Infographic: Most employers unclear on how to react to DOMA ruling - Towers Watsonson


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This infographic illustrates results from a recent survey of 285 plan sponsors that seeks to determine how employers are responding to the landmark decisions regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and gauge any actions they may take regarding their employee benefit plans.

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Infographic: Most employers unclear on how to react to DOMA ruling - Towers Watsonson

  1. 1. Most Employers Unclear on How to React to DOMA Ruling NH VT WA MT WI WY IA CO KS IN MO OK NM AR RI NJ OH WV KY CA AZ MA CT PA IL UT NY MI NE NV ME MN SD ID OR ND TN VA NC DE MD Washington, DC SC MS AL GA TX LA AK Map as of October 1, 2013 Adapted from FL HI Same-sex couples may marry Recognizes out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples Comprehensive domestic partnerships or civil unions, granting rights substantially similar to marriage Partial relationship recognition, grants only some of the same rights as marriage No substantial state-level recognition The IRS has provided guidance regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling in June that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) provision defining marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman is unconstitutional. The IRS will recognize legal same-sex marriages for all federal tax purposes, regardless of whether the couple lives in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage.  In response to the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision, 39% of employers in our recent survey of 286 plan sponsors plan to make changes to their employee benefit programs. 25% plan to increase the number of benefit-related communications. Yet, as open enrollment season nears for next year’s benefits, many companies still haven’t determined exactly what the plan changes will be. Treatment of civil unions and domestic partners in question Separately, 75% 23% 19% of respondents currently provide benefits to civil unions and domestic partners. of those employers are not sure if they will discontinue such benefits in states that recognize same-sex marriages. of all respondents expect to provide benefits to same-sex spouses only, and not domestic partners or civil unions. Most employers unsure if — or how — they will help couples. 3% Only will require a different proof of marriage for same-sex couples. 29% will allow same- 24% have not decided. sex couples to change benefit status from civil unions or domestic partners to married partway through the year, and will consider them married for the rest of 2013. 24% will not provide 51% haven’t decided. any assistance in cases where an employee might be able to apply for a tax refund for prior years’ federal income taxes. (The ruling extends permission back to 2010.) 71% have not decided. But they plan to communicate about the ruling’s impact on employees and benefit plans. 75% of employers plan to communicate to all employees about DOMA rulings. 44% plan to communicate at open enrollment. Want to learn more? Contact your local Towers Watson consultant.