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What is Benefits Administration?

The creation and management of employee benefits, training of employees about the way benefits work, and explaining the types of benefits available and the criteria to qualify for them, is included in the HR function known as benefits administration.  For smaller companies that often lack a dedicated HR department, this task is usually assigned to a staff member who functions as the benefits administrator.  In addition to these basic tasks, this individual also coordinates the existing benefits plan, reviewing the standing paid-time off of staff (e.g., personal days, vacation days, and sick days), checking that paid-time off accrues to each employee’s account according to the company’s defined process and that each employee is duly paid for approved days taken.

Overseeing health insurance coverage is another facet of benefits administration.  This involves confirming payments due to insurance providers are promptly made, that all employees qualified to receive health insurance benefits are covered as soon as they become eligible.  It also involves implementing the benefits plan for all employees who have passed their probationary period required to accumulate paid leave and health coverage. Programs that include investment or retirement programs for employees are overseen by administrative personnel to ensure that they are functioning properly.

Ensuring payroll deductions are set up that match employee contributions appropriately and that employer matching funds are applied in a timely manner, fall under benefits administration.   In addition to working with an organization’s financial officers, the function of a benefits administrator is to interface with the employees, answering questions and sharing benefits updates.  Benefits administrators serve as the link between the company and its staff, and as such, are instrumental in ensuring the welfare of the company and its employees.

Developing benefit programs that clearly address the short and long-term needs of employees, while managing the fiscal realities of the company, prompt administrators to continuously educate themselves and their management teams about the latest benefits options, in an attempt to identify and offer the best programs for employees, at the lowest cost possible to employers.

Sources:

  1. “What is Benefits Administration?” Wise Geek, http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-benefits-administration.htm.
  2. “Benefits Administration,” BayPoint Benefits, http://baypointbenefits.com.