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Thursday, June 27, 2013

DOMA ruling complicates benefits administration - Articles - Employee Benefit News

The Supreme Court’s decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act is being hailed as a huge victory for same-sex couples, but the ruling makes benefits administration for employers even more complicated than before.
“It’s not even crystal clear that anybody knows what the right legal answer is with respect to those people living in the 38 states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage,” says Todd Solomon, a partner in the employee benefits practice of McDermott, Will & Emery, and author of Domestic Partner Benefits: An Employer’s Guide. “It’s really easy in the other 12 states [that do recognize same-sex marriage] — that’s what we know — but we’ve got a huge, open $64,000 question with respect to the rest of the people. And that’s a big problem for employers. I think they’re going to be very puzzled and they’re going to want guidance from the IRS.”The court decision notes there are over 1,000 federal laws containing provisions specifically applicable to spouses that will be affected by its ruling. At this point, the ruling makes it harder for multistate employers to administer benefits, believes Leslye Laderman, a principal in the Knowledge Resource Center with Buck Consultants. Read More...DOMA ruling complicates benefits administration - Articles - Employee Benefit News


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