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Same-Sex Marriages and Windsor: IRS Issues Notice on Retirement Plan Amendments and Retroactivity

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.

On April 5, 2014, the IRS issued Notice 2014-19 containing rules on plan amendments and retroactive application of the Supreme Court’s United States v. Windsor decision to retirement plans and their treatment of marriages of same-sex couples.

There are two parts to Notice 2014-19. The first part describes how qualified retirement plans should treat the marriages of same-sex couples following Windsor. The Windsor decision, which the Court issued on June 26, 2013, struck down as unconstitutional section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which precluded married same-sex couples from being treated as married under federal law. The second part of the guidance is in a question-and-answer format that addresses targeted plan operation and amendment issues.

For more details on the practical implications of these rules for your organization, read the full article, “Filling in the Retirement Plan Gaps for Same-Sex Couples—What It Means for Your Retirement Plan.”

David S. Rosner is of counsel in the Washington D.C. office of Ogletree Deakins.

April 11, 2014 | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , .