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Benefits Specialist
McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Illinois
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Date Posted 05/10/2019
Admin-Other Administrative Positions
Employment Type Full Time
Application Deadline Open until filled

Posting Number

MAIN 2019-328-REQ


Benefits Specialist





Employee Type

Full Time

Pay Grade


Grant Funded


Work Year

12 Months

Work Week

40 Hours

Exempt/ Non-Exempt


Typical Work Schedule

40 Hours | Flexible schedule to meet department needs. Flexible schedule to meet department needs, to include possible evenings and weekends

Bargaining Unit Eligible

Yes-Staff Council

Position Summary

Under general direction of the Director of Employee Relations and Benefits, the Benefits Specialist will ensure that McHenry County College is communicating about and managing a competitive, flexible and financially sound benefits package for our employees. The Benefits Specialist will be the primary point of contact for employees, serving as the benefits and State University Retirement System (SURS) pension specialist. Responsible for a variety of functions and activities related to benefits and pension administration, the Benefits Specialist performs duties that ensure the effective and efficient administration of the College’s benefits and pension plans, with a focus on providing outstanding customer service to employees, students, retirees and external customers, with a sense of urgency to oversee benefits in a resource lean environment.

Reports to

Director of Employee Relations and Benefits

Essential Functions and Responsibilities

• Provide benefits administration with time sensitivity and detail orientation:
o In collaboration with the Director of Employee Relations and Benefits (DERB), develop and present new hire orientation, annual open enrollment and benefits orientation materials, communications, presentations, etc.
o Develop and present employee benefit workshops and communications designed to help employees obtain information and understand the College’s benefits or updates to benefits offered, through the use of Lunch and Learn presentations and regular creation and communication of resources on the College’s internal website
o Coordinate form completion, processing and follow-up, responding to calls and emails from employees, retirees and vendors to ensure quick and courteous resolution. Process and maintain information for employees regarding insurance enrollment, change in family status, and terminations
o Stay current on all regulations related to the State University Retirement System (SURS), serve as liaison between employees, retirees and SURS to resolve pension or disability related issues
o Act as liaison between 403(b)/457 plan administrator and employees as needed
o Proactively promote the Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) to all employees
o Audit internal and external reports to ensure employee and dependent status for accurate benefit elections, eligibility, deductions, coverage and verify for accuracy.
o Maintain open communication with Payroll to ensure specific deadlines are met and accurate employee payroll deductions
o Back up the Manager of Wellness and Leave Management with FMLA and accommodation requests
o Manage the tracking of all time off benefits, including leave accruals and the use of sick, vacation, personal or other time off
o Input benefit plan information into the College’s HRIS and vendor benefits systems and maintain information accuracy. Perform periodic audits of the information to ensure accuracy and data integrity
o Coordinate transition and conduct orientation of insurance options for new retirees and process their insurance payments
o Notify third-party administrator (TPA) of all terminations for COBRA administration
o Keep current on health related laws e.g., COBRA, HIPAA, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by participating in webinars, attending conferences, etc.
o Under direction of the Director of HR Operations and Compliance, coordinate ACA compliance and complete ACA reporting requirements
o Review and process insurance billings and administration fee payments
o Coordinate with the Manager of Wellness and Leave Management regarding benefit options and/or payments for employees on a leave of absence
o Participate in surveys for benefit programs
o Maintain and audit insurance reports for accuracy
o Complete census reports as required by providers utilizing information contained within the ERP and report writing tool
o Serve as a resource to the Insurance Advisory Committee and member of the Wellness Committee
o Coordinate death benefits and serve as liaison between beneficiaries/family and insurance companies
• Responsible for the timely processing of unemployment claims, protests, hearings, and payments, focusing efforts on reducing the College’s liability
• Serve as back up and offer support to other team members of the Office of Human Resources
• Work collaboratively with others (e.g. colleagues, stakeholders, vendors) to accomplish functions and responsibilities
• Perform additional duties as assigned by the Director of Employee Relations and Benefits or AVP of Human Resources


Bachelor's Degree from a regionally accredited institution

Additional Qualifications

• Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, preferably resulting in a degree in HR Management or related field or an Associates’ degree from a regionally accredited institution and five or years of relevant experience administering employee benefit plans
• Two years’ experience in administering employee benefits/pensions
• Direct experience with pertinent federal and state regulations affecting employee benefit programs including, but not limited to COBRA, ACA, FMLA, ADA, etc.

Desired Qualifications

PHR or equivalent
• Prior experience using Colleague ERP

Skills and Specifications

• Strong customer service orientation, with ability to be compassionate, empathetic, flexible, tactful and patient
• Strong interpersonal skills, including written and oral communications, listening, presentation, group facilitation, influencing and negotiation, interacting in a professional manner with all levels of employees
• Ability to maintain confidentiality, demonstrate discretion, integrity and fairness
• Ability to work under pressure and handle change, in a fast-paced, goal-oriented team environment
• Effective project, time management, organizational and accuracy skills, with the ability to manage multiple complex projects concurrently with a strong attention to detail
• Strong technological skills, including the ability to learn new software applications, including College ERP and HRIS
• Strong problem-solving skills
• Experience with processes related to unemployment
• Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, especially in utilizing Word for mail merges and Excel for analysis
• Educate and assist College employees by extending a positive, collegial, informed and polished image
• Knowledge of and ability to comply with relative employment and benefit regulations
• Attention to detail with mathematical aptitude
• Ability to work independently with minimal supervision and take initiative to resolve or complete duties in an accurate, timely and reliable manner
• Ability to interpret bargaining unit contracts, and apply board policy and HR procedures consistently
• Commitment and respect for diversity
• Understanding of and commitment to the College mission, goals and Behaviors of Excellence
• Ability to perform all of the essential functions, skills, and specifications of the position

Additional Skills and Specifications

Commitment and respect for diversity; MCC Behaviors of Excellence

Employment Contingencies

Criminal Background Check


Main Campus - Crystal Lake

Applications may be accepted until the position is filled


Application Review Begins


Benefit Information & Perks

Benefit Program FT Non-Exempt Staff 10-17: Download Form, Mandatory Payroll Deduction Form 10-2018: Download Form

Testing Requirements

A skills assessment and/or presentation may be required of all interviewees for this position.
*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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