MMC Benefits Handbook
Eligible Survivor
An Eligible Survivor with respect to a 409A BEP Benefit is a:
  • Spouse to whom you have been married for at least 12 consecutive months at the time of your death, or
  • Domestic Partner as defined by the BEP.
If you are married to a Spouse for fewer than twelve consecutive months at the time of your death, your Spouse can qualify as your Domestic Partner if he or she can substantiate that a Domestic Partnership existed as defined by the BEP at the time of your death. See "Criteria for Establishing a Domestic Partnership" for details.
You do not have an Eligible Survivor, if one of the following describes your status at the time of your death:
  • you were not married, or
  • you were not married for at least 12 consecutive months and do not have a Domestic Partner as defined by the BEP, or
  • you do not have a Domestic Partner as defined by the BEP.
Eligible Surviving Domestic Partner
For the purpose of qualifying for a survivor benefit under the BEP, an eligible Domestic Partner is a partner of the same or opposite sex with whom you have been registered as a Domestic Partners in accordance with the requirements of a city, state, or municipality that recognizes domestic partnerships (or a similar relationship, for example, civil unions), for at least 12 consecutive months at the time of your death.
If you are not married to a Spouse or are not registered with a Domestic Partners for a period of at least 12 consecutive months at your death, your Spouse or partner can qualify as your eligible Domestic Partner for the purpose of qualifying for a survivor benefit if he or she can substantiate that you both satisfied all of the following criteria:
  • You were both at least age 18 when you entered into the relationship.
  • Neither of you were married or the Domestic Partner of any other person during the 12 months prior to your death.
  • You were not related by blood to a degree of closeness that would prohibit marriage under applicable US state law.
  • You were in an exclusive, committed relationship that has existed for at least 12 months which was intended to be permanent.
  • You had mutually agreed to be responsible for each other's common welfare.
  • You had resided together for at least the previous 12 months prior to your death and had intended to do so permanently.
Criteria for Establishing a Domestic Partnership
To substantiate your Domestic Partnership, your surviving partner must provide a copy of a government issued document showing that you and your partner had been registered with a government body as Domestic Partners.
If you were either (i) not registered at the time of your death, (ii) had been registered as domestic partners for fewer than 12 consecutive months at the time of your death, or (iii) had been married for fewer than 12 consecutive months at the time of your death, your surviving partner, or Spouse must complete the US Retirement Program Domestic Partner Verification Form and submit it with the documents listed on the chart below to the Employee Service Center.
If you currently have a Domestic Partner or enter into a Domestic Partnership in the future, be sure to inform your Domestic Partner of his or her potential benefits under the BEP and advise him or her to contact the Employee Service Center as soon as possible in the event of your death.
Documentation for Substantiating the Criteria for Establishing a Domestic Partner
Criteria
Required Documentation
You are both at least age 18
  • Participant's birth or death certificate and individual's birth certificate; or
  • Participant and individual's US Passport.
Neither of you are currently nor have been married or the Domestic Partner of any other person for at least the previous 12 months
  • Completed and notarized Affidavit of Domestic Partnership*.
You are not related by blood to a degree of closeness that would prohibit marriage under applicable US state law
  • Completed and notarized Affidavit of Domestic Partnership*.
You are in an exclusive, committed relationship that has existed for at least 12 months and is intended to be permanent
  • Completed and notarized Affidavit of Domestic Partnership*.
You have mutually agreed to be responsible for each other's common welfare
  • Evidence of a joint debt (e.g., mortgage/lease/loan entered into by both the participant and individual 12 months prior to the date of death, loan invoice for 12 months prior to the date of death); or
  • Evidence of a joint asset (e.g. monthly bank/brokerage statements for the 12 months prior to the date of death ); or
  • Designation of one by the other as beneficiary for life insurance and/or retirement benefits in effect throughout the 12 months prior to the date of death.
You have resided together for at least the previous 12 months, and you intend to do so permanently
  • Participant and individual's driver's licenses or other government identification issued at least 12 months prior to the date of death showing the same address; or
  • Correspondence (e.g., utility bill) addressed to the participant and individual dated at least 12 months prior to the date of death showing the same address.
* The Affidavit of Domestic Partnership can be found within the US Retirement Program Domestic Partner Verification Form. To obtain a form, go to Colleague Connect (https://colleagueconnect.mmc.com), click Career & Rewards, select Find a Document.