Pension and Benefits Specialist

Seattle, WA
Full Time
Human Resources
Experienced

The Seattle Times, a Pulitzer Prize-winning news organization and one of the few remaining independently owned daily metro newspapers in the country, is looking for a detail-oriented Pension and Benefits Specialist to join our Human Resources team. In this role, you will be tasked with administering pension plans and supporting other payroll and benefits functions as needed. You will be the first point of contact for pension plan participants who are retiring or need assistance with their benefit payments. As such, you will be expected to provide exceptional customer service.

 

Ideally, you will be comfortable with performing complex benefits administration functions, including assessing benefit eligibility, running benefit calculations, managing correspondence with participants, and initiating and terminating benefit payments. You will apply principles of pension and other benefits regulations and practices to ensure accurate pension plan benefit administration, regulatory compliance, and audit completion. In collaboration with the Director of Compensation & Benefits, you will plan, design and initiate business process procedures and systems analysis in support of the pension administration system. As a collaborative member of the HR team, you will cross train others on pension functions and support other payroll and benefits functions as assigned.

 

Schedule: This is a hybrid role, with at least two days a week in the Seattle office. The work schedule for this position is Monday to Friday from approximately 8:00am-4:30pm.

 

Responsibilities

  • Provide excellent customer service to pension plan participants. This includes answering questions regarding benefit estimates and plan options (including annuity or lump sum options, impact of taxation, life expectancy, survivor benefits), and processing banking and address changes. You will counsel beneficiaries and participant family members regarding survivor benefits and distribution options and requirements.
  • Prepare participant benefit calculations for retirements for final review by Director of Compensation & Benefits; ensure accuracy of employment history and benefit calculations; schedule payments to retirees and beneficiaries; ensure proper withholding and payment of state or federal taxes; monitor update multiple data tracking systems. 
  • Utilize and maintain Excel-based pension administration system, auditing data and results for accuracy and identifying issues for resolution as needed. 
  • Identify non-routine issues and research history, plan provisions, and participant status to determine resolutions with actuary, legal representation, and/or management. Work with participants, attorneys and actuaries to research issues and conduct data gathering for special analysis.
  • Participate in the modification, testing, and documentation of benefits processes (including workflow documentation, systems evaluation, implementation, written procedures and ongoing maintenance); coordinate or conduct system and data audits, maintenance routines, and data cleanup.
  • Coordinate with consultants, actuaries, and custodial trustees for plan transactions, plan analysis and reports.
  • Process and track plan expense payments to external vendors, working with Finance department as needed.
  • Assist in annual plan audits. Prepare data for annual compliance testing/reporting and participant disclosures. Track scheduled pension payments and reconcile bi-annually to actual payments; research and resolve discrepancies.
  • Assist the Director of Compensation & Benefits in planning, designing, initiating, and communicating procedural changes to comply with revisions in retirement plans or federal laws.
  • Coordinate the maintenance and archival of hard-copy and electronic forms, records, reports and files for pension plans.
  • Train other staff members in pension administration tasks.
  • Perform other benefits and payroll administration tasks as assigned (either on a regular basis or as a back-up to other staff members).

 

Qualifications

Education:

  • B.A. or AA (or equivalent) college-level courses in Human Resources, finance, accounting or business administration. Relevant work experience may be substituted for education.
  • CEBS certification preferred.

 

Experience:

  • Three years’ experience in benefits administration for pension plans in actuarial firm or for company-sponsored or multiple employer pension plans preferred.
  • Three years minimum experience utilizing various software packages and programs (spreadsheet, word processing, database) required.
  • Human resources department experience and some accounting experience preferred
  • Extensive experience working within Excel database systems and with other Microsoft Office software required.
  • Demonstrated high degree of accuracy in data entry and computational analysis. 
  • Ability to identify efficient procedures and processes, organize data and administrative processes, create and edit written procedures and other documentation.
  • Efficiency with multiple and competing priorities
  • Ability to become proficient and efficient utilization of HRIS systems utilized by the benefits & payroll department.
  • Ability to manage complex benefits administration processes on monthly, quarterly and/or annual basis.
  • Demonstrated experience safeguarding confidential information.

 

Compensation: The full salary range for this position is $60,800 to $83,700. We typically pay $60,800 to $76,100 depending on experience and qualifications.


Benefits: 

  • Medical, dental insurance and long-term disability insurance
  • Employee assistance program
  • Optional life and AD&D insurance and long-term care insurance
  • 401(k) plan with employer match
  • 10 days of annual vacation accrual, increasing with tenure up to 20 days
  • 10 days of annual sick accrual; unused sick pay accrues to an extended illness bank
  • 9 paid holidays
  • Subsidized transit cards
  • Complimentary Seattle Times subscription
  • Wellness program
  • Parental leave options

 

Please Note: This position requires a criminal background check once an offer has been made.

 

Founded in 1896, The Seattle Times continues its tradition as a family-owned, Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper that cuts through the clutter and provides readers with timely, relevant news. We serve the Pacific Northwest with thoughtful, independent journalism that makes a real difference in our community. And as a media solutions company, we combine cutting-edge digital capabilities and service with the values and integrity of respected traditional media… with an established audience of 1.9 million. At The Seattle Times, you'll find work that matters.

If you need assistance to accommodate a disability, please contact Human Resources at careers@seattletimes.com and provide a description of the reasonable accommodation(s) needed.

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