Macon-Bibb commissioners must approve new federal retirement mandate on same-sex married couples
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)- Macon-Bibb County was given a new federal mandate that requires same-sex marriages to be recognized in retirement plans.
County Attorney Judd Drake presented the mandate during the Macon pensions and retirement systems division A meeting report.
“In order to comply with the federal government we have to have commissioners approve this new plan,” Drake said.
On August 30, 2013, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service decided on how same-sex married couples would be treated.
Same-sex married couples would be recognized as married for federal purposes, as long as their marriage is valid where it was created.
Meaning if a same-sex couple is married in North Carolina and lives in Georgia, there marriage will be recognized for federal tax purposes.
This is even if they live in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage.
This decision was based on the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision that striked down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Retirement plans need to provide same-sex spouses the same rights as opposite-sex spouses, including Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, Required Minimum Distribution Rights, rollovers, and unforeseeable emergency withdraws.
Also, plans should have procedures in place to obtain spousal consent from same-sex spouses where plan rules or provisions require spousal consent.
The federal government advises retirement plan sponsors in states that do not celebrate or recognize same-sex marriages to consult with their legal counsel to determine how to navigate state and federal treatment of same-sex marriages.
“This is the law of the land and we must approve this or face the consequences,” Macon-Bibb District Two Commissioner Larry Schlesinger said. “We do not have a choice.”
On November 18th the Board of Commissioners will vote on whether to approve this mandate.