The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries wrote to the IRS this week to object to certain paperwork requirements arising from the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a key portion of the Defense of Marriage Act.
ASPPA said in its letter that retirement plan documents should not have to be amended to include a definition of “spouse.” Many retirement plan documents don’t use gender-specific language when speaking about a spouse, but some do. In those cases, ASPPA recommends that interim amendments to plan documents not be required before the end of the plan’s next remedial amendment cycle.
The organization, which represents 16,000 retirement plan professionals who provide consulting and administrative services for qualified retirement plans covering millions of American workers, also recommended that plan distributions under pre-Windsor decision rules should be deemed compliant with the IRS code and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
ASPPA also said that regardless of whether a plan amendment is required to comply with the Windsor decision, liabilities arising from the decision should be treated as liabilities resulting from a plan amendment or plan loss when such amendment is actually adopted or legally required to be adopted.
The organization also believes plan administrators should not be required to notify participants and their spouses of the changes to the rules resulting from the Windsor decision. Instead, it believes the IRS should use educational outreach to participants and their same-gender spouses to explain the Windsor decision and its impact, and that plan administrators should be required to modify forms where there is any gender-specific spousal reference on a going-forward basis.