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Benefits Specialist Job Description

Benefits specialists have a very important role within an organization - they manage employee benefits and retirement programs. Learn more in this detailed guide.

What is a Benefits Specialist?


Benefits Specialists are an integral part of a company's HR department. They are responsible for managing and administering a company's employee benefit and compensation programs, from retirement plans and health insurance to life insurance and beyond.


Benefits Specialists have an in-depth knowledge of both benefits and the federal and state laws that govern them. They need to know how to sort out issues, like coordinating an employee’s leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or changing contributions in a 401(k) account. They’re also the go-to person for both new hires and long-standing employees looking to make the most out of what their employer offers.


Education Requirements

  • Associate or bachelor’s degree
  • 2-5 years of related experience
  • SHRM Certification (recommended)

Benefits Specialist Essential Skills

  • Research and analytical skills
  • Organizational and time management skills
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Knowledge of employee benefits and laws
  • Computer proficiency

Benefits Specialist Roles & Responsibilities

  • Research, analyze, and administer healthcare plans and wellness programs, from medical and dental benefits to disability and family leave
  • Coordinate non-salary employee compensation like retirement plans, pensions, tuition reimbursement, and stock options
  • Assist with the administration of all benefits and retirement programs
  • Ensure the accuracy of all benefits enrollments
  • Assist with the open enrollment process

Day-to-Day Duties

  • Advise employees, answer questions, and enroll staff in benefit and compensation programs
  • Process various paperwork, especially regarding disability, FMLA absences, and employee life status changes
  • Appeal decisions made by insurance companies, resolve disputes, and solve problems with benefits and compensation programs
  • Perform quality checks of benefits-related data

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