PENSIONS & EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3N321340
Module Leader Patrick Ring
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Finance and Accounting
Trimester
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Personal Finance and Investment or equivalent

Summary of Content

This module builds on the financial knowledge obtained in level 2. The aim is to provide a thorough understanding of the various employee benefits which can be provided by an employer for employees. It also enables students to critically assess the background and development of both the State and private pensions sector. Students will analyse in detail the different generic types of pension schemes available both to individuals and to employers and demonstrate an appreciation of their appropriate uses. Students will develop an awareness of significant developments in employee benefit provision such as how divorce affects pension rights and the requirements related to pension funding to be included in company accounts and financial statement. Principles and practice will be related to case study examples. The module provides an understanding of the significance of the political,economic and social environment factors which provide the context for pensions and benefits planning

Syllabus

Background to pensions. Demographics. Introduction to retirement planning - funding, assets, tax and risk. State pensions. Overview of private sector pensions. Occupational pensions - types of schemes. Contracting out. Personal pensions, annuities, stakeholder pensions, personal accounts. Limits and allowances - HMRC requirements Self investment. Asset allocation. Other investment issues Pensions and divorce. Pensions and accounts. Topping up pensions - methods. Other forms of pension provision. Leavers and transfers. Transfer values Employee benefits - total remuneration package. Flex schemes. Employee benefits - share schemes Current issues in pensions and employee benefits. Practical examples and revision.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:Appreciate the background and development of pensions and the implications of demographic trends.Have a broad understanding of the role of the State, individuals and companies in pension provision coupled with the economic, regulatory and tax environment.Understand the operation of pensions regulatory regimes and compliance regulations.Calculate maximum pension benefit limits in various circumstancesUnderstand the implications of funding and investment and risk in relation to pensions and long term savingsDifferentiate between the different types of schemes and other long term savings products provided by the financial services industry.Understand the company accounting and financial statement implications in relation to pensions funding Understand the main features of other types of employee benefits including tax situation and appropriate uses.Appreciate the implications of current issues in pensions and employee benefit provision.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The learning outcomes are based upon delivery of a set of lectures providing students with essential concepts and discussion points. The seminars provide the opportunity to supplement the core material by analyzing and discussing particular issues. Blackboard will be utilised to provide regular formative assessment exercises. A discussion and bulletin board will also be provided. A practical dimension is added through analysis of actual pension scheme, calculations and case study scenarios and presentations by guest speakers from the pensions industry. The following assessment and feedback strategies will be adopted by this module : A Facilitating the development of self assessment By making use of on-line resources students will have the opportunity to test themselves throughout the semester and reflect on their performance and learning to date. B Encouraging dialogue Seminars are designed to facilitate students entering into dialogue with their peers. One to one dialogue between tutor and student will also take place during the seminar. Items will be posted on Blackboard with a view to generating discussion. C Clarifying good performance Past exam papers are included in the module handbook and are also available on Blackboard with specimen solutions. A selection will be covered at tutorials and discussion will ensure that students are clear about the quality of answers. D Providing opportunities to close gap between current and desired performance. In providing feedback the tutor will suggest techniques / action points for the students to follow to enable them to improve their performance. Generic feedback will be available on Blackboard and students will be encouraged to identify own needs and action points to improve performance E Delivering high quality information about learning Feedback will be provided soon after submission and identify strengths and weaknesses. Corrective advice will be given where appropriate. Blackboard will be utilised to provide feedback on formative and summative assessments F Encouraging positive motivational beliefs and self esteem. All feedback will be constructive and clear. It will identify strengths in performance. G Providing information to teachers that can be used to help shape the teaching Through Blackboard students will be invited to pose questions on a "can we help" section. Also student swill be asked to specifically identify beneficial and challenging aspects of the module.

Indicative Reading

CORE TEXT Wicks D. 2011 C4 ( CII) Retirement Planning. BPP publishing OTHERS : Indicative reading will be contained in the Module Handbook each year dependent on development of issues and legislation. Journals / Periodicals Employee Rewards and Benefits, Pensions Management, Pensions World, Professional Pensions, Money Management, Financial Adviser. Internet sites National Association of Pension Funds, napf.co.uk Department for Work and Pensions, dwp.gov.uk Government Actuary's Department, gad.gov.uk Pensions Commission, pensionscommission.org.uk Financial Services Authority, fsa.com The Chartered Insurance Institute, cii.co.uk

Transferrable Skills

The students will develop effective problem solving skills. Through the application of theory to practical examples and the presentation of this information they will develop their oral and written communication skills. Numeracy skills: reflected in calculation elements in seminars, class test and exam. Learning skills: reflected in use of library and internet activities to support student centered learning. Communication skills: reflected in seminars, group discussion and team presentations. C&IT skills: reflected in preparation for class test and students own student centered learning on Blackboard. Self management skills: reflected in preparation for class test, seminars and examination.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 147.00
Seminars (FT) 11.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 3.00 60.00 35% Written Unseen Exam
Coursework 1 n/a 10.00 35% Class participation.
Exam (School) 2.00 30.00 35% Class Test