Employers Must Amend Qualified Retirement Plans by Dec. 31 to Comply With DOMA Ruling


Effective June 26, 2013, all qualified retirement plans must be reviewed to ensure they are in compliance with the ruling under the casein United States v. Windsor. In Windsor, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), requiring qualified benefit plans to include same-sex spouses under the definition of “marriage” and “spouse” in the plan.

Many plans defined “marriage” as “between a male and female.” In fact, while the ruling was pending, the Internal Revenue Service was required that some retirement plans under review be revised to state that a marriage is between one man and one woman.

Dec. 31, 2014, is the general deadline to make sure that qualified plans are amended to comply with the holding in Windsor. Because plans should be reviewed for compliance, this would be a good time to conduct an annual review to ensure your plans are in compliance with all recent legislation.