Overview: 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
Enhanced with additional details and resources.
Updated to reflect IRS guidance issued on the expanded determination letter program.
As the labor market has tightened, employers increasingly are leveraging the benefits they offer to attract and retain employees, according to the newly released SHRM 2018 Employee Benefits Survey.
This form will allow employers to keep track of employees that decline employer-sponsored health coverage.
Use this workflow to determine which entity is responsible for complying with Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 6055 and Section 6056 reporting requirements.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Ohio employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to taxation of employee benefits.
In-depth review of the spectrum of New Jersey employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to taxation of employee benefits.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Alabama employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to taxation of employee benefits.
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.
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.