Benefits Manager Salary
With slightly less than two-thirds of Benefits Managers in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience in the field, this area is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Pay ranges from $47K to $111K per year and averages out to $73K annually. Total incomes of Benefits Managers incorporate potential for, in a few cases, more than $15K from bonuses and close to $10K from profit sharing; these performance components cause packages to range between $47K and $111K. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. The vast majority (88 percent) of Benefits Managers who took the survey are female. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a large number collect dental insurance. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
Job Description for Benefits Manager
A benefits manager is a supervisory position in a company's Human Resources (HR) department. Benefits managers' primary role is to handle all issues related to employee benefits. Usually in most medium and large-sized companies, much of this benefit work revolves around employee health care insurance and related programs, but it can also include other aspects as well.Read More...
For employees, the two most important benefits they carry are their employer-sponsored health insurance and earned vacation time. Both of these (and more) are administered by benefits managers. They also help determine employees' benefit eligibility and process the documentation for new employees. In addition, benefits managers also help process and expedite claim forms of employees covered by company-sponsored health insurance.
While much of benefits managers' time is consumed with insurance work, they normally also maintain and update databases with employee sick day and vacation eligibility, and make the database available to the workers and supervisors at a company. This helps virtually all of the departments within a company ensure that employees' vacations do not adversely affect productivity.
A benefits manager normally must have at least a bachelor’s degree in a business-related discipline; larger companies may seek candidates with related postgraduate study in business management or human resources. Benefits managers normally work in an office environment during regular business hours. They must be organized, computer literate, good at working with others, and have an aptitude for understanding the complex and constantly changing insurance regulations and coverage terms, as well as changes in health care law.
Benefits Manager Tasks
- Ensure compliance of all plans and programs with governmental regulatory agencies.
- Manage vendors to ensure services are delivered within contractual agreements.
- Manage the selection, training and development of benefits staff who administer benefit programs and respond to employee inquiries.
- Propose cost and time efficient changes to benefits programs, manage the annual benefit budgets.
Common Career Paths for Benefits Manager
While not commonly seen, Benefits Managers who transition into a Director of Compensation & Benefits position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Directors of Compensation & Benefits is $122K per year. More often than not, a Human Resources Manager role is the next step for Benefits Managers moving up in the field. Pay for Human Resources Managers is usually $59K. Many Benefits Managers choose to take on a Senior Benefits Manager role instead, where salaries are typically $95K.
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Popular Skills for Benefits Manager
Benefits Managers seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, facility with Vendor Management, Pension Plan Administration, and 401k Plan Administration are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 33 percent, 12 percent, and 6 percent, respectively. Those listing Human Resources as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Payroll Administration and Health and Wellness also typically command lower compensation. The majority of those who know Benefits Administration also know Microsoft Office and Benefits & Compensation.
Pay by Experience Level for Benefits Manager
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Benefits Managers with a lot of experience tend to enjoy higher earnings. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $58K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $69K. For Benefits Managers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $81K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $88K.
Pay Difference by Location
New York offers some of the highest pay in the country for Benefits Managers, 41 percent above the national average. Benefits Managers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+33 percent), Houston (+19 percent), Dallas (+17 percent), and Washington (+14 percent). Benefits Managers in San Antonio earn salaries far below the national average by 33 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Colorado Springs and Rochester (29 percent lower and 21 percent lower, respectively).