EMP401 - Principles of Group Benefits 1

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 13:30:21.351
Last review date 2018-07-20 13:30:38.913

Subject Title
Principles of Group Benefits 1

Subject Description
This subject is a comprehensive overview of the concepts and principles to be considered in the design, development, delivery and on-going management of life, health and other group benefits provided by employers. Among the topics covered are the basic concepts of risk and risk management, fundamental principles of group insurance, general design considerations and techniques, mathematics of insurance, underwriting and funding methods, marketing and distribution processes, plan administration, communication and ethical business behavior.

Credit Status
One full credit.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Describe basic risk and insurance principles and techniques that are the foundation for understanding benefit plan management.

2. Identify the broad spectrum of activities required for plan design, funding and administration.

3. Analyse and demonstrate the plan sponsor responsibilities in who and how plan decisions are made, legislative requirements that may apply and vary by type of plan sponsor and other factors.

4. Examine and analyse the concepts and techniques involved in meeting human resource requirements through planning.

5. Describe and demonstrate how an employer determines its benefit objectives as part of its total rewards philosophy/strategy.

6. Describe the type and level of benefits to be provided, whether employees have choices and who pays the premiums.

7. Define and assess the funding decisions tied to the financial risk and liability associated with the benefit plans to be provided.

8. Examine the requirements of on-going plan administration and communication to successfully implement and manage benefit plans.

9. Discuss the fundamental principles and basic calculations that form an integral component of group insurance pricing.

10. Examine and analyse the necessity of periodic reviews of the plan design, the appropriateness and competitiveness of the funding methods and other financial arrangements and services provided.

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline

  1. Basic Risk and Insurance Concepts
  2. Employee Benefits Plan Management
  3. Benefits Plan Design
  4. Benefits Plan Design Continued
  5. Plan Funding
  6. Plan Administration
  7. Claims Processing
  8. Mathematics of Insurance: Time Value of Money
  9. Mathematics of Insurance: Probability
  10. Underwriting
  11. Underwriting Continued
  12. Plan Marketing

Mode of Instruction
A combination of teaching methods will be utilized which may include lectures, case studies, discussions, group and individual work.

Prescribed Texts
Study materials for CEBS courses are available from Books for Business in Toronto. 

  • Learning Guide, 2nd edition
  • Text: Group Benefits Plan Management (2012 edition), Advocis, Toronto Ontario.
  • Readings Update
See Study Materials for details on how to order study materials.

Enrichment Reading:
Handbook of Canadian Pension and Benefit Plans, 15th Ed.
Employee Benefits in Canada, Third Edition Revised

Reference Material

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Assignments are due on the dates specified. Should extenuating circumstances arise, please contact your instructor immediately, prior to when your assignment is due, so an appropriate course of action can be established. Late assignments may be subject to a penalty of up to 10% per week and will not generally be accepted beyond two weeks after the assignment due date.

In cases of cheating or plagiarism, the College Academic Policy will prevail. Please ensure that all assignments and reports are properly documented.

Students are referred to the following web site for the Seneca College Library MLA Style Guides, Academic Honesty Policy and Copyright guidelines:


Dates for evaluations are specified in the weekly schedule addendum to this outline. The evaluation process may include, but is not limited to, tests, exams, assignments or presentations. Any absences or missed submissions due to medical or other reasons must be supported by medical or other appropriate documentation within one (1) week of the due date. The faculty and program area must be notified immediately in the event of a missed evaluation. Upon acceptance of the documentation, the weighting of the missed deliverable will normally be applied to the final exam.

English Competency:

The ability to communicate effectively is essential for success in business. Therefore, you must demonstrate English competency in this course in both oral and written work. Ensure your written work includes correct sentence structure, spelling and punctuation. Always spell check, edit and proofread your work.

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:


Term Tests 35%
Case Studies 20%
Final Exam 45%

Please retain this course outline document for future educational and/or employment use.

Program Co-ordinator
Keith Chapin

Approved by: Jeff McCarthy