said they would.

ERIC President/CEO Annette Guarisco Fildes is available to discuss in further detail the impact of today’s decision as it relates to the administration of employer-sponsored benefit plans.

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) is the only national trade association advocating solely for the employee benefit and compensation interests of the country’s largest employers.  ERIC supports the ability of its large employer members to tailor health, retirement and compensation benefits for millions of employees, retirees and their families. Learn more at www.eric.org

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Robert Udowitz

Aaron Cohen