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Senior Benefits Specialist

Seattle Pacific University
Seattle, WA

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Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
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Category:: Staff
Department:: Human Resources
Locations:: Seattle, WA
Posted:: Jun 7, 2022
Closes:: Open Until Filled
Type:: Exempt
Ref. No.:: 150531
Position ID:: 148641

About Seattle Pacific University:

Founded in 1891, Seattle Pacific University has a long and distinguished history in Christian higher education. Located just minutes from downtown Seattle, SPU seeks to be a premier Christian University fully committed to engaging the culture and changing the world by graduating people of competence and character, becoming people of wisdom, and modeling grace-filled community. Seattle Pacific University seeks applicants committed to its Christian mission.

Diversity Statement

As part of our mission of cultural engagement, SPU is committed to building an excellent and diverse staff and faculty. Diversity is an ethos that is inseparable from our Christian faith. At SPU, we recognize diversity as a basic feature of God's creation and a core theme of the gospel. At the heart of our mission-centered commitment to becoming a more diverse community is a desire to represent the breadth of God's kingdom more fully.

We strive to become a workplace of choice and to recruit, develop, and retain faculty and staff who can embrace, value, and engage differences with humility and care. We invite you to join us on our journey by starting a career at SPU! Learn more about SPU's commitment to diversity and opportunities for our employees to deepen their capacity to serve our increasingly diverse student body.

Seattle Pacific University provides reasonable accommodation to applicants. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any portion of the application or hiring process please contact the Human Resources Department at (206)281-2809, or email [email protected]. Notification must be given at least five (5) working days before the accommodation is needed.

Job Description:

General Summary: Provides operational and strategic leadership of SPU's employee benefits program.

  • Collaborates with the HR Benefits Specialist, HR Benefits Data Coordinator, HR Senior Data Specialist, Payroll and other HR staff members in the day-to-day administration of the university's benefits programs, which include the retirement plans, group medical, dental, and life insurance plans, disability plans, health savings account and flexible spending accounts, long-term care plan, Emeriti retiree medical plan, wellness plans, etc.
  • In a caring and compassionate way, responsible for communication of policy and coordination of benefits requests/needs as they arise. Collaborates with employees and supervisors to ensure policies are followed and needs of employees/departments are met. Assists employees and resigning employees with the options available to them and provides information for Vendor contact.
  • Coordinates with HR Benefits Specialist to manages yearly benefits open enrollment process. Includes implementation of benefit changes, communication to employees and coordination of benefit vendors.
  • In partnership with the HR Benefits Data Coordinator and HR Benefits Specialist, oversees ongoing new-hire and mid-year benefits enrollments (including ACA tracking and enrollments), and changes in partