On June 26th, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in United States v. Windsor. In a 5-4 decision, the Court concluded that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional as applied to lawful marriages. This decision has an extremely widespread impact, as it affects more than 1,000 federal statutes and related regulations, rulings and guidance. Among many other things, this ruling will affect employee benefit plans, the employers maintaining them and the individuals participating in them.
The GT Alert, prepared by attorney Ian Herbert and included in the link below, provides a brief background regarding DOMA, the potential impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling on employee benefit plans, unanswered questions and steps employers should take to prepare to ensure that their plans comply with applicable law in light of the ruling.