382736: Retirement Plans and Other Employee Benefits
- Fall 2021
- Section 1
- 4 Credits
- 09/20/2021 to 12/05/2021
- Modified 09/16/2021
This course is to be completed through asynchronous online delivery which means that students may log in and complete assignments at their pace so long as all work is completed by the due dates indicated. Students are also expected to log in frequently to stay current on course announcements regardless of their own progress in assignments.
The course will become "live" on 9/20 and materials relevant to each week will become available at the beginning of each week.
A survey of the various plans available to provide retirement and other investment-oriented employment benefits to employees, significant planning opportunities for tax deferral and capital accumulation, and the advantages and disadvantages of various alternatives. Topics include stock options, non-qualified deferred compensation plans, Section 125 cafeteria plans, and other nonpension-related benefits. The course emphasizes qualified corporate retirement plans, including pension and profit-sharing plans; non-corporate retirement programs, such as Keogh plans, IRAs, and Simplified Employee Pension plans; fiduciary responsibility requirements in connection with retirement plans; and taxation and timing of benefits. Recent legislation is examined.
The primary purpose of this course is for the student to learn and fully understand the nature and function of retirement plans.
The course should enable the student to explain the various types of plans available, the differences between these plans, the related fiduciary responsibilities as well as the timing and taxation of the benefits.
Students should ultimately be able to contextualize their understanding of any given retirement plan or retirement planning as a subject within the overall financial planning process once additional financial planning courses have been completed.
Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:
- Describe the various provisions of pension plans, profit sharing, 401k plans, SEP SIMPLE plans and IRA's.
- Explain the tax advantages and limitations of all retirement planning vehicles.
- Advise clients about their prospective retirement income needs and resources and help them develop plans for adequate retirement income.
- Advise clients about the types of retirement plans they can and can't enter into.
- Summarize IRS rules on implementation, administration and distribution of retirement benefits.
- Describe the differences and tax consequences between plans qualified for tax advantages with the IRS and non-qualified plans of deferred compensation.
- Explain the differences and tax implications of qualified and non-qualified stock option plans, Pension and Other Benefit Plans.
- Identify the characteristics and tax implications on the role of life insurance in retirement plans.
- Summarize other group benefit plans and Social Security.
- Use these skills to properly balance retirement considerations within overall planning objectives.
The 16th edition of the text is now out. Please make sure you are receiving the current edition.
Retirement and Employee Benefits for Financial Planners
- Author: Michael Dalton
- Publisher: Money Education
- Edition: 17th
- ISBN: 978-1-946711-49-6
Note the publisher Money Education has a digital version of this text as well https://www.money-education.com/texts/retirement-planning
In order to successfully complete the course you will need the edition mentioned above which can be purchased at the UCLA Bookstore or online from the publisher. It is important to note that there are additional alternative options for purchasing your college textbooks other than the UCLA Bookstore.
These options include: the publisher at https://www.money-education.com/store, Amazon, other websites, and other bookstores.
To ensure that you are purchasing the right textbook, remember to always include the exact ISBN number, as well as the correct edition for the textbooks you are ordering.
Course grades will be based on quizzes, participation and tests as follows:
10% Client Topic-Write Ups
20% Exam 1
20% Exam 2
Additional Extra Credit may be given at the discretion of the instructor when and if additional optional work is offered related to topical issues on the subject. (A proposed change in law affecting the material, the experience of a well known public figure, etc.)
Letter grades will be assigned as follows:
A 100% to 97.0% (Since both A and A+ have the same GPA effect at UCLA Extension, an A will be the highest grade for the class.)
A <97.0% to 93.0%
A- <93.0% to 90.0%
B+ <90.0% to 87.0%
B <87.0% to 83.0%
B- <83.0% to 80.0%
C+ <80.0% to 77.0%
C <77.0% to 73.0%
C- <73.0% to 70.0%
Those who plan to take the CFP Exam should hold themselves to the highest expectations since passing the test will require mastery of this as well as the other topics coupled with an ability to balance the considerations for all issues within the context of the financial planning process.
The Course implies Professionalism
The CFP Exam and the Financial Planning profession are challenging and require competence and skill development which are the results of real effort over the course of the program. You are entering (or advancing within) a profession that can significantly alter someone's life in a positive or negative way. Please treat the material with an understanding of the material effect it may potentially have on those with whom you interact. Students are advancing colleagues of mine within an industry. The good news is that anyone willing to do the work can succeed in this field. The bad news is that traits more commonly accepted in other areas of your academic or professional life (late work completion or lack of attention to detail, for example) are extreme red flags in this industry.
Late/Incomplete Work and Grading
Please note that all course grades are final. When the class ends the grades will be weighted according to the table above. Work that has not been submitted will receive a grade of 0 although partial credit may be given for partially complete work. It's always better to submit what you have within the deadline.
Late work submitted within the overall course deadline will be accepted at one letter grade reduction. Exceptions are possible only if requested prior to the deadline.
Please note, I do not give out homework answers. If you would like to know why you got a question wrong then you need to do the following. As soon as you get the results from your homework and notice that you got a question wrong you need to IRAC question. (This is a format involving Issue, Rule, Analysis and Conclusion, a common format for answer presentation that helps to ensure a complete response.) Please then send your answer to my “Inbox”. At this point I still will not give you the answer but will only comment or ask you questions regarding your work. It is important that you continue the process and answer any questions I may ask.
CFP Board Exam Implications
A tip for eventual CFP exam takers: The key to my exams and the CFP exam is to answer as many questions as you can and then re-do all of those questions a second time. After that just keep doing the ones you keep missing. Make sure you write out why you got the questions wrong as you are doing them and review that information as much as possible.
