On April 4, 2014, the IRS released Notice 2014-19, which provided new guidance on the application of the Windsor decision to qualified retirement plans.  Notice 2014-19 clarified that a qualified retirement plan is not required to recognize the same-sex spouse of a participant prior to June 26, 2013 (the date of the Windsor decision) or to recognize such same-sex spouse prior to September 16, 2013, if the participant resided in a state that did not recognize same-sex marriages.  A plan amendment is only required to the extent the plan’s terms are inconsistent with the Windsor decision and related guidance (for example, if the plan’s definition of “spouse” refers to the Defense of Marriage Act or applies the marriage laws of a participant’s state of domicile).  A plan amendment also is required if the plan chooses to apply the Windsor decision for some or all plan purposes prior to June 26, 2013. All such amendments should be adopted by December 31, 2014 for plans with a calendar year plan year.  Notice 2014-19 can be found here.