Wednesday, April 16, 2014
The IRS has issued guidance on the effect the Windsor decision has on marriage recognition for retirement plans. In light of Windsor striking down Section 3 of DOMA, the question arose of how retirement plan benefits that hinge on the recognition of a legal marriage should be handled.
In Notice 2014-19, qualified retirement plan administrators must amend retirement plans to recognize legal marriages of same-sex couples as of June 26, 2013. However, retroactive recognition prior to that date is not required. Recognition can be limited to couples that are domiciled in states that recognize their marriage for plans dated June 26 – Sept. 16, 2013, but all valid marriages must be recognized after Sept. 16, 2013, even if the couple is no longer domiciled in a state that recognizes the marriage.
See Alistair M. Nevius, Guidance Issued on Application of Windsor to Retirement Plans, Journal of Accountancy, Apr. 7, 2014.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.