Labor Department Issues Guidance on Same-Sex Marriages & Employee Benefit Plans

September 23, 2013
On Sept. 18, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued new guidance on employee benefit plans as they relate to same-sex marriages.  The guidance is in response to a June 2013 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In general, the guidance explains that the terms “spouse” and “marriage” in Title I of ERISA and in related department regulations should be read to include same-sex couples legally married in any state or foreign jurisdiction that recognizes such marriages, regardless of where they currently live.  EBSA plans to issue additional guidance in the coming months. For more information on the case and its impact on employers, click here.
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