Report on Domestic Partner Benefits for Senior Executives – Aflac (2012)
Outcome: Omitted by SEC
Costs associated with senior executive turnover are significant and far-reaching. Replacement costs to a company can reach up to 250% of an executive’s annual salary.
The proponents believe that companies who choose not to discriminate in the extension of benefits gain a competitive edge in executive recruitment and retention. The equal provision of benefits sends a message of respect and inclusion, and conveys a tangible commitment to the principle that equal work deserves equal pay.
If Aflac extends domestic partner benefits to its executives (or employees), this policy is not publicly accessible. Companies in the insurance industry that do have domestic partner policies include Aetna, AIG, Chubb, The Hartford, ING North America, MetLife, Nationwide, Unum, State Farm and others.
Eighty-three percent of the Fortune 100 provided domestic partner benefits to employees in 2011, up from 64% in 2004.A growing proportion of the Fortune 500 also provided them in 2011 (58%, from 40% in 2004). According to a 2005 Hewitt Associates study, 64% of companies who offered domestic partner benefits to same-sex partners found that related expenses rose no more than 1 percent; 88% experienced financial impacts of 2% or less, and only 5% saw costs rise 3% or greater. (See http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/domestic-partner-benefits-cost-and-utilization.)
RESOLVED: Shareholders request that the company report to shareholders within six months, at reasonable cost and excluding confidential information, on its policies and practices for providing domestic partner benefits as a part of its senior executive compensation packages.
Family-friendly benefits have become an important element of company strategies to address issues of work-life balance and recruitment and retention. We believe that companies offering family-friendly benefits profit from a more positive public image, and from factors such as increased recruitment and retention, improved productivity and morale, and improved quality of work-life that leads to reduced absenteeism, turnover, and stress.
The report should address the extension of same-sex domestic partner benefits to senior executives in the following areas:
- Health benefits (medical, dental, vision, dependent coverage and COBRA benefits continuation)
- Retirement benefits (such as healthcare, pension plans and 401k’s)
- Benefits that extend to married couples such as bereavement leave, relocation/travel assistance, education and tuition assistance, adoption assistance, credit union membership, disability and life insurance, and employee discounts