DOL Issues Guidance on Same-Sex Marriages and Employee Benefit Plans

Yesterday, the Department of Labor issued a technical release (No. 2013-04) that provides guidance to plans, plan sponsors, fiduciaries, participants and beneficiaries on the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, which found section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined “marriage” as a legal union between one man and one woman, and defined “spouse” as a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife, unconstitutional. Among other guidance, the release states, in general, 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. The technical release can be found here:



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