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All Grades are Final
No change of grade may be made by anyone other than the instructor, and then, only to correct clerical errors. No term grade except Incomplete may be revised by re-examination. The correction of a clerical error may be authorized only by the instructor of record communicating directly with personnel of Student and Alumni Services.
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Protecting Privacy and Data During Live Instruction
Live meeting sessions for this class, when applicable, are being conducted over Zoom. As the host, the instructor may be recording live sessions. Only the host has the ability to record meetings, no recording by other means is permitted. Recorded sessions will be posted in the Videos area of this class unless otherwise notified. Due to privacy, recordings are not available for download and are only accessible via Canvas for the duration of the class. If you have privacy concerns and do not wish to appear in the recording, do not turn on your video and/or audio. If you also prefer to use a pseudonym instead of your name, please let the instructor know what name you will be using so that the instructor knows who you are during the session. To rename yourself during a Zoom meeting, click on Participants, click on your name, click on More, click on Rename. If you would like to ask a question, you may do so privately through the Zoom chat by addressing your chat question to the instructor only (and not to ""everyone""). Additionally, chat may be used and moderated for live questions, and saving of chats is enabled. If you have questions or concerns about this, please contact the instructor via Canvas Inbox.
Pursuant to the terms of the agreement between Zoom and UCLA Extension, the data is used solely for this purpose and Zoom is prohibited from re-disclosing this information. UCLA Extension also does not use the data for any other purpose. Recordings will be deleted when no longer necessary. However, recordings may become part of an administrative disciplinary record if misconduct occurs during a video conference.
Course and Instructor Evaluation
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About Your Online Course Materials
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Weekly Schedule UCLA - Retirement Plans and Other Employee Benefits, Summer 2019
Week 1 - 9/20/2021
||Intro to Retirement Planning||
1. Read Chapters 1 and 2
2. Discussion - Please introduce yourself to your classmates and respond to other in the class. Please post your initial intro by 9/24.
3 Assignment 1, Professional Goals. Please complete the course survey including basic questions about your professional goals for the class and current credentials. Complete no later than 9/26.
Week 2 - 9/27/2021
||Qualified Plan Overview||
1. Read Chapter 3- Qualified Plan Overview
2. Read Chapter 3 Appendix- Special Topics of Qualified Plans
3. Assignment 1 - In this Week’s Module open the “Chapter 3 Assignment” Content Page. Upload your written work matching a retirement plan type with a client profile. Due by end of class week.
Week 3 - 10/4/2021
||Qualified Pension Plans||
1. Read Chapter 4 – Qualified Pension Plans
2. Read Chapter 5 – Profit Sharing Plans
3. Discussion – Understanding Profit Sharing. (Chapter 5), Post initially by the 8th.
4. Assignment - From the chapter 4 and 5 multiple choice or discussion questions, choose any five to answer, providing a full narrative explanation rather than an answer alone.
Submit your work by the last day of the class week.
Week 4 - 10/11/2021
||Review and Exam||
1. Review Chapters 2 – 5 in preparation of Exam 1.
2. Complete Exam 1 Chapters 2-5
Week 5 - 10/18/2021
||Stock Bonus Plans||
1. Read Chapter 6 – Stock Bonus Plans and Employee Stock Ownership Plans
2. Read Chapter 7 – Distributions from Qualified Plans
3. Watch 60 Minutes Segment on ESOP Plans
4. Assignment 1 - In this Week’s end of chapter questions, answer the homework questions from chapter 6, 7 or a combination (at least 5 as instructed in the assignment) and then post them into the assignment for the week.
Week 6 - 10/25/2021
||Installation, Administration and Termination of Qualified Plans||
1. Read Chapter 8 – Installation, Administration & Termination of Qualified Plans
2. Read Chapter 9 – IRAs and SEPs
3. Assignment 1 - In this Week’s text find the end of chapter questions for chapters 8 and 9. Answer five of the questions of your choice, providing a narrative explanation for each, then post to the assignment page.
Week 7 - 11/1/2021
||SIMPLE, 403b and 457 Plans||
1. Read Chapter 10 – SIMPLE, 403(B), and 457 Plans
2. Discussion area-Participate in discussion area regarding weekly topic.
3. Assignment - Choose five questions from the end of chapter questions for chapter 10 and provide an answer with an explanation in narrative form. If you have personal or professional experience with any of the plans mentioned, feel free to substitute a brief summary of this experience for one of the questions. (Optional.)
||Review and Exam||
1. Review Chapters 6 – 10 in preparation for Exam 2.
2. Complete Exam 2 Chapters 6 – 10
Week 9 - 11/15/2021
1. Read Chapter 11 – Social Security
2. Read Chapter 12 – Deferred Compensation & Non-Qualified Plans
3. Discussion - Discuss the differences between the Social Security Reduction, Penalty and Tax with your class mates. Please submit initial post by 5/26.
4. Written Assignment - Submit your paper regarding a Social Security Claiming Strategy that would fit a specific situation. Due by last day of week.
Week 10 - 11/22/2021
||Fringe and Group Benefits||
1. Read Chapter 13 – Employee Benefits: Fringe Benefits
2. Read Chapter 14 – Employee Benefits: Group Benefits
3. Assignment 1 - In this Week’s Module open assignment page. Answer the homework questions and then post them into the Weekly Assignment Page. Please note that this week also has an optional alternate assignment.
4. Participate in discussion area related to group and fringe benefits.
Week 11 - 11/29/2021
1. Review Chapters 2 – 14 in preparation for the Final Exam.
2. Complete the Final Written Exam or the Alternate Assignment Provided in the Weekly Module.
Note this is not a FULL seven-day week. 11/29 is the last day of class. Work should begin at least in the prior week in order to facilitate on-time submission.