On March 1, 2012, the governor of Maryland signed the Civil Marriage Protection Act of 2012 into law, thus making same-sex marriage legal in Maryland. The law, which will take effect January 1, 2013, makes Maryland the eighth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Employers with employees in Maryland should review their benefit plan documents to ensure that they will operate in compliance with the new Maryland law beginning in 2013. House Bill 438 can be accessed here.
A company?ÇÖs pension plan provided that all salaried employees who met service requirements were eligible for benefits under the plan after reaching age 65. Although the former employee was employed with the company for 20 years and had reached age 65, the plan denied the claim for benefits because the plan?ÇÖs records did not show the former employee was entitled to benefits and the plan had controls in place to ensure the accuracy and reliability of its records. The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit found the plan administrator?ÇÖs decision was not arbitrary or capricious or an abuse of discretion because the former employee?ÇÖs claim was largely based on speculation and hearsay, there was a lack of evidence as to the former employee?ÇÖs eligibility under the plan, the plan made a demonstrated effort to research the claim, and the plan had plausible explanations for the former employee?ÇÖs ineligibility, including… Continue Reading