Benefits Manager - US-IL-Northbrook

Company Name:
We are currently seeking Benefits Manager to manage the daily administration of health, welfare and retirement benefit programs (including 401k) for the company.Partners closely with Director to shape the strategic direction of benefit programs.Maintains metrics on benefit costs and trends, prepares recommendations for improvements and cost-saving measures; implements approved changes, as appropriate.Manages the annual Open Enrollment process and all other benefit communications. Ensures that the team is responsive and manages complex team member issues, program communication and education.Provides oversight and vendor management for all benefit programs and providers.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities:
Selects, trains, and develops an effective and efficient staff.
Ensures the appropriate relationships are maintained between all Health and Welfare vendors, consultants, outside counsel, human resources and benefits team members in addressing issues by:
-Developing and maintaining benefits policies.
-Serving as expert for ERISA, HIPAA and COBRA related issues.
-Managing the Open Enrollment process for medical benefits; comparing existing programs to selected benchmarks to evaluate competitive positioning.
-Consulting with business unit or senior management to provide appropriate solutions in the event of special benefits needs.
-Designing communication materials which accurately and creatively communicate benefits changes, additions, and enhancements to employees.
-Acting as liaison between employees and medical insurance vendors.
-Identifying and investigating recurring employee complaint issues and recommending remedial action by vendors, if necessary.
-Using good judgment and integrity to resolve escalated benefits issues in a way that is fair and minimizes cost and risk to the company.
-Keeping abreast of best practices and employee suggestions as a means of identifying potential new programs which may benefit team members.
Ensures the appropriate relationships are maintained between 401(k) vendor and related committees, consultants, outside counsel, human resources and benefits team members ensuring the smooth administration of the 401(k) plan by:
-Managing the Annual 401(k) nondiscrimination testing process.
-Managing efficiencies of the 401(k) recordkeeping platform.
-Acting as liaison between team members and the 401(k) vendor handling all inquiries regarding contributions, loans, distributions.
-Providing information to external vendors and managing IRS Form 5500 preparation/submission.
Keeps abreast of the changes to federal, state or local laws and regulations relating to benefit programs; keeps management informed of changes impacting the company.
Develops analysis and reporting to monitor program utilization, efficiency, competitiveness and cost.
Identifies, and defines the administrative, technological and financial feasibility of proposed new benefit programs.In conjunction with various departments or individuals, implements new benefit programs, as required.
Proactively collaborates with vendors to improve or streamline processes to increase efficiency and/or save time and resources.
Participates in due diligence and integration of all acquisitions.Provides analysis and project management for integration of acquired companies, including plan closures, transfers of assets, risk assessment and other activities.
Participates in the labor relations and contract negotiations for field operations facilitating a partnership with the union bargaining committee, and business leaders.
Oversees and reviews invoices for benefit providers.
Works with corporate finance team members regarding benefits related costs and reports.
Performs other related duties or projects as required or requested.
Position Requirements
Education equivalent to Bachelors Degree in Human Resources, or the equivalent in related work experience.Industry certification a plus (CEBS or CBP)
Seven or more years in a benefits role of a small-mid corporate environment, demonstrating a thorough knowledge of health and welfare benefit plans and 401(k) regulations; their mechanics, legal regulations (ERISA, HIPPA, IRS, etc.) and best practices.
Three or more years of management or supervisory experience required, demonstrating the ability to plan and supervise the work of others.
Demonstrated project management and problem-solving skills and ability to innovate, motivate and lead a team though complex, potentially long-term projects.
Demonstrated experience managing vendor service relationships required; including working on outsourced environment related tasks (e.g. SQR Management, data reconciliation/maintenance, working with third party to assess, resolve and implement necessary changes across various internal/external platforms).
Demonstrated experience working in due diligence and integration of acquisitions strongly preferred (e.g. plan closures, transfer of assets, risk assessment, etc.).
Demonstrates the ability to extract data, manipulate and develop reports and metrics from the vendor provider and HRIS systems.
Demonstrates high proficiency with Microsoft Office suite including Power Point skills and strong ability to analyze data using Excel (e.g. VLookup, Pivot Tables).

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