Death pension benefits extended to gay couples

This measure will cover contributors of the Treasury Department, the National Registry, Railways, Public Works, and Communications

The death pension benefit for gay couples will be extended to five pension regimens under the national budget, announced the Ministry of Labor (MTSS).

It will be extended to the regimes of the Treasury Department, the National Registry, Railways, Public Works, and Communications, according to the spokesman of Labor, Geovanny Diaz.

The measure was produced after June 9th when the Costa Rican Social Security Department (CCSS) endorsed granting the benefit for people who are covered by the regime of Invalidity, Old-age, and Death (IVM), which, despite being the largest in the country, does not cover workers of other regimes.

The benefit for the covered workers by these other regimes will take effect once the CCSS publishes in The Gazette the IVM-related regulations, said Diaz. There is still no definite date.

The benefit is excluded from subscribers of the National Teachers pension regime at the moment, as they are governed by different legislation.

“This breakthrough gives many families formed by same-sex couples the tranquility of knowing that they are protected and covered by the same rights that up until today were only enjoyed by a part of the population,” stated the Minister of Labor, Carlos Alvarado, through a press release.

Diaz indicated that it is unknown how many of the beneficiaries of these regimes live together with a couple of the same sex.

In the event of death, the Direction of Pensions should conduct a study to determine the relationship between the beneficiary and whoever claims the pension.

Article 8 of Law 7302 (Pensions Regime covered by the national budget) states that the successor of the beneficiary who dies is entitled to a pension after having worked and paid contributions for at least 5 years.

According to the Department

This measure from Labor follows the decision of the CCSS on June 9, which established that there was no legal or economic impediment to establish a benefit of this type.

With the legal and economic studies it was determined that the extra payment for the expansion of the benefit would be just a 0.04% increase of the current spending, confirmed the manager of Pensions, James Barrantes.

Monthly, the CCSS spends C56 billion on the regime of IVM, and with the incorporation of gay  couples to the so-called “survivor pensions,” this would increase by, hardly, C25 million monthly.

Given these numbers, Labor believed that the impact on the regimes that were covered under the national budget would be similarly minimal, so there was no reason to prevent couples of the same sex from receiving this benefit.