Today, I've asked St. Louis aldermen to allow the City's proposed new Firemen's Retirement System to treat "domestic partners" as widows or widowers when they survive their partners. That means that a qualified domestic partner of a St. Louis City firefighter would be eligible to get a pension if his or her partner died in the line of duty. Under the current pension system, domestic partners of St. Louis firefighters are not recognized ' and changing the definitions would require the approval of the Missouri General Assembly. The reformed system I have proposed does not need the state's permission to make such changes.
Here is how the language would read:
A surviving domestic partner means a person validly registered with the City as a domestic partner with the Participant in accordance with St. Louis City Ordinance 64401 throughout both the one-year period ending at the time benefit payments to the Participant from this Plan commenced and the one-year period ending at the death of the Participant, and with respect to whom it is substantiated in writing that such person and the Participant satisfied as least two of the following indicia of economic interdependence:
(1 Joint ownership of real property or a common leasehold interest in real property;(2) Common ownership of an automobile;(3) An open joint bank account or credit account;(4) A will designating the such person as the primary beneficiary;(5) A current designation of the other as primary beneficiary for life insurance or retirement benefits;(6) A current designation of the other as durable power of attorney or health care power of attorney; and(7) A driver's licenses listing a common address.
This is an important step towards the fair treatment of the survivors of heroes.