Pensions administrators often manage group and personal retirement accounts to ensure monies are handled appropriately. These professionals may also serve as liaisons between employees and financial advisors or investors. It is often their responsibility to direct questions, find answers and stay abreast of laws and statues that may influence the funds’ growth, availability and tax implications. Pensions administrator jobs may therefore be available with financial planning companies, in-house employee benefits departments, third-party benefits providers or consulting firms. They may also serve in supervisory positions, although career requirements are likely to depend on one’s region of residence.
Essential pensions administrator duties are to establish pension funds and make regular updates to members’ records. Events such as job terminations and retirements, deaths, births and divorces are likely to influence a client’s beneficiaries. A pensions administrator job description may further require the following activities: transfer monies into or out of members’ accounts per requests, issue monthly or quarterly statements and ensure clients' retirement needs are properly planned. Pensions administrators may also process payments and cooperate with other departments to ensure complete legal compliance.
Companies that specialize in financial planning often provide clients with a wealth of services. In addition to helping clients build wealth through diverse investment vehicles, they may also establish retirement funds. Pensions administrator jobs are thus likely to serve as consultants whereby they present to clients various retirement planning options. These professionals may provide sample plans and calculations before entering actual data into the appropriate system, identify gaps in clients’ current benefits planning and promote applicable financial packages. When not meeting with clients, pensions administrators may research market trends and develop new prospect contacts.
When working in an in-house capacity, administrators are likely to interact with numerous employees throughout the day. Primary functions may include preparing written communications for participants or beneficiaries, including benefit election packages, responses to estimate requests and deferred vested letters. Pensions administrator jobs may also verify pension benefits for various plans and events, respond to pension-related cases from the human resources service center and process bereavement cases. These professionals often maintain participant records, so reviewing and correcting data as on-going review processes or in response to inquiries received may compose additional tasks.
Third-party benefits providers often provide human resource management services to companies both large and small. The pensions administrator job in this instance may require juggling multiple corporate accounts with individualized needs. This often requires a substantial amount of communication with clients, in such situations as answering employee questions or responding to the liaison’s needs. Third-party providers may also conduct corporate presentations to inform participants of account performance and new regulations or laws that influence options. If significant changes occur in the stability of fund underwriters, the administrator may also advise clients of such events and offer alternative solutions.
Pensions administrator supervisors may oversee an entire team of professionals who calculate and pay pension benefits for clients. These positions are often responsible for marketing pension plan benefits and monitoring administrative procedures. Additional duties may include training staff members, handling client concerns and reviewing data to ensure accuracy of pension reports. Internally, these professionals may supervise workload and delegate account responsibilities, while externally they may interface with plan sponsor representatives and assist with creating new packages for current and future client needs.
People who want to pursue pensions administrator jobs often need four-year degrees in business, finance or accounting. Specific educational and professional requirements, however, are likely to depend on the region in which a person lives. Some pensions administrator careers require regional certification, such as the Qualified Pension Administrator designation from the American Society of Pension Actuaries. In the United Kingdom, pensions administrators must gain one of several qualifications approved by the Financial Services Authority.