The BNA Tax and Accounting Center is the only planning resource to offer expert analysis and practice tools from the world's leading tax and accounting authorities along with the rest of the tax...
By Stacey L. Stewart, Esq.
McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, Atlanta, GA
The IRS has provided much needed guidance on how to apply the requirement to recognize same-sex spouses for qualified retirement plan purposes. This requirement stems from the U.S. Supreme Court's Windsor ruling which struck down the portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that provided that only opposite sex marriages would be recognized for federal law purposes. Notice 2014-19, along with related (FAQs), now resolve confusion about retroactive application of the requirement and amendment of plans to reflect the new rules. This alert highlights the key points in the new guidance for plan sponsors.
Regardless of whether your plan needs to be amended, you should clarify administrative procedures according to a timeline that shows how your plan handled same-sex spouses before and after the Windsor ruling. The timeline should specifically address the period between June 26, 2013 (the date of the Windsor ruling) and September 16, 2013 (the effective date for the IRS recognition).
An amendment is only required if your plan defines "spouse" by reference to DOMA, otherwise specifies that a spouse is an individual of the opposite-sex, or contains provisions that are inconsistent with the Windsor ruling. However, to avoid confusion and document your compliance with the rules, you may want to amend your plan to set forth how you have and will apply the same-sex spouse rules in accordance with the above timeline.
Your deadline to adopt any required amendment is December 31, 2014, for most single-employer plans other than 403(b) plans. The deadline for 403(b) plans is unknown, but will likely not be before the end of 2015.
For more information, in the Tax Management Portfolios, see Finston and Jewett, 351 T.M., Plan Qualification - Pension and Profit Sharing Plans, Bosley and Hutzelman, 370 T.M., Qualified Plans - Taxation and Distributions, and in Tax Practice Series, see ¶5540, Obtaining IRS Approval for Qualified Plans, ¶5520, Plan Qualification Requirements.
© 2014 McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)