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Synopsis of Role:
The Benefits Manager is responsible for managing a team of two Benefits Administrators, providing coaching; approving time off requests; writing performance appraisals; and collaborating to ensure the highest level of customer service for American Public University System (APUS) staff and faculty. Additionally, the Benefits Manager is responsible for the management of APUS’s group health, dental, vision, short-term and long-term disability, worker’s compensation, life insurance, accident plan, flexible spending plan, 401(k) plan and ESSP retirement plan administration. The Benefits Manager also provides stellar customer service, investigates and makes suggestions for new benefits programs, and improves existing program.
The Benefits Manager oversees the daily administration of assigned health and welfare benefits by serving as a liaison and subject matter expert to the Benefits Administrators, Payroll department, and the APUS employees. Additionally, this role serves as a resource to all vendors, internal departments and human resources staff for benefits plan guidance and interpretation; and works with vendors to investigate and resolve benefits issues. This position is responsible for assuring health and welfare benefit plans are in compliance with government regulations (ERISA, PPACA, DOL, IRS, COBRA, etc.). The Benefits Manager has responsibility for a variety of auditing and reporting functions.
• Serves as primary contact for plan vendors and third-party administrators.
• Superior communication, coaching, and training skills to effectively manage the Benefits team.
• Ability to utilize conflict management skills .
• Provides stellar customer service support to direct reports, internal and external customers.
• Works effectively to make sure benefit plans run smoothly and are compliant.
• Investigates discrepancies and provides information in non-routine situations.
• Evaluates and revises internal processes and captures these on SOP documents.
• Ensures compliance with applicable government regulations.
• Serves as point of contact for 401(k) auditors, before and during their onsite fieldwork.
• Compiles requested information and organizes preparation of all documents.
• Oversees the administration of the enrollments, Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), terminations, changes, beneficiaries, disability, accident and death claims, rollovers, QDROs, distributions, loans, hardships and compliance testing.
• Prepares regular benefit reports by extracting data from human capital management (HCM) system.
• Partners closely with Reporting and Systems Specialist on HCM system configuration and carrier interfaces as they relate to benefits.
• Provides direction and feedback to vendors in the context of administering employee benefit plans or in resolving escalated issues.
• Responsible and accountable for monthly billing accuracy, auditing, and researching internal/external customer issues.
• Assists with the development of communication tools with a goal of enhancing the employee understanding of the company’s benefits package.
• Creates and distributes materials for benefits orientations and open enrollment.
• Ensures that employees receive assistance with benefits related questions and issues and responses by e-mail, phone and personal meetings within 24 hours of the employee’s inquiry.
• Oversees the enrollments and terminations of employees in all company offered benefit plans accordingly.
• Responsible for overseeing the administration of Family Medical Leave and ADA utilizing the third party vendor, CareWorks, and communicating information to employees.
• Communicates and documents changes in the benefits and payroll systems.
• Assists with claims and other issues between employees and various insurance carriers.
• Provides educational training to employees and managers regarding benefits programs.
• Oversees the facilitation of the benefits presentation at new hire orientation.
• Supports the organization during the benefits open enrollment period by planning, running reports, completing vendor uploads, and handling employee communications.
• Manages annual compliance documents for the benefit programs, such as Summary Annual Reports and Safe Harbor notices.
• Travel to other APEI business sites to communicate/educate benefits related information as needed.
• Liaison to other APEI subsidiaries for all benefits administration.
• Ensures proper filing of 5500’s for the medical, dental, vision and life and disability plans.
• Performs other duties as assigned.
Work Environment and Physical Demands:
• Standard office environment in Charles Town, WV. Occasional travel required to Manassas, VA as needed.
• Working knowledge of benefits plans, procedures and corporate benefits policies.
• Strong management skills; proven leadership skills.
• Superior verbal and written communication skills.
• Excellent attention to detail and strong ability to multi-task.
• Strong technical capability with the ability to understand and configure HR systems to meet the needs of the benefits function.
• Ability to analyze data, recognize problems, and put in place controls to ensure data accuracy and compliance through audits and other means.
• Experience with facilitating and training large groups of employees.
• Superior customer relations skills.
• Ability to work autonomously, with minimal management oversight.
• Ability to provide support and training (when necessary) to the Benefits Administrators and other HR team members.
• Experience with standard office software and HR information systems.
• Organized, highly motivated with the ability to anticipate challenges before they arise.
• Proactive, flexible, and comfortable in a fast-paced, changing environment, which demands a high level of energy and commitment.
•Superior critical thinking and decision making ability.
• Ability to quickly evaluate an issue and determine a recommended solution.
• Three (3) years of experience managing at least one employee.
• Five (5) years of experience designing, implementing and administering employee health and welfare benefit plans.
• Detailed knowledge of benefit plan documents, policies, specifications, procedures, and practices.
•Knowledge of federal, state and local government regulations related to employee benefit plans.
• Bachelor’s degree in business or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
• Designation or certification from a recognized professional association highly desired, e.g., The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Society of Human Resource Management, HR Certification Institute, or WorldatWork. Agreeable to working toward the completion of a certification program if the incumbent does not already possess credentials.
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