What Does a Benefits Coordinator Do?
A benefits coordinator assists human resources personnel such as benefits specialists in managing employee benefits programs. In addition, they serve as the employees' first contact for matters related to benefits planning. Benefits coordinators are common in human resources departments across various industries, including telecommunications, manufacturing, finance, and construction.
Human resources departments across small businesses and large corporations need a benefits coordinator. They can handle various duties, but their primary function is to address an organization's administrative requirements and benefit plans. Such programs involve extensive interaction and communication with retirement and insurance plan providers.
The benefits coordinator role is multi-faceted, involving interpersonal skills, human resource management capabilities, and intelligent planning abilities. Unfortunately, such varied details often make it challenging to understand this position. Therefore, you should read about the benefits coordinator role and its associated responsibilities before you venture out to become one.
This article will take you through all the duties associated with the benefits coordinator role, how they help organizations with employee satisfaction, and how this position is crucial for all HR departments.
The Benefits Coordinator Role
The benefits coordinator role concentrates on communicating the employee benefits packages and incentive plans offered at an organization. They work closely with benefits managers, and in the process, they have to factor in the organization's culture policies, employee retention and satisfaction statistics, and the human resource strategy.
The benefits coordinator job description asks primarily for great communication skills. Additionally, benefits coordinators have to be talented at efficiently coordinating the incentive programs with benefit providers and satisfying employee expectations.
Some other vital duties of benefits coordinators are described below:
- Conduct extensive and up-to-date research about workplace-related legislation.
- Administer terminations, status changes, and benefits enrollment.
- Help to comply with governmental and company regulations about strategic record-keeping.
- Assist workers with pension funds, life, dental, health, and other benefits claims.
- Verify the monthly premium statements calculation for all relevant group insurance policies and maintain statistical data that affects costs, claims, and premiums. Besides, they ought to resolve admin issues with carrier representatives.
- Review and respond to unemployment matters with pertinent documentation every month.
- Prepare and maintain biweekly workers' reports, absentee reports, and new-hire. Also, they ought to run and update requested statements like phone directories and organizational charts.
The following image shows you the different kinds of employee benefits a coordinator has to oversee and educate employees about.
If you wish to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to become a competent benefits coordinator yourself, you should check out our quality human resources courses at HR University.
Most Important Benefits Coordinator Responsibilities
The duties of a benefits coordinator can vary from organization to organization. For example, larger corporations with more benefits coordinators would mean that each personnel can coordinate a specific benefit or incentive. However, benefits coordinators at smaller companies have to handle multiple benefits for all the employees and have a more significant workload.
Some critical responsibilities a benefits coordinator can expect in the professional field are explained below.
Guide Employees Around Health Plans
Health plans are an integral part of an organization's employee benefits. Therefore, benefits coordinators have to guide employees with their health plans and be their primary source of information. Additionally, they must remain up-to-date regarding applicable laws to provide reliable and practical advice about their benefits.
Benefits coordinators must closely understand the company's health plan coverage and benefits, workers' premiums, employer contributions, and deductibles. Only then can they communicate the details to employees and ensure they benefit from this incentive at the hour of need.
Manage Employee Retirement Plans
Benefits coordinators handle all the workers' questions regarding the retirement plans available in the company. Therefore, they must be well-versed in workers' stock purchase plans, retirement savings vehicles, and 401 (k) of 403 (b) plans. Benefits coordinators advise workers with zero knowledge about savings programs and guide them on the most appropriate saving plan based on their circumstances.
They also coordinate with the employees and payroll regarding the company's contributions to the workers saving plans. Above all, they handle questions regarding rollovers and vesting for employees who retire or leave the company.
Administer and Coordinate FMLA Leaves
This Family and Medical Leave Act offers eligible workers about 12 weeks of free leave for workers with an extreme medical condition or a family member. Benefits coordinators are responsible for assisting employees while managing record-keeping and paperwork for a worker's FMLA leave.
Benefits coordinators also have to communicate any documentation needed for FMLA records. For example, they have to let the employees know that they must provide doctor's documentation to estimate their time off work.
Navigate Finances of Employee Benefits Plans
Benefits coordinators are responsible for finances surrounding benefits plans and collective bargaining agreements. Since they know the company's spending limits for implementing employee benefits, they offer scenarios where negotiators can bargain.
For instance, they can provide spreadsheets illustrating the overall company cost based on variables like raising employee wages in 25% increments and increasing its health plan amount by $1 increments. Such analysis informs negotiation sessions as the company management presents benefits and wage proposals to the labor union negotiators.
Manage Outsourced Human Resource Responsibilities
Benefits coordinators can advise who to outsource human resource functions to where the company would like to let others handle human resources tasks. A good practice is to hire a dedicated coordinator who oversees any operations the company outsources in the human resources department. Thus, such coordinators liaison between the retirement plan providers, insurance companies, employers, and employees.
Benefits coordinators are crucial for a human resources department since they assist workers in understanding their company benefits. For example, they deliver presentations at the orientation level to explain to new employees their company benefits and when they can enjoy these benefits. Therefore, the benefits coordinator can be an excellent career idea for individuals with strong collaborative, interpersonal, and communication skills.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that throughout 2023, the number of job opportunities will increase across numerous HR-related professions such as human resources specialists, benefits coordinators, and benefits specialists. This growth will be due to crucial factors like improved employment law and healthcare reform. Thus, there will be many opportunities for roles like benefits coordinator.
With the proper training and experience, you can become a skillful benefits coordinator yourself. However, throughout your learning process, you should remember that the aim of the role is to assist employees and answer any employee questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions about the benefits coordinator role:
What Should I Ask My Benefits Coordinator?
The benefits coordinator's responsibility is to function as the employee's first contact with the company about their workplace benefits. Thus, the conversation should revolve around essential matters related to employee benefits and incentives. It includes health plans, FMLA administration, costing, and retirement plans.
Are Benefits Coordinators Part of HR?
Benefit coordinators are an important part of a human resources department. Their primary job is to ensure every employee is thoroughly aware of their benefits and the process of availing them. Therefore, they handle all the queries and concerns regarding benefits packages. Additionally, they assist benefit managers while they create strategic employee benefit plans. They also work closely with third-party benefit providers and organize the company's benefits administration.
How do Companies Determine Benefits?
The benefits team can help calculate the cost of the benefits. The team utilizes advanced benefits software that makes calculations and planning much more manageable and straightforward.
If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into the Benefits Coordinator role, we recommend taking our HR Certification Courses, where you will learn how to build your skillset in human resources, build your human resources network, craft a great HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy that helps you achieve a rewarding Benefits Coordinator role.
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He’s a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.