Prudential 2016/2017 LGBT Financial Experience: Obergefell decision yields financial confidence, but still a long road to true financial security

Click here
to watch Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court
case that brought marriage equality to America, discuss progress for the
LGBT community amid remaining barriers to true financial security.

NEWARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$PRU #LGBTAmericans–In its first survey of LGBT Americans since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled
states must permit same-sex marriages, Prudential Financial, Inc., (NYSE:
found people more worried that broad economic forces like
market volatility or lingering low interest rates would hinder their
ability to achieve lifetime financial security than LGBT-specific rights

That LGBT Americans share the same concerns about saving for retirement
as the general population is a shift from Prudential’s 2012
groundbreaking survey, when basic rights issues were top of mind. The
2016/2017 LGBT Financial Experience,
explores changes
following the U.S. Supreme Court’s year-ago landmark Obergefell decision
and is the result of interviews with LGBT Americans in all 50 states
during April and May.

“Having the fundamental right to marry has begun to simplify financial
lives within the LGBT community,” said Kent Sluyter, CEO of Individual
Life Insurance and Prudential Advisors. “Unfortunately, wage inequality,
workplace insecurity and pension survivor benefits issues still cast a
shadow on the ability to attain true financial security. This important
study helps to understand the financial lives of LGBT Americans who are
living in a new world that recognizes basic rights, giving the financial
services industry insight to better serve this community.”

Changing Households

Those surveyed say the right to marry has given them the ability to file
joint tax returns, pay for health benefits with pre-tax earnings, list
same-sex partners on health insurance, and ensure that a loved one’s
interests are protected in the event of death, but only a third say the
Obergefell decision affected future financial plans. Among key findings:

  • The marriage rate has more than tripled since 2012, having increased
    to 30 percent from just 8 percent in 2012’s survey. Most relationships
    were already blooming—most said they married a longtime partner.
  • Half surveyed said being in a legally recognized same-sex partnership
    has simplified their finances, up from 13 percent four years ago.
  • Income disparities remain. Lesbian women earn less than heterosexual
    women, reporting an average annual salary of $45,606 vs. $51,461. Gay
    men reported earning an average of $56,936, with heterosexual men
    earning $83,469.
  • Concerns over legal and institutional barriers to achieving financial
    goals are strongest among same-sex partners.
  • Financial needs for the LGBT community are the same as for the general
    population, said 46 percent of those surveyed. Meanwhile, 45 percent
    said they need to follow a different path to meet those same needs.

“We’ve made substantial strides in terms of gaining legal rights—which
certainly helps to fuel financial and economic stability within the LGBT
community,” said Glennda
, executive director of The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual &
Transgender Community Center in New York City. “But we must continue
working to overcome the serious remaining barriers to leading happy,
healthy lives that all of us deserve, and having professionals who know
our community and can help us attain our dreams is vital to achieving

Among specific comments from respondents, a gay transgender millennial
agreed marriage equality provided a sense of inclusion in society. A
woman who said she is a lesbian Baby Boomer put it this way:

“As an older person, I see a dramatic change in society. There is a
comfort level and emotional security for LGBT that I never thought I
would see in my lifetime. I did not realize before how important the
right to marry was,” she said. “It includes people in society, and
allows them to participate as a family like everyone else.”

Prudential issued the report today during an event at the LGBT Center in
New York, featuring Sluyter, Testone and Lauren Young, Thomson
money editor, as panelists.

For more information about The 2016/2017 LGBT Financial Experience, please

About Prudential Financial

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader with
more than $1 trillion of assets under management as of March 31, 2016,
has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping
individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth
through a variety of products and services, including life insurance,
annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment
management. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for
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Josh Stoffregen, 973-802-3996