Course Description

Employee Benefits/Pension Rights - LAW879
2 Credits

The ERISA and Pension Rights Seminar introduces fundamental concepts essential to a basic understanding of the pension benefits field. The course reviews relevant provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA together with related regulations, administrative rulings and court cases. Initial class sessions and readings provide a basic introduction to the legal concepts and complicated technical requirements applicable to tax-qualified retirement plans and review alternative types of retirement plans and demographic, economic and practice considerations related to plan selection and administration. The course then branches out to explore the interaction of pension rules and concepts with other areas of law such as fiduciary principles, corporate law (e.g., mergers, acquisitions and divestitures), labor management relations, securities laws, employment discrimination laws (Title VII, ADEA, ADA, FMLA, etc.), bankruptcy laws, debtor-creditor rights and domestic relations laws. The course examines legislative regulatory and case law developments in the context of contemporary legal and policy considerations, including the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and the present economic downturn. This course is particularly appropriate for students interested in a labor, employment, or health-care practice, as well as those students interested in corporate, tax or a transactional practice. (No prerequisite.)