Benefits and Beyond
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Benefits and Beyond

A Comprehensive and Strategic Approach to Retirement, Health Care, and More
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Thomas E. Murphy
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Adobe DRM [Hard-DRM]

A rich and fundamental understanding of the foundations and building blocks of benefits.

Benefits and Beyond: A Comprehensive and Strategic Approach to Retirement, Health Care, and More provides readers with a variety of interdisciplinary principles and tools, including labor economics, human resources strategy, tax policy, metrics, and actuarial science. Rather than training students in the details of current benefits offerings, this text prepares students to deal with the future evolution of benefit designs and policy. Numerous cases, examples, and exercises engage readers and help them master the content.

Key Features

  • Includes a primer on actuarial concepts, which permeate benefit design and decision making

  • Provides global benefit comparisons between Europe, the United States, and the Pacific Rim and explores issues pertaining to ex-patriot assignments

  • Focuses on fundamental labor economic issues, legal issues pertaining to benefits, and life cycle events and their relationship to benefit needs

  • Covers both privately and publicly funded retirement plans as well as publicly funded retirement and health care programs

  • Helps readers understand how to align business, human resource management, and benefit strategies and how to include them in benefit principles and designs for the workplace

  • Offers a full range of benefit discussions, including retirement plans, health care, life insurance, equity benefits, disability plans, benefit administration, accommodation and convenience benefits, and the financing of private and public benefits

For additional support and updates for Benefits and Beyond, please visit the author′s Blog at Thomas E. Murphy makes weekly entries to his blog and includes Power Point Slides, end of chapter exercises, and topical discussions, which provide additional resources for teachers and students.


1. Introduction to Benefits

The Plan Sponsor′s Dilemma

Employers and the Business Strategy

Learning Objectives

Topics Covered


Business Strategy Illustration

Chapter Exercises

2. Human Resource Economics, Principles, and Actuarial Concepts Applicable to Benefits

Total Rewards

Monetary Value of Benefits

The Benefits Model

Actuarial Principles


Chapter Exercises

3. Lifecycle Events

Benefits Respond to Lifecycle Events



Employee Counseling

Childbirth and Adoption


Educational Assistance

Caring for Sick Dependents


Retiree Health Care


Separation from Employment

Death of the Employee

Time Off From Work

Cultural and Global Perspective


Chapter Exercises

4. Retirement Plans--Evolution and Design


Factors Affecting Retirement Plan Design

Financing of Retirement Plans

Fund Protection

The Benefits Model

Basic Design Features of a Defined Benefit Plan

Defined Contribution Plans

The Evolution Continues

Evolution and the Small Employer

Chapter Exercises

5. Pension Plans for Small Employers and Retirement Planning

Evolution Reaches the Small Employer and the Self-Employed

Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

The Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees of Small Employers (SIMPLE)

Simplified Employee Pension (SEP)

Money Purchase Plan

The Keogh

Contemporary Issues in Retirement

Retirement Planning--Will Your Employee Have Enough to Retire?


Chapter Exercises

6. Health Care


Parties and Interests Involved in Health Care

Employer-Sponsored Plans--Taxes, Financing, and Market Factors


Market Conditions


Evolution of Health Care Plan Design--Some Principles

The Benefits Model--Health Care

Design Features of the Major Medical or Indemnity Plan

Coordination of Benefits

Bundling and Unbundling Plans


Chapter Exercises

7. The Evolution of Health Care Plan Designs


Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)--Discounts and Volume

Point-of-Service Plan (POS) Plan--Management of Referrals

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)--More Managed Utilization and Care

Direct Contracting and Capitation

Consumer-Driven Health Care

Choices of Plans--What Should the Employer Sponsor Offer?




Insured Plans

Third-Party Administrator (TPA) Selection


Chapter Exercises

8. Improving Access to Quality Health Care--Do We Need Reform?

Underlying Problems of Cost and Affordability--Value and the Lack of Quality

Stating the Underlying Problem--High Costs of Health Care

Health Care Investment and Efficacy

Inappropriate Care and Clinical Quality Measurements

Errors Increase Costs

Our Culture, System, and Prices

Profile of the Uninsured

What Are Some Possible Solutions?

