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401(k)s must recognize same-sex spouses

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

The fallout from the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 U.S. v. Wind­­sor decision continues to affect employers. The IRS now says that 401(k) plans that define marriage and spouses in terms of heterosexuality must be amended to define those terms in a gender-neutral way.

Plans that already use gender-neutral terms need not be amended, but must afford same-sex spouses all spousal rights.

Caution: If your plan requires you to define these terms in accordance with a state law that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage (commonly called a choice-of-law provision), your plan will still need to be amended.

Find the official word from the IRS in Notice 2014-19, IRB 2014-17 and Notice 2014-37, IRB 2014-23.

Required plan amendments

401(k) plans must reflect the outcome of Windsor as of June 26, 2013, the date of the Supreme Court’s ruling. In general, you have until Dec. 31, 2014, to amend your plan.

The IRS has clarified that 401(k) or (m) saf...(register to read more)

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