Employers with Florida employees face certain state-specific employee benefits compliance challenges. While in general ERISA preemption will serve to minimize the number of state laws applicable to the ERISA-governed benefit plans of most employers, in some instances state-specific issues do arise. The purpose of this Practice Update is to highlight some of the common Florida laws affecting benefit plan sponsors.
QUALIFIED RETIREMENT PLANS
Qualified Domestic Relations Order. A Domestic Relations Order ("DRO") is a court order, issued pursuant to state domestic relations law, that recognizes the right of a spouse, child, or other dependent to receive part of an employee's benefit in a qualified retirement plan. For the Florida employee population, knowledge of the Florida laws in this area is important. A DRO will be considered "qualified" if it complies with state law, federal law, and the provisions of the plan document.
Documentary Stamp Taxes. If a retirement plan permits loans, then the state of Florida imposes a documentary stamp tax on each loan that must be remitted to the Florida Department of Revenue. Many other states do not impose such taxes on plan loans made to plan participants.
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