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Cornell University    
 
    
 
  Jul 22, 2017
 
Courses of Study 2013-2014 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ILRHR 4675 - Employee Benefits


Spring. (Seven Weeks) 2 credits. Letter grades only.

Prerequisite: ILRHR 2600  or the equivalent, ILRHR 2670  or another course in corporate finance, accounting, or compensation is strongly recommended. Enrollment limited to: juniors and seniors.

J. Grasso.

This course is designed for juniors and seniors to provide them with a practitioner’s view of employee benefit programs so that they can begin to manage employee benefits as they start their professional careers. The course will focus on the intersection of human resources, corporate finance, and public policy with respect to many of these benefit programs. The course will include guest lecturers who are senior-level practitioners such as corporate VP’s of HR, regulators, attorneys, union officials, and health care brokers. The course begins with a broad overview of employee benefits, insurance principles, regulatory bodies (DOL, PBGC, etc.), reporting (Form 5500), and concepts and terminology. We will then focus on health care to understand how the industry is organized, the pricing and costing cycles of health care, how to evaluate and purchase group health plans, and discuss the effects and politics of reducing benefits and costs. We will review the Affordable Health Care Act as well as consumer-driven health plans and wellness programs. The course will turn to retirement plans and students will gain a deep understanding of defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) programs, how firms and governments have converted from DB to DC plans, the accounting regulations (FASB) which shape these corporate decisions, and how bond rating agencies consider pensions and health care liabilities in their ratings. We will study how corporate and municipal bankruptcies are sometimes triggered by pension liabilities and the role played by unions, management, courts, and the PBGC. We will also focus on the creation of Voluntary Employee Benefit Associations (VEBA’s), Multi-Employer Welfare Associations (MEWA’s), and Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP’s). The course will end with a review of global employee benefit plans and programs. The course includes a midterm, final exam, and several short papers, and active in-class exercises.



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