Amending Retirement Plans to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Plan sponsors need to review retirement plan documents and operations to determine whether changes are needed in response to last year's Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Windsor and subsequent IRS guidance. Under most circumstances, any needed plan amendments should be adopted no later than December 31, 2014.

In Windsor, the Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denied federal recognition to same-sex marriages. As a result, plan sponsors were required to change their plan administrative practices to provide same-sex spouses with the rights required by federal law. For example, same-sex spouses of participants in profit-sharing, 401(k) and other defined contribution plans must be treated as the default beneficiary, unless they consent to the participant’s designation of another beneficiary. Refer to our prior client alert for a list of spousal rights under qualified plans that must be provided to same-sex spouses.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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Topics:  401k, Beneficiaries, Burwell v Hobby Lobby, CMS, COBRA, Contraceptive Coverage Mandate, DOMA, Employee Benefits, Employee Rights, Employer Group Health Plans, Employer Liability Issues, Employer Mandates, Health Insurance Exchanges, HIPAA, Hobby Lobby, IRS, Plan Documents, Profit Sharing, Reinsurance, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Retirement Plan, Same-Sex Marriage, SCOTUS, US v Windsor

Published In: Civil Rights Updates, Constitutional Law Updates, Health Updates, Labor & Employment Updates, Tax Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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