Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board Revises Rules Regarding Same-Sex Couples
September 20, 2013 by Robin Maril, Senior Legislative Counsel
Today the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board published an interim rule providing that the board will look the state of celebration of a marriage to determine the marital status of Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) participants.
The TSP is a tax-deferred retirement savings plan for Federal civilian employees and members of the uniformed services. It is similar to the 401(k) savings accounts used by private-sector employees. Previously, marital status was based on the laws of the state of domicile of the participant—limiting recognition to legally married couples currently living in a recognition state for important aspects of the program, things like distribution of death benefits.
Today’s regulatory revision comes in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Windsor striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In advancing this important change, the Board cited this decision and the “detrimental” impact of the state of domicile standard on same-sex couples.
The interim rule goes into effect immediately, but the Board is also seeking public comment on the change for the next thirty days. It will review that public input before making the change final.
HRC urged the Board to make this change and applauds this revision, which will have an important impact on the retirement and benefits of federal employees. Click here to view the interim rule.
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