News & Analysis as of

Developments Impacting Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses

As federal and state agencies and courts further examine the implications of the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling on same-sex marriage in U.S. v. Windsor, the laws and regulations governing employee benefits for...more

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

The Federal Court for the Southern District of New York Rules that Employers with Self-Insured Health Plans Need Not Offer Medical...

The issue of same-sex spousal rights is now largely resolved for qualified retirement plans. However, substantial questions about same-sex spouse health benefits remain unanswered. In Roe v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield,...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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Still Tied Up In Knots - IRS and DOL Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage Following Supreme Court’s Windsor Decision

As we previously reported, in United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013), the U.S. Supreme Court held section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional. Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act provides...more

IRS, DOL and EBSA Issue Post-DOMA Guidance Regarding Treatment of Same-Sex Spouses

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

U.S. Department of Labor Follows IRS Ruling on Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) yesterday announced that same-sex couples legally married in a jurisdiction that recognizes their marriage will be treated as married for purposes of the Employee Retirement Income Security...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - September 2013

Editor's Overview - Health care issues make the headlines once again in this month's ERISA Litigation Newsletter. Tzvia Feiertag first provides practical and timely tips for insured ERISA health plan sponsors on...more

DOMA Stricken Down: What Does This Mean For Texas Employers?

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in the case of Windsor v. United States holding the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) unconstitutional. This decision will have implications for...more

Treasury and IRS Issue Initial Guidance in Response to DOMA Decision

What you need to know: In response to the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor that restricting the federal definition of marriage to heterosexual marriage is unconstitutional, the Department of the...more

IRS Provides Much Needed Clarification for Employee Benefit Plans After U.S. Supreme Court Case Strikes Down Defense of Marriage...

On August 29, 2013, IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17 which clarified that for federal income tax purposes, the marital status of a same-sex couple is based on the state law or foreign law (e.g. Canada) where the marriage was...more

Important IRS Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage

Earlier this summer we sent you an Alert concerning the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic ruling (United States v. Windsor) regarding same-sex marriage. This decision declared, as unconstitutional, Section 3 of the federal...more

The Post-DOMA World Relating to ERISA-Governed Employee Benefit Plans

As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013), in which the Court held that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) was unconstitutional, same-sex...more

First Post-Windsor ERISA Decision

In the first reported ERISA decision post-Windsor, the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held (in Cozen O’Connor, P.C. v. Jennifer Tobits) that a same-sex spouse is to be treated as the decedent’s...more

Post-Windsor Treatment Of Same-Sex Spouses Under Qualified Retirement Plans

The United States Supreme Court significantly changed the treatment of same-sex spouses under qualified retirement plans in United States v. Windsor. ...more

The Supreme Court’s DOMA Decision: What Does it Mean for Employee Benefit Plans?

On June 26, 2013, in U.S. v. Windsor, the United States Supreme Court struck down the portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) that defined marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. This decision will...more

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