US v Windsor Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

Federal Judge Strikes Down Pennsylvania Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Earlier today, Harrisburg-based Federal District Court Judge John E. Jones, III, struck down Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage. In this landmark ruling, Jones concluded that "same-sex couples who seek to marry in...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

Welfare Benefit Plan Might Not Be Required To Cover Same Sex Spouses

Much has been written about the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision last term declaring unconstitutional the provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that required federal law not to recognize same sex marriages....more

A Snake in the Grass No More? DOL Proposes New COBRA Forms

As part of its continuing efforts to update the sleepier corners of the employee benefits world to conform to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently proposed new...more

Employee Benefits Developments - April 2014

Supreme Court Holds Severance Payments Are Subject to FICA Taxes - Reversing a decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that severance payments to employees who were...more

Is It Time To Review, Retest, Or Amend Your Employee Benefit Plans? IRS Provides Same Sex Marriage Guidance For Retirement Plan...

On June 26, 2013, when the Supreme Court determined that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional, the tax and benefit plan implications were unclear. Later, in Revenue Ruling 2013-17, the...more

Do Your Qualified Retirement Plans Recognize Same-Sex Spouses as of June 26, 2013?

The IRS has published Notice 2014-19 and related FAQs regarding the application of the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor and Rev. Ruling 2013-17 to qualified retirement plans. All retirement plans should be...more

Filling In The Retirement Plan Gaps For Same-Sex Couples—What It Means For Your Retirement Plan

Employers and participants alike have been anxiously waiting for further guidance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on how marriages of same-sex couples will be treated for purposes of qualified retirement plans....more

Hot Employment Topics For 2014 Part II: After The Defense Of Marriage Act? Implications For Employee Benefits

This is the second of a seven-part series describing "Hot Employment Topics for 2014." Part II focuses upon "The Aftermath of the Demise of the Defense of Marriage Act." The United States Supreme Court in 2013 struck...more

2013 Employment Law Growing Pains

Every year there are developments in employment law that challenge accepted norms of practice and require creative workable solutions. In particular 2013 had several areas that caused some of these “growing pains,” including...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

State prohibition on same-sex marriages found unconstitutional

The last several months have witnessed a flurry of court activity regarding same-sex marriage laws. On Tuesday, January 14, Oklahoma joined that activity with an order and opinion issued by Tulsa’s federal court....more

Same-Gender Marriage Implications for Employee Benefit Plans

In the summer of 2013, the Supreme Court issued a decision in U.S. v. Windsor, striking down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and eliminating the requirement that federal law recognize only marriages...more

Monthly Benefits Update - December 2013

The following are the most significant employee benefits-related legal developments that occurred in December of 2013. At the beginning of 2013, after considering feedback from our clients and contacts who work in the...more

2013 Revisited: It Was an Interesting Year for Health Care, but not for the Reasons You Would Expect

The coming year was supposed to be the year when two of health care reform’s most critical provisions, the employer and individual mandates, took effect. But employers who were busily preparing for the January 1, 2014,...more

More IRS Guidance on Cafeteria Plan, FSA, DCAP and HSA Administration Post-Windsor

In Notice 2014-1, the IRS has provided additional guidance for cafeteria plans (including health and dependent care flexible spending accounts) and Health Savings Accounts on compliance with the changes to treatment of...more

IRS Releases Q&A on Elections and Reimbursements in Cafeteria Plans Post-DOMA

On December 16, the IRS released Notice 2014-1, providing additional guidance on administration of employee benefit plans in light of the Supreme Court’s June 26, 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor. Windsor invalidated...more

Latest Post-Windsor Guidance from IRS Addresses Issues for Cafeteria Plans, Flexible Spending Accounts, and Health Savings...

In its latest addition to guidance concerning the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") has issued Notice 2014-1 to address certain issues relating to...more

Federal District Court (In Its Capacity As An Employer) Must Reimburse Employee for the Cost of Health Benefits for her Same-Sex...

The Ninth Circuit Judicial Council, an administrative body that reviews decisions of the court’s chief judge, recently weighed in on an issue involving same-sex domestic partner health benefits in the post-Windsor world. The...more

Update – Administering Benefits in a Post-DOMA World

Here is a brief update to our September 24, 2013 alert, which addressed the administration of employee benefits as well as federal income taxes and FMLA leave following this summer’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in United...more

Benefits Update, No. 4, November 2013: The World Post-Windsor: Rethinking Benefit And Leave Policies For Same-Sex Spouses

Following a highly-publicized U.S. Supreme Court decision and subsequent guidance from both the Labor Department (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), employers need to rethink how they treat same-sex spouses under...more

Same-Sex Marriage in Illinois

With same-sex marriages to begin in the state of Illinois next year, employers should expect an increase in requests for spousal benefit coverage from employees who have legally married their same-sex partners. The new law...more

IRS Guidance on Employment and Income Tax Refunds on Same-Sex Spouse Benefits

Employers extending benefit coverage to employees’ same-sex spouses and partners should review their payroll procedures to ensure that such coverages are properly taxed for federal income and FICA tax purposes. Employers...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

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

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