This course will examine in depth the Federal Government's promotion and regulation of employee benefits programs. These programs represent for the American worker one of his or her most valuable assets, for American business one of its most significant costs of doing business, and for Wall Street one of the largest sources of private capital. We will focus on both pension plans (with a particular emphasis on the popular 401(k) program) and welfare programs (such as medical and dependent care). We will study applicable sections of the Internal Revenue Code and the Employer Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Some of the major topics we will cover include: tax qualified pension plans; the concept of vesting; government imposed non-discrimination tests; taxation of distributions from qualified plans; IRAs and Roth IRAs; executive compensation; medical plans and cafeteria plans (including FSAs and HSAs); ERISA preemption of state law; fiduciary responsibility and prohibited transactions; investment of plan assets; and ERISA litigation. We will emphasize where possible topics of current interest. Because the subject matter cuts across many different areas of the law, the course will touch on many different legal specialties. While a knowledge of tax concepts is helpful, there are no prerequisites for this course.