IRS ‘Windsor' Retroactivity Guidance Leaves Questions on ERISA Claims

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Issues surrounding the retroactive application of Windsor to claims for benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act remain unresolved in the wake of new Internal Revenue Service guidance.
Notice 2014-19, issued April 4, said there is no retroactive application for tax qualification purposes prior to the U.S. Supreme Court's June 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor (66 DTR G-9, 4/7/14).
Plan sponsors are left to interpret the terms of their plan as required under ERISA Section 502(a) for claims that occurred prior to the Supreme Court decision to determine who is eligible for benefits, Robert Newman, a partner with Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, told Bloomberg BNA April 8.