Benefits Administrator Job Description
Benefits administrators manage and direct a company’s employee benefits program. They organize and plan all the benefits operations, which includes disseminating benefits information to employees and researching new benefit options. Benefits administrators are employed by any company in any industry that offers its employees a benefits package. They work in a traditional office setting, usually with full-time hours. This is a management position that requires formal education and previous experience. Benefits administrators typically report to HR management.
Benefits Administrator Duties and Responsibilities
No two benefits administrators are exactly alike, as specific skills vary from employer to employer. However, after analyzing online job postings, we identified several core duties and responsibilities common to the job, which include:
Research Benefits Plans
Benefits administrators constantly research new benefits plans for their company. They identify plans that may provide more benefits for employees at a lower cost for the employer and present those plans to HR management.
Organize and Manage Daily Benefits Operations
Benefits administrators spend the bulk of their day organizing and managing the overall benefits operations. They handle enrollments and terminations, disability claims, COBRA, and much more. They also oversee the general maintenance of employee files and update records as needed.
Perform Plan Audits
Benefits administrators perform regular plan audits to make sure everything is running smoothly and that all financial information is kept accurately. They present their findings to company accountants and upper management.
Monitor Industry Trends
Benefits administrators constantly monitor industry trends to identify ways to better serve the company and its employees. This ensures the company stays competitive from a benefits perspective.
Serve as Contact for Employees and Vendors
Benefits administrators serve as the primary point of contact for both employees and benefits vendors. They deliver correspondence to employees from vendors and make sure everyone understands the entirety of the plan.
Benefits Administrator Skills and Qualifications
Benefits administrators are highly organized and have extensive HR backgrounds. They are intimately familiar with the way company benefits policies and procedures work. Most employers require their benefits administrators to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, along with at least five years of experience. Employers also tend to hire candidates who demonstrate the following skills and qualifications:
- HR knowledge – benefits administrators have extensive knowledge of HR processes, policies, and procedures. They know how a company runs the human resources department and they understand employee HR needs
- Team management skills – benefits administrators are skilled team managers, and they know how to manage communication between team members and different departments
- Analytical skills – as benefits administrators evaluate plans and benefits performance, they employ strong analytical skills to determine their overall efficacy
- Communication skills – benefits administrators are extremely skilled at interpersonal communication in all its forms. They can easily communicate with upper management, employees, and vendors
- Organization skills – benefits administrators are responsible for the benefits of all employees and tracking record and benefits plan changes, and as such, they are highly organized
Tools of the Trade
Benefits administrators often work with the following tools during their day-to-day routines:
- HR information systems (BambooHR, Namely, iCIMS)
- Microsoft Office Suite (especially Excel and PowerPoint)
Benefits Administrator Education and Training
Most employers require their benefits administrators to have a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field. They also look for candidates who have three to five years of experience in an HR position. Many employers also require benefits administrators to have HR-related certifications like the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certifications. Many benefits administrators also undergo on-the-job training to learn more about the company’s specific benefits plans and employees.
Benefits Administrator Salary and Outlook
According to PayScale, benefits administrators earn an average of $50,000 per year. However, those in the top 10 percent earn as much as $68,000 per year, while those in the bottom 10 percent earn as little as $38,000 per year. Benefits administrators receive the same benefits they organize and manage. They may also get seasonal bonuses, depending on the company and the success of the plans they manage.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists benefits administrators under the compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists category, which is expected to experience 9 percent growth through 2026. This is faster than average for most industries and can be attributed to more companies investing in better benefits packages as they experience better financial success.
Read through some of these helpful resources to learn more about becoming a benefits administrator:
Linked:HR – with over 970,000 members, this LinkedIn group serves as an incredibly helpful resource for HR and benefits professionals all over the world. Join this group to network, discuss evolving HR technology, and ask for suggestions on how to find better benefits vendors
Society for Human Resource Management – largely considered the leader in HR management resources, SHRM provides certifications, training, and valuable resources for anyone in the HR field
Essential HR Handbook: A Quick and Handy Resource for Any Manager or HR Professional – this quick-reference guide outlines the different ways you can make an employee’s life easier on the job, including how to provide good benefits
The Employee Benefits Answer Book: An Indispensible Guide for Managers and Business Owners – this book contains all the info you need to learn about the basics of a solid employee benefits plan. It gives you an overview of vacation and sick days, COBRA, life insurance, and much more
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