A benefits specialist supports the Human Resources department of a larger company, overseeing the allocation of employee benefits packages. The job description of a benefits specialist involves a broad knowledge of retirement and insurance plans, and the ability to explain these plans to employees.
A benefits specialist handles all inquiries about company insurance and retirement benefits, ensures that employees receive the proper benefits package, follows up with health care providers and investment brokers, and consults with managers and company CEOs about newly available benefits and insurance plans.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Benefits Specialist
- Manages employee pension plans and 401(k) plans.
- Introduces and oversees employee stock options and investment opportunities.
- Manages employee health insurance and health care plans.
- Assists employees in filling out the paperwork for their benefits packages.
- Leads informational sessions on company benefits.
- Calculates the proper paycheck deductions for these benefits.
- Explains the various benefit options to new employees.
- Researches alternate options for benefits packages and investment opportunities.
- Presents ideas for additional benefits to HR manager.
- Addresses employee inquiries about their insurance or retirement benefits.
- Acts as liaison between employee and insurance provider or bank as necessary.
- Maintains files and records of individual employee benefits.
- Makes changes or alterations to benefits packages as necessary.
- Resolves any problems or disputes regarding provision of benefits.
- Assists HR in determining proper benefits and compensation packages for new employees.
- Stays up-to-date on state and federal regulations concerning insurance and other employee benefits.
- Negotiates with insurance companies to receive better employee benefits.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Demonstrates broad knowledge of the variety and structure of retirement plans, from pensions to 401(k)’s to IRAs and Roth IRA’s.
- Possesses knowledge of the laws surrounding benefits and compensation for employers.
- Demonstrates broad knowledge of different health insurance plans, including HMOs and PPOs.
- Exhibits solid organizational skills.
- Communicates clearly and effectively.
- Is able to translate legal, medical, and insurance-related jargon into layman’s terms for clarification purposes.
- Demonstrates ability to conduct independent research into new benefits plans and changes to insurance and healthcare regulations.
- Is capable of reading, interpreting, and explaining insurance invoices.
- Exhibits ability to maintain relationships with insurance and healthcare providers.
Education and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree in Business or related field is required.
- Minor or certificate in Human Resources is required.
- Successful completion of the Professional in Human Resources exam is required.
- Work experience in HR or benefits is preferred.
- Standard 40-hour workweek applies.
- Time will be spent in an office setting, interacting with other employees.
- Daily tasks will involve light physical activity, such as walking and standing.
- Salaries for benefits specialists range from $36,000-$53,000, depending on the company and the level of work experience.
- The highest-paid and most established benefits professionals earn up to $86,000 per year.