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Showing 3 posts in ERISA.

The Obergefell Decision and Employers

The recent United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges significantly altered the legal landscape with respect to same-sex marriages, finding that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires all states to both license in-state same-sex marriages and recognize valid same-sex marriages performed out-of-state. The Court did not, however, go so far as to reach issues such as discrimination in employment or public accommodation. So, while legal same-sex marriage is the law of the land, those newly-married couples may face legal uncertainty when it comes to discrimination in public accommodations or their place of employment, unless contravening state law applies. That said, there are still several ways that the Obergefell decision and its counterpart, United States v. Windsor, will affect employers and employees. More >

Association Group Coverage Changes

Trade Associations in Kentucky are being asked to show that they meet ERISA “bona fide association” requirements in order to continue to provide group health insurance for their members under health reform requirements effective in 2014.  Such group health insurance may be a more affordable option for some businesses as new health reform requirements begin to take effect. More >

Plan Documents Rule Ineffective to Protect ERISA Administrators Against Claims by Adverse Spouses

By now, it is abundantly clear that administrators of ERISA pension or life-insurance plans are required to pay death benefits to the spousal beneficiary identified in the employee’s plan documents even when the employee has divorced the spouse identified at the time the benefits become payable.  The so called “Plan Documents Rule” can have a harsh effect as it applies even when the former spouse has waived all interest in an employee’s ERISA plan during state court divorce proceedings.  See McMillan v. Parrott, 913 F.2d 310 (6th Cir. 1990); Kennedy v. Plan Administrator for DuPont Savings and Investment Plan, 555 U.S. 285 (2009).  The Supreme Court has rationalized strict interpretation of the Plan Documents Rule, in part, because it establishes a uniform administrative scheme and simplifies the duties incumbent upon a plan administrator in making distributions.

More >

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