Are you tired of all the end-of-year reminders? Tough luck, because here’s one more. We’ve previously discussed the need to amend your qualified retirement plan to comply with Windsor by recognizing legally married same-sex couples. As an avid follower of our blog, you also know that IRS Notice 2014-19 gave plan sponsors until December 31, 2014 to complete the amendment. Why would the IRS give you that much time if it didn’t expect you to procrastinate? Just like shopping for Christmas gifts, there is no more putting it off because your time is almost up. If your retirement plan’s definition of a spouse excludes legally married same-sex spouses, you only have two more weeks to get it amended. Check your plan today to give yourself enough time to complete an amendment by December 31, 2014, if necessary.
We’ve also previously mentioned that you are not required to amend your cafeteria plans, FSAs, and HSAs to provide coverage for same-sex spouses, but you should make sure that these plans’ definition of a “spouse” reflects the manner in which they are actually being administered. For example, if your cafeteria plan allows participants to make pre-tax contributions for medical coverage for all “legally married spouses,” that means something very different now than it did before Windsor, and you would need to amend your plan to continue operating as you have in the past. With the December 31, 2014 deadline approaching for your retirement plan, it’s as good a time as any to review your health and welfare plans to determine whether you should make any Windsor-related amendments for 2015.