New Health Care Delivery and Financing Systems--Health Care Reform


Some Perspective on the Bureaucratic Barriers to Health Care Reform

Chapter Exercises

9. Benefit Legal Compliance: Employee Retirement Income and Security Act (ERISA), Internal Revenue Code (IRC), and the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA)


The Basic Provisions of ERISA

Tax Treatment of Retirement Plans

Nonalienation of Benefits

Freezes and Terminations

Cash Balance Plans--Legal

Phased Retirement


ERISA and IRC Enforcement

Insuring Benefits When a Plan Is Terminated


Chapter Exercises

10. Employee Benefits and Metrics

A New Perspective--Benefits Are Not Just Costs

The Metrics Template for Benefits

The Data and Metrics Toolbox--Surveys and Assessments

Toolbox--Efficiency, Costs, and Productivity

Toolbox--Data Sources for Measurement--Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS)

Sound Measurement--Validity, Reliability, and Practicality

Measuring the Financial Value of Benefit Plans--Using Capital Budgeting Analysis

Some Perspective

Design Principles

Data, Metrics, and Retirement Plans--Some Examples

Health Care and Measurement--Plan Design

Evaluating Providers and Their Clinical Outcomes--Sponsors′ Efforts


Chapter Exercises

11. Equity Benefits


Retirement Plans and Stock

Stock Purchase Plans

Stock Option Plans

Restricted Stock

Stock Appreciation Rights

Some Issues Pertaining to Equity Awards

Performance-Based Equity Awards

Does Equity Compensation Work?

Chapter Exercises

12. Government-Sponsored and Mandated Benefits

Social Security Retirement Benefit (USA)

Some Social Security Economic and Policy Issues

Perspectives on Social Security Reform

Health Care After Retirement--Medicare

Medicare--Some Important Economic and Policy Issues


Perspectives on Medicaid

Veterans′ Health Care

Mandated Benefits (COBRA, HIPAA, FMLA, USERRA)

Chapter Exercises

13. Global Benefits


Health Care in Europe

Some General Principles and Features of European Health Systems

Financing of Health Care--European Countries

Current Problems and Issues in European Countries

Some Perspectives on Costs, Long-Term Health, and Reform

China′s Health Care System

Some Conclusions--The United States and Other Countries

Social Security--Providing and Insuring Retirement Income

Some General Retirement Approaches in European and Other OECD Countries

China and Social Security Retirement Income

Chile and the Personal Account

Some Perspectives on Social Security Reform

Competitive Labor Costs and Benefits

Expatriates and Global Benefits--Taking Your Business Abroad

Conclusion and Perspective--The Global Workplace

Chapter Exercises

14. Collective Bargaining and Benefits

General Obligation to Provide New Benefits Pursuant to Collective Bargaining

What Will Happen to the Current Plans?

Must the Company Bargain Over an Entry Into a Joint Trust?

Joint Trusts--Issues and Challenges

MPPAA--What Happens if the Employer Closes His Operation and Leaves the Joint Trust?

What if the Company and the Union Cannot Agree on Benefits?

What Happens if the Contract Expires and There Is No New Agreement?

What Happens if the Contract Expires and the Employees Go on Strike?

Bargaining and Retiree Health Care

Conclusion and Perspective

Chapter Exercises

15. Life and Disability Insurance, Pay for Time Not Worked

Life Insurance

Disability Insurance

Pay for Time Not Worked--Sick Days, Vacation, and Holidays

Chapter Exercises

16. Convenience and Accommodation Benefits, Benefits Administration

Convenience and Voluntary Benefits

Making the Benefits Fit the Workplace

Concierge Benefits


Employee Assistance Plan (EAP)

Company-Sponsored Educational Benefits

Administration of Employer-Sponsored Benefits

Outsourcing Administration

Information Systems for Benefits

Plan Optimization and Communication

Chapter Exercises


About the Author