What Does a Benefits Analyst Do?
A benefits analyst is integral to the human resources department, specializing in health benefits, retirement plans, and other compensation programs. They are responsible for evaluating existing benefits and benchmarking them against industry standards. Their efforts help create an attractive package for retaining and attracting new employees by making the company competitive. The job requires deep knowledge of federal and state regulations governing employee benefits and the ability to interpret data on benefit usage, costs, and satisfaction.
Benefits analysts should be highly analytical and knowledgeable in interpreting complex data sets. They collaborate closely with other HR team members, and often with finance and legal departments, to design and implement benefits programs that align with company goals and comply with legal requirements. Communicating complex information clearly is another essential skill, whether explaining benefits packages to employees or negotiating with vendors. It’s a role that requires attention to detail and a broad understanding of human resources and employee well-being. In short, these professionals make sure a company’s benefits offerings are competitive, compliant, and valuable to the workforce.
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National Average Salary
Benefits analyst salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Benefits Analyst is:
Benefits Analyst Job Descriptions
When hiring, it’s essential to include the right content in your benefits analyst job description. The following examples can serve as templates for attracting the best available talent for your team.
Business Analyst (generic)
A benefits analyst is needed for urgent hire at [Your Company Name]. It is the responsibility of this role to handle everything associated with benefits and compensation. This goes into several different jobs. First and foremost, you must have a good understanding and remembrance of the benefits the company offers. This is vital because you will be recommending it to employees, as well as updating them on any changes made. In case you do not remember it all, and for legal reasons, you must also create written descriptions of these different offers. If management decides to change these terms, you must inform employees, and update all descriptions of the benefits and compensation. A basic understanding of laws and regulations for what the company offers is required for this job. The analyst must ensure the company and employees follow these laws. On top of all this, it is the duty of this role to continually analyze everything the company offers, in hopes of finding more viable benefits. Talking with management and discussing these topics will be necessary for you to flourish in this role.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Research compensation and benefits plans and policies for an organization
- Analyze data and costs to make recommendations on plans and policies
- Evaluate employee position descriptions to determine classification and salary for each
- Ensure and maintain company compliance with state and federal laws
- Be a liaison with third-party vendors like insurance companies and investment managers
- Coordinate company wellness initiatives
- Make recommendations to human resources management
Education and experience
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in human resources management, business administration, finance, or a related field.
Required skills and qualifications
- A clear understanding of the industry to create best employee benefits packages at the lowest cost to the company
- Strong mathematical and analytical skills
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Adaptability, accountability, and confidentiality
- Highly organized
- Ability to multitask
- Proficient using Microsoft Office Suite
- Bachelor’s degree
- 3+ years of experience working with benefits
- Ability to self-manage
- Extremely motivated to help others
Junior Business Analyst
Duties and requirements
- Responsible for customer service of benefits overseeing and monitoring calls, benefits inbox, resolving issues, monitoring/creating metrics, and working directly with Managers to ensure reasonable timeframes for issues resolution
- Comply with government and state regulations and plan provisions to ensure equitable administration to employees
- Process and approve qualifying status changes (determine validity; communicate with employees)
- Manage enrollment and educational material
- Manage Retiree medical: eligibility, communication, and payments
- Manage payments for employees on LOA, administer evidence of insurability in accordance with plan rules
- Investigate and resolve eligibility file issues, research and resolve file discrepancies reported by carriers
- Responsible for new hire-dependent supporting document review and follow-up
- Provide policy interpretation and clarify procedures to HR and Department management
- Assist in pension audits
- Assist in annual benefits open enrollment including plan design changes and testing; conduct open enrollment presentations
- Assist in identifying inefficiencies and areas in need of improvement
- Perform other duties when necessary
- 2-5 years of experience administering employee benefits or insurance benefit information
- Work effectively and efficiently within strict deadlines as part of a team
- Strong organization and time management skills
- Ability to self-manage in a fast-paced environment and to troubleshoot issues as they arise
- Strong knowledge of Excel and experience navigating online systems
- Excellent interpersonal, analytical, and written communication skills
- Experience working in a strong customer-service-focused environment within human resources
- The retirement plan administration field is strongly preferred
- Experience in developing educational and training materials
- College degree or equivalent professional experience
Mid-level Business Analyst
- Day-to-day administration of all health and welfare and retirement plans, fringe benefits, life & disability insurance, and COBRA, including but not limited to: processing enrollments, elections, life events, LOA requests, ensuring effective transfer of eligibility, and elections to vendor partners (including management of error reporting and troubleshooting any system or integration issues). Oversee other benefit operation tasks such as COBRA, death claims, rollovers, QMCSOs, 401(k) distributions & loans, etc.
- Assist with the reconciliation of all benefit accounts, audits, and billing
- Assist in annual benefit open enrollment process, internal communications, updating new elections
- Manage health & wellness initiatives such as wellness campaigns
- Monitor compliance with benefit plans and recommend necessary changes: annual filings, file feeds, plan documents, SPDs, and, other legal notices
- Responsible for understanding, interpreting, and complying with all state and federal laws related to health and welfare plans
- Act as subject matter expert on employee benefits for internal customers, vendors, auditors, etc.
- Responsible for reconciling benefit or claims issues and discrepancies, and determining solutions to resolve issues
- Work collectively with Payroll and HRIS to ensure the proper deductions (and/or adjustments) is taken for final pay processing
- Assist and complete special projects as assigned
- Bachelor’s degree in HR or related field. Required education may be substituted by additional years of experience
- 2-3 years of benefits administration experience
- Certified Benefits Professional (CBP) or Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) status preferred
- Professional Human Resources (PHR) certification preferred
- Experience with Benefits Administration to include medical and dental plans, retirement plans, health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts, life, AD&D, short and long-term disability, FMLA, State leave policies, and LOA management
- Knowledge of benefit plan cost drivers and plan designs
- Knowledge of various laws such as ERISA, FMLA, OFLA, ACA, etc.
Senior Business Analyst
- Administer employee benefits programs such as medical, dental, vision plans, life, and disability insurance plans, leaves of absence, and 401k retirement plan
- Work closely with the benefits team, benefits consultants, and insurance vendors to implement approved new plans or changes to existing plans by preparing announcement materials, gathering plan summary documents, updating the employee intranet, and other media for communicating plans to employees
- Act as a subject matter expert for escalation of employee benefits inquiries and complaints to ensure a quick, equitable, and courteous resolution
- Maintain contact by zoom, phone, or email, with insurance companies, employees, and beneficiaries to facilitate proper and complete utilization of benefits for all employees
- Craft content and communications for employees that are approachable, succinct, and reflect company culture
- Prepare benefits reports for plan audits, actuaries, insurance carriers, and management
- Lead and act as project manager for the following benefit plans/programs:
- Compliance management; ensure the program is meeting all legislative requirements including, but not limited to 5500 filings, ACA reporting, and distribution of required notices. Continually evaluate and proactively inform on upcoming changes that may impact the company
- Leave of Absence Administration
- Workday benefits system administration
- Guardian Dental, Vision, Life/AD&D, and LTD
- Kaiser Medical
- Federal COBRA
- And other programs as assigned
- Co-manage the following:
- Employee tickets through ServiceNow
- Bi-weekly onboarding
- Open Enrollment
- A bachelor’s degree and 6 or more years of experience in benefits administration
- Strong customer service skills with a focus on employee education
- Ability to develop strong working relationships and collaborate with a cross-functional group of partners, both internal and external
- Proven capability to independently manage projects, including communications, and change management
- Ability to adapt and drive improvements and continuously simplify processes with compliance in mind
- Comfortable with ambiguity, uncertainty, and change
- Expertise in Workday benefits administration
- Working knowledge of Excel for reporting and auditing purposes
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- CBP. The Certified Benefits Professional is a widely recognized certificate in the field of human resources. This gives candidates the opportunity to prove that they do have the ability to complete any requirements the job may ask. Statistically, this certificate has a tendency to increase salary and give more fulfillment from this job.
- PHR. Although there aren’t many certifications directly tied to benefits analysts, getting an indirect certificate may help as well. Becoming a Professional in Human Resources is still a certificate that will catch an employer’s eye if candidates are attempting to become an analyst. This will prove that they do have the capability of working in this department and may open opportunities after becoming a benefits analyst.
How to Hire a Benefits Analyst
Consider the following when hiring a benefits analyst:
- Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to source and recruit for this role successfully?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid, or even junior-level skills suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project, or an indefinite need?
- Management: Can you effectively direct the work effort?
- Urgency: Are there any deadlines associated with this need?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, various great options exist for every scenario, no matter how unique. We recommend the following options when hiring a benefits analyst:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend using CareerBuilder when hiring a benefits analyst:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- Are you comfortable speaking at length regarding benefit program details?
- Can we rely on you to remember all company policies?
- Do you have confidence in your ability to make decisions that affect other employees?
- Can you find faults in data after analysis?
- Can you keep up to date with any laws or regulations involving benefits and compensation?
- Do you have the writing ability to describe and explain company policy?
- Do you have any experience in human resources?