Reporting to the Benefits Manager, the position’s primary responsibility is to provide benefits support to employees and partner with the Compensation team providing support during peak times with compensation activities. The Benefits & Compensation Specialist is responsible for the day-to-day administration, coordination and analysis of a broad range of employee benefit programs and serves as a subject matter expert in responding to and resolving employee benefit issues and inquiries, working with benefit carriers/vendors in their ongoing service delivery to employees, identifying and resolving both participant and plan-level issues, and identifying and implementing process improvements and efficiencies. The position is responsible for managing the logistical components of benefits delivery, including FMLA, LTD, unemployment, workers compensation, the benefits portion of new employee orientation, education assistance programs and open enrollment and roll-out of new plan offerings. The benefits team cannot request vacation during open enrollment, typically in November of each year, due to the increased volume of employee inquiries and benefit processing that is required.
Duties & Responsibilities
Provide timely and accurate customer support to benefit eligible employees researching and responding to inquiries related to benefit options, enrollment process and changes.
Manage BenAdmin/PeopleSoft activities to monitor and process employee benefit elections such as new hires, life event changes, and annual open enrollment to ensure data integrity and compliance.
Complete the new hire process by monitoring and/or running the new hire approval interface process, reviewing employee and position data for accuracy and troubleshooting problems documenting issues for resolution by Information Technology.
Monitor, investigate and resolve weekly benefit vendor electronic data interface to ensure continuous and timely coverage.
Lead benefits presentation portion of new employee orientation.
Assist with annual reporting, benefit survey submissions, and audit requests.
Effectively review and interpret FMLA and long-term disability requests for completeness and process requests in a timely manner to comply with FMLA requirements.
Manage workers compensation and unemployment claims process maintaining databases for tracking purposes, responding to claims of benefits, and providing quarterly reporting.
Manage the educational assistance program that consists of CCC tuition remission and two tuition exchange programs.
Assist with ACA duties such as: analysis of data as it relates to ACA requirements, set-up of initial measurement periods for new hires, rehires; prepare and audit reports to maintain ACA compliance; monitor employee hours report to ensure adherence to maximum hours and ACA triggers; administer monthly reporting and communication to applicable employees for medical coverage eligibility.
Conduct weekly plan participant and dependent audits for the various benefits to ensure accurate eligibility and invoicing.
Maintain and update the payroll exceptions process submitting information in a timely basis.
Regularly interface with multiple health and welfare benefit vendors, carriers and administrators to assist employees with the resolution of benefit issues and ensure consistent, accurate and reliable information is being disseminated to employees.
Document benefit administration practices and system procedures focusing on best practices.
Manage HR’s role in plan audits conducted by the college’s external auditors.
Maintain and update employee benefit information on the college’s internal (IRIS) and external (Cascade) websites.
Prepare and/or assist with benefit reporting, such as Form 5500 and OSHA, and complete benefit surveys.
Perform other duties as assigned.
Conduct position evaluations, determine grade levels, job titles, and job families in accordance with established structure and guidelines.
Create and maintain job descriptions using standardized template.
Complete faculty and staff salary surveys, collect and analyze market data to formulate recommendations for salary structure.
Conduct all HRIS data entry transactions and audits to ensure the integrity of the data.
Generate employee letters documenting changes in status.
Participate in the annual performance-based increase process.
Assist with various compensation projects throughout the year as needed in coordination with the Benefits Manager to avoid disruption of benefits operations.
Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources Administration or related field and minimum 2 years of human resources experience in benefits and compensation, or equivalent work experience, preferably with some higher education experience.
Must be proficient with Microsoft applications, PeopleSoft experience (v9.2), and technical skills specifically in Excel (V-lookups, pivot tables, formulas).
Working knowledge of compensation and benefit concepts, laws, compliance and regulations such as ERISA, COBRA, Section 125, FMLA, ADA, ACA and FLSA.
Effective customer service skills and ability to work well with external constituents such as vendors.
Effective written and verbal communication skills.
Ability to handle all situations with professionalism, confidentiality and diplomacy.
Excellent analytical, reporting, technical, and problem solving skills.
Ability to prioritize and demonstrate high level of accuracy, attention to detail and data integrity.
Ability to manage multiple priorities, meet deadlines, and follow through on work with minimal supervision.
Critical thinking skills and ability to work independently and as part of a team is essential.
Ability to communicate complex benefit concepts to employees.
Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to collaborate with managers, employees, and the HR team.
This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities required of the employee and is subject to change based on the needs of the department and/or college.
At Columbia, we offer a rewarding work environment for our faculty and staff. We take pride in offering competitive benefits with affordable health, dental and vision coverage; flexible spending accounts; commuter benefit program, life and accidental, death & dismemberment coverage; paid and unpaid leave options; work/life benefits; educational assistance programs; and retirement and financial planning benefits.
We invite you to join our talented faculty and staff and become part of our collective aspiration to ensure Columbia prepares students for success in their creative fields through innovation, engagement and real-world experiences.
To ensure consideration, please include a cover letter, salary requirements, and three professional references in your submission.
Position subject to a background screening.
This is a non-union position.
This position is overtime exempt.
Qualified candidates of diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
Columbia College Chicago is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations concerning civil rights. The college does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law.
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