Notice 2014-1 - Q&As on application of “Windsor” (same-sex marriage decision) to cafeteria plans, FSAs, HSAs 

December 16:  The IRS today released an advance copy of Notice 2014-1 that provides a series of questions and answers (Q&As) concerning application of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor concerning same-sex marriage to the rules relating to cafeteria plans (including health and dependent care flexible spending arrangements (FSAs)) and the rules relating to health savings accounts (HSAs).

The Q&As contained in Notice 2014-1 [PDF 48 KB] amplify previous IRS guidance of Rev. Rul. 2013-17 by extending the relief available to employees who have purchased health coverage for a same-sex spouse by permitting a mid-year cafeteria plan election change.

Written amendments

Notice 2014-1 states that a cafeteria plan containing written terms permitting a change in election upon a change in legal marital status generally is not required to be amended to permit a change in status election with regard to a same-sex spouse in connection with the Windsor decision.


However, to the extent that the cafeteria plan sponsor chooses to permit election changes that were not previously provided for in the written plan document, the cafeteria plan must be amended to permit such election changes on or before the last day of the first plan year beginning on or after December 16, 2013. Such an amendment may be effective retroactively to the first day of the plan year including December 16, 2013, provided that the cafeteria plan operates in accordance with the guidance under Notice 2014-1.




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