HR Support on Employee Benefits Administration

Editor's Note: Effective benefits administration meets the needs of both the employee and the employer.

Tracy MorleyOverview: Benefits administration involves establishing, maintaining and managing the full spectrum of employee benefit programs for an organization. More than just ensuring compliance, benefits administration is also concerned with making sure employees understand how their benefits work and what requirements must be satisfied in order to be eligible to participate.

From an operational standpoint, some major functions of benefits administration include: (i) ensuring the legal compliance and overall effectiveness of an organization's benefits program including health, welfare and retirement plans; (ii) negotiating with vendors and recommending benefit plans that align with organizational goals; (iii) communicating benefit plan options to both new and existing employees; (iv) processing additions and terminations to benefit plans in a timely manner; (v) verifying bills and making accurate and timely payments to insurance providers; (vi) making sure payroll deductions are in place for employee contributions to benefit plans; and (vii) ensuring employer contributions are done in a timely manner.

Benefits administration involves balancing the needs of both the employee and the employer. It is important to have programs in place that support the employee that are in line with what an employer can afford.

Trends: The newer requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Health Care Reform or Obamacare, in addition to the repeal of section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and the legalization of same-sex marriage in numerous states, will challenge HR professionals in both the short- and long-term as they monitor developments and adjust benefit strategies accordingly.

Author: Tracy Morley, SPHR, Legal Editor

Latest items in Benefits Administration

  • EEOC Files Another Challenge of Employer Wellness Program Under ADA

    Date:
    08 October 2014
    Type:
    News

    The EEOC has filed a second lawsuit claiming an employer's wellness program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

  • Business Travel and Reimbursement Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers seeking to advise employees of when they will provide reimbursement for business travel and help employees maintain reasonable limits on business expenses should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Holidays Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers seeking to advise employees which holidays are observed and the circumstances under which employees will receive holiday pay should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Floating Holidays Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers seeking to advise employees that they provide floating holidays and the circumstances under which those holidays will accrue, carry over and/or be forfeited or paid upon termination of employment should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Personal Leave Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers seeking to provide personal leave to employees, establish the terms of the policy and preserve the employer's discretion to approve or deny the request should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Benefits Overview Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers seeking to advise employees with an overview of benefit offerings to employees should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Medical and Dental Insurance Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers seeking to advise employees who is eligible to participate in medical and dental insurance, whether and to what extent coverage may extend to spouses and other family members and when benefit selections should be made should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Same-Sex Marriages, Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers seeking to advise employees that they are compliant with legal requirements regarding same-sex couples, civil unions and domestic partnerships and to provide a point of contact for employees in these relationships who have benefits-related questions should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Flexible Spending Accounts Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers seeking to advise employees of the different forms of flexible spending accounts (FSAs) that they offer should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Group Life Insurance Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers seeking to identify which employees may be eligible for group life insurance and the types of life insurance available to them should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.