Salary is likely the most important—but in no way the only—factor when it comes to recruiting new employees and retaining existing ones. Employee benefits are a major facet as well, which means benefits administration is an important role to fill by your HR team.
Outside of those few benefits required by law, a diverse and expansive benefits package shows that your company is invested in the wellbeing of employees—giving you an edge against competitors. Because it is so important and multi-faceted, employee benefits administration takes a significant amount of knowledge, time, and effort to manage across your workforce.
What is Benefits Administration?
Benefits administration is the organization and management of benefits-related tasks at your company. At most companies, benefits administration is the responsibility of the Human Resources department.
Before benefits like health insurance is offered to employees, a company searches for appropriate carriers with regional service providers. Many benefits programs, like vision insurance, will be optional for employees who choose whether they want to participate.
Here are just a few of the most common employee benefits. Most of them need to be explained and managed on some level by benefits administration staff:
- Health insurance
- Dental, Vision, and Life Insurance
- Disability and Sick Leave
- PTO and Family Medical Leave
- Retirement Savings
At the various stages of the employee lifecycle, workers may need help changing or opting out of certain benefits. Someone will need to manage PTO and make sure that employee leave aligns with company policies. Benefits administration involves a multitude of tasks, some of which can be automated or outsourced.The right software improves the efficiency and accuracy of benefits administration.
- Most benefits will need to be managed throughout each employee’s lifecycle
- Annual open enrollment and life change events must be conducted
- During onboarding, new hires must be educated and complete lots of paperwork
- Likewise, departing employees need to informed of continuing coverage and COBRA
What is the role of a Benefits Administrator?
The benefits administrator serves as an advocate for employees and manages the full range of benefits. Administrators need a firm grasp of the available options and programs, from retirement savings to health insurance. New and long term employees will have questions about different policies and how to access benefits, and the administrator needs to be able to provide basic answers and assistance.
Employees need to be guided through benefits-related education and paperwork. A benefits administrator should facilitate any employee training about benefits, whether during open enrollment or onboarding. Available benefits and related policies are must-haves for employee handbooks. Administrators can ensure that handbooks and employees are all kept up to date with important changes.
Additionally, with the right benefits administration software, employees may be able to answer some of their own questions via an online portal. Employees’ knowledge and participation in the benefits plan can be greatly improved with direct access to benefits information and policy choices.
Why is Benefits Administration important?
As previously mentioned, some benefits are legally required. Without comprehensive Benefits Administration software, your company and your employees may be left vulnerable:
- Failure to comply with legislation can result in expensive fines
- Miscalculations and omissions in can lead to significant liabilities and expenses
- Missed insurance payments could leave employees uninsured
- Poor bookkeeping could leave your company paying for benefits you shouldn’t be
Employees also need help understanding and making use of available benefits. Routine tasks like requesting leave should be as simple and efficient as possible, and company policies should be fair and transparent. Benefits that don’t seem valuable or useful to employees may increase turnover instead of retention.
How Does HR Technology Help with Benefits Administration?
Compatible HR software can streamline and automate much of the benefits paperwork from the enrollment of new hires to COBRA administration. When software for benefits administration manages COBRA paperwork, your company’s compliance is automatically documented.
Provide employees with self-service portals and digitized forms that minimize the hassle of redundant paperwork. Portals give employees an accurate, up-to-date summary of their benefits plan whenever they need it, including coverage, deductions, and more.
From PTO to sick days and vacation requests, software can also help you implement better Leave Management policies. Time and attendance software can track the accumulation of PTO, and self-service portals can standardize the process for requesting leave.
Everybody wants benefits to be helpful and efficient. Nobody wants to spend their lunch breaks and weekends being serenaded by the hold music of insurance providers. The right HR software can make benefits administration as efficient and simple as possible at your office.
Learn more about Netchex’s Benefits Administration solution:
Learn more about our Benefits Administration software, where comprehensive doesn’t have to mean complex. Netchex makes Benefits Administration easy, straightforward, and worry-free.
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