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The benefits manager is a professional that is charged with the responsibility of overseeing the administration of any benefits provided by a company to its employees. Sometimes referred to as a benefits specialist, the benefits manager is often part of the larger Human Resources team. In smaller businesses, the role of the benefits manager is often bundled in with other Human Resources tasks, and handled by one or two people.
A key role in the administration of benefits is the creation of the package of employee benefits offered to people who come to work for the company. The benefits manager helps to establish the criteria that the employee must meet in order to have access to various benefits. Within the scope of this task, the manager must make sure to remain in compliance with any governmental regulations that would apply. Above and beyond meeting government standards, the benefits manager may work with owners and other managers to offer additional benefits as part of employee incentives.
Along with defining who is eligible to receive benefits, the benefits manager also plays an important part in establishing those benefit plans. This means evaluating and committing to programs for health and life insurance. The benefits manager will also be called upon to look at the establishment of retirement and pension plans, as well as any profit sharing or employee stock programs the company wishes to consider. Because the benefits manager is an officer of the company, he or she will strive to provide the best benefits that the current condition of the company justifies.
The work of a benefits manager does not end once the benefit packages are defined and activated. All types of benefits require monitoring to ensure they are functioning according to expectations. In addition, the benefits manager is often the individual who is called upon to resolve issues employees may encounter with one of the elements of the benefits package, and to explain the benefits to new employees.
Benefit managers usually pursue some type of formal education in preparation for their work. While a degree in some aspect of Human Resources is often present, an effective benefits manager may also come from an accounting background, or hold a degree in Business Administration. Today, there are institutions of higher learning that offer degree programs and certification that relate directly to the field of benefits management.