Domestic Partnerships

Domestic Partnerships

1. What is a domestic partner?

Domestic partners are two adults who have chosen to share one another’s lives in an intimate and committed relationship and meet the eligibility requirements stated in California Family Code Section 297.1.

2. What benefits can a qualified domestic partner get?

Domestic partners may qualify for the same survivor benefits available under the Plan as a surviving spouse, provided all eligibility and notification requirements are met. Learn more about filing your Domestic Partnership with LAFPP.

3. What if I already filed my domestic partnership with the State of California?

Submit a copy of your State of California Declaration of Domestic Partnership/Certificate of Registration to the Active Member Services Section. The certificate will be accepted and the filing date with the State will be the effective date of your domestic partnership with LAFPP.

If your domestic partnership was filed with a state other than California, your document(s) will need to be reviewed by the Office of the City Attorney.

See FAQ #12 to find out how your benefits may be affected if you terminate a state-registered domestic partnership. 

4. If I filed a domestic partner affidavit with the City’s Personnel Department, do I still have to file one with LAFPP?

On January 7, 2021, the Board of Fire and Police Pension Commissioners adopted a policy to acknowledge and accept filings with other City departments as filing with LAFPP.

Submit proof of filing, such as a stamped copy of the Affidavit of Domestic Partnership form you submitted to the Personnel Department or another City department, or the acknowledgment letter you received from the department. The effective date you filed your domestic partnership with another City department will be the effective date of your domestic partnership with LAFPP.

5. What happens if I die before I submit proof that I filed my domestic partnership with the City’s Personnel Department (or another City department)?

Should you die before you submit proof of establishing your domestic partnership with any agency/department other than LAFPP, your domestic partner must submit an acceptable documentary proof before any eligible survivorship benefits are payable.

NOTE: Your domestic partnership filed with LAFPP or any other agency may supersede the beneficiary designation you have on file with LAFPP.

6. If I file a domestic partnership declaration with LAFPP, should I still file one with the Personnel Department?

The form you file with the Fire & Police Pension System is for pension benefits and the retiree health subsidy. If you are an active employee and want to cover your domestic partner on your health insurance, you must file a form with the City’s Personnel Department. Please call the Personnel Department’s Employee Benefits Office at (213) 978-1655 to obtain the form.

7. What if my domestic partner is also an LAFPP member?

If you and your domestic partner are both LAFPP members, only one member needs to submit the Declaration of Domestic Partnership or documentary proof of the domestic partnership filing with another agency/City department. It will be cross-filed and will apply to both of your pension benefits.

8. What are the domestic partner eligibility requirements for receiving a survivor pension?

The domestic partnership filing date requirements will depend on the type of death as listed below.

Member Death Occurrence:Domestic Partnership Filing Effective Date must be:
Service-Connected DeathOn or before the date of member’s death
Nonservice-Connected DeathAt least one year prior to member’s death AND partnership continuous to the date of member’s death
After Service Retirement OR After Nonservice-Connected Disability PensionAt least one year prior to the effective date of member’s pension or entering the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) AND partnership continuous to the date of member’s death 
After Service-Connected Disability PensionOn or before the effective date of member’s pension AND partnership continuous to the date of member’s death

Please refer to your tier Summary Plan Description for more information on pension and survivor benefit eligibility requirements.

9. What are the domestic partner eligibility requirements for receiving a surviving domestic partner health subsidy?

If you receive a qualified surviving domestic partner pension, you are eligible for a health subsidy if the following conditions are met:

Note: If you receive a survivor benefit due to a purchase made by the member under the Survivor Benefit Purchase Program for retirees, you are not eligible for a health subsidy.

10. When are qualified domestic partners eligible to begin receiving the pension and health subsidy benefits?

The effective date of this benefit is January 17, 2000. However, you must meet the eligibility requirements for the various types of pensions. Those requirements are covered above in Questions #8 and 9.

11. I am already retired. Can I file a domestic partner declaration and qualify my domestic partner for a pension?

Although your domestic partner will not qualify for the standard survivor pension benefits under the Plan (see FAQ # 8), you may elect to purchase a survivor benefit for your domestic partner by paying the full actuarial cost of the benefit. Learn more about the Survivor Benefit Purchase Program.

12. How are my benefits affected if I terminate a domestic partnership?

Under state law, your Plan benefits may become subject to community property law if your domestic partnership is state-registered. Court proceedings are normally required to terminate state-registered domestic partnerships, just as with marriages, and the community property interest in your benefits is subject to division by the court in the same manner as when a marriage is terminated. In the event your benefit is divided, any payments to the former state-registered domestic partner or their beneficiaries, will be reported as taxable income to you. To learn more about terminating a state-registered domestic partnership, visit the California Secretary of State’s website.

13. How do I terminate a domestic partnership?

Filing solely with the Plan will not create community property rights in your pension benefits or inheritance rights to your contributions. Termination of these partnerships is governed by the Plan provisions and does not require court action. A Plan-registered domestic partnership terminates when any of the following occurs:

  • One partner gives or sends by certified mail, to the other partner a written notice that he or she is terminating the partnership.
  • One of the domestic partners dies.
  • One of the domestic partners marries.

Whenever one of these events ends the partnership, one of the domestic partners must file a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership Form with the Department of Fire & Police Pensions.

A new Declaration of Domestic Partnership cannot be filed until at least six months after the filing of a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership. The six-month waiting period does not apply where the domestic partnership was terminated because of death or marriage.

14. Whom should I contact if I have other questions about domestic partners?

If you have more questions, please contact the Active Member Services Section at (213) 279-3140, (844) 88-LAFPP, or [email protected].