Employee Retirement Income Security Act Same-Sex Marriage

Employee Retirement Income Security Act is a United States federal law enacted in 1974 to set minimum standards for pension and health plans in the private sector and to protect participants in those plans.... more +
Employee Retirement Income Security Act is a United States federal law enacted in 1974 to set minimum standards for pension and health plans in the private sector and to protect participants in those plans.  ERISA requires plans to provide information to participants, establishes a grievance process,  and allows participants to sue for benefits or breach of fiduciary duties.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Update For Retirement Plans Post-Windsor

Now that some of the dust has settled on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, employers who haven’t done so already should take immediate steps to review their retirement plan documents and administrative...more

ERISA self-insured health plan not required to cover same sex spouses

In Roe v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, No. 12–cv–04788 (NSR), 58 EBC 1077, 2014 WL 1760343 (S.D. N.Y. May 1, 2014), the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York held a self-insured health plan that...more

Obama Administration Announces Proposed Rule Extending FMLA Leave Rights for Same-Sex Couples

President Obama plans to announce today a proposed rule that would allow an employee to take FMLA leave to care for a same-sex spouse, regardless of whether the employee lives in a state that recognizes their marital status. ...more

What Marriage Equality Means for Your Employee Benefits

A frequent headline in the news as of late has been “Federal Judge in State X finds same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional” and then shortly thereafter “Hundreds of couples marry in State X” complete with a picture of a...more

What's New Under the Defense of Marriage Act?

A major reason that employee benefits, such as employer- provided healthcare and retirement plans, exist is that they provide a tax-advantaged way for an employer to provide additional compensation to an employee, her spouse,...more

Exclusion of Coverage for Same-Sex Spouses Did Not Interfere with Protected Rights under ERISA

In Roe v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, a federal district court addressed the issue of whether a self-funded health plan could include language that denied dependent coverage to same-sex spouses without violating Section...more

Despite Windsor, Federal Court Rejects Challenge to a Self-Insured ERISA Health Plan’s Denial of Coverage for Same-Sex Spouses

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in US v. Windsor, the requirement that an ERISA health plan provide health coverage for same-sex spouses has often hinged on whether an employee benefit plan was insured or...more

ERISA: Self-Funded Benefit Plans May Not Have To Cover Same-Sex Spouses?

You already know that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibited recognition of same-sex marriages, was declared unconstitutional. United States v. Windsor, 133 S.Ct. 2675 (2013)....more

IRS Issues Guidance on Plan Amendments for Same-Sex Marriage

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued additional guidance on amendments to qualified retirement plans required by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor, in which the Court held certain...more

Monthly Benefits Update

As expected, the Department of the Treasury and the IRS (the “Agencies”) finalized the employer information reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) earlier this month. The final rules, which are...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - February 2014

The employee benefits issues to be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court continue to be of great significance to plan sponsors and fiduciaries. This month we review the Court's employee benefit decisions from 2013 and also...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - January 2014

This month we look at part three of our three part series on Class Actions. In part three, Robert Rachal and M. Todd Mobley address the role of experts in class certification post Wal-Mart and Comcast and how to use and...more

Improve Compliance Of Retirement And Group Health Plans In 2014

Retirement plan fiduciaries should consider the following best practices to improve their plan’s governance in 2014: (i) if fiduciary duties have been delegated, make certain that the delegations are in writing and are being...more

Year-End Health and Retirement Plan Guidance Grab Bag

Following Hawaii’s enactment of legislation recognizing same-sex marriage as of and after December 2, 2013 a number of additional pieces of guidance were also issued. Internal Revenue Service’s Frequently Asked Questions...more

IRS Publishes Post-Windsor Guidance in Notice 2014-1

A significant amount of confusion remains for employee benefit plan sponsors regarding the impact of the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor and its holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act...more

New Guidance Issued On Same-Sex Marriage Impact On Benefit Plans

The Internal Revenue Service ("IRS"), the Employee Benefits Security Administration ("EBSA") and the Department of Labor ("DOL") have recently provided new guidance with respect to how lawfully married same-sex spouses will...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter; November 2013

In This Issue: - Labor and Employment and ERISA Class Actions After Wal-Mart and Comcast — Practice Points for Defendants (Part I – Commonality)* - Agencies Release Guidance on HRAs, FSAs, and Employer Payment...more

Qualified Domestic Relations Orders: Little-Known Issues Involving Dividend Pass-Through Elections And Same-Sex Spouses

As most family law practitioners are aware, ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) do not permit a participant in a retirement plan to assign or alienate his/her interest in that plan to another person. These rules are...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - October 2013

This month we return to the age-old question – "What makes someone a fiduciary?" As Nicole Eichberger explains, the Seventh Circuit reminded us that the meaning of a "functional fiduciary" depends on exercise/conduct in...more

Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act: What are the changes for employers?

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court held that Section 3 the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prevented the federal government from recognizing state-granted same-sex marriages, was unconstitutional because...more

eBenefits Alert - Post DOMA ERISA Guidance for treatment of Same Sex Marriage: Goin' to the Chapel... wherever it may be

Last week, the Department of Labor issued Technical Release 2013-04 stating its position on recognition of same-sex marriage for ERISA purposes. The IRS issued a Revenue Ruling a few weeks ago stating that for federal tax...more

Department of Labor Issues Eligibility Guidance for Same-Sex Marriage Benefits

Employers with benefit plans governed by ERISA should be aware that the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued guidance with respect to the eligibility of individuals in same-sex marriages. Spousal eligibility for...more

Monthly Benefits Update - September 2013

Health & Welfare Plans - Health Care Reform: FAQ Part XVI Addresses Insurance Exchange Notice and 90-Day Waiting Period Requirement. The Treasury, the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human...more

Windsor & DOMA: Issues for Cross-Border Employers

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in U.S. v. Windsor that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), which defined “marriage” as strictly between opposite-sex couples and “spouse” as referring only to a...more

IRS and DOL Guidance Clarifies Employee Benefits Impact of Supreme Court’s DOMA Ruling

Recent guidance issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provides some initial...more

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