As you realize your HR career goals, have you considered a position as an employee benefits administrator? It’s a rewarding and challenging role for ambitious professionals who thrive on detail, diversity, multi-tasking and assessment for continuous improvement. And it’s an excellent step as you grow your professional background and optimize your future qualifications.
As a benefits administrator, you’re responsible for ongoing direction of all operations related to your company’s group benefits programs including:
- Health and life insurance.
- Dental and vision.
- Short and long-term disability.
- Worker’s compensation.
- Travel and accident coverage.
- Flexible spending, 401(k) and retirement.
Your realm of functions includes investigating and evaluating new benefits programs, improving existing offerings, and providing analytical and technical support in company program delivery.
Research and Development
Benefits administrators assess various plans and vendors to identify those that offer the optimal value to their organizations. This includes:
- Designing, recommending and implementing new programs.
- Assisting in the management of plan renewal processes.
- Negotiating plan renewals.
- Collecting experience data.
- Examining possible plan design or benefit cost changes.
As their companies’ primary contact with plan vendors and third-party administrators, benefits administrators coordinate the transfer of data to external contacts for services, premiums and general administrative matters. They also are held accountable for:
- Investigating discrepancies and providing updates on non-routine situations involving benefits.
- Evaluating and revising internal processes to lower benefit costs and improve efficiency.
- Planning, scheduling and directing benefits staff work including training and communications.
- Ensuring compliance with government regulations, as well as the timeliness and accuracy of required filings.
- Directing the implementation of global projects in areas including total compensation, mergers and acquisitions and HIPAA as they relate to group benefit issues.
Coordination of daily benefits processing is another hat worn by benefits administrators. This encompasses management of enrollments, maintenance of employee files and updating of payroll records, data gathering and billing processing. In addition, administrators typically implement and oversee Group Benefits databases, Lawson records and Lotus Notes forms.
Auditing to ensure the accuracy and performance of benefits staff functions are critical job duties. Benefits administrators evaluate and identify their companies’ stance relative to usage, coverage, effectiveness, cost, plan experience and compensation trends in benefits programs.
A Snapshot of Necessary Qualifications
To move into the role of benefits administrator, the Society for Human Resource Management cites these recommended qualifications:
- A Bachelor’s degree and three to five years’ related experience.
- PHR and/or CEBS designations.
- Excellent communication, organizational, analytical and team management skills.
- Through knowledge of benefit plan designs.
- The ability to understand, evaluate and make accurate judgments on requests for proposals.
- Computer proficiency including a strong working knowledge of MS Word, Excel, Power Point, Access, Lotus Notes, Cognos and Lawson.
- Knowledge of basic contract language, pertinent federal and state regulations, and various filing and compliance requirements related to ERISA, COBRA, FMLA, ADA, SECTION 125, worker’s compensation, Medicare, OBRA, Social Security and Department of Labor requirements.
Are you ready to take your HR career to the next level as a benefits administrator or in a similar role? To help you decide, read our related posts or contact the specialized recruitment team at Magellan Search & Staffing today.