Boeing: Please extend pension survivor benefits to all employees
On November 6, 2012, the voters of Washington State passed Referendum 74 to approve marriage equality in Washington. With this law upheld by the people, Washington State stands to support and protect all families.
At Boeing, one of the employee retirement benefits is a defined benefit pension plan, where survivor benefits would allow continuation of pension payments to the employee’s spouse, should the employee die. Survivor benefits were put in place to protect families against the hardships caused by the loss of their loved one.
Currently today, Boeing only provides survivor benefits to employees of opposite-sex married couples, excluding employees of same-sex married couples and their families from the protection and peace of mind that comes with survivor benefits.
During contract negotiations on November 21, 2012, between the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA)* and Boeing, the Boeing Negotiation Team was clear that Boeing would continue to deny survivor benefits to employees of same-sex married couples under its defined benefit pension plan, even after Referendum 74 approved marriage equality.
Boeing is not required to extend survivor benefits to same-sex married couples because pensions are governed by federal law, which currently does not recognize same-sex marriage.
Now is the time for Boeing to continue to drive inclusion and mutual respect into every corner of this enterprise, by showing an equal commitment to its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) workforce as said in the Boeing Diversity Video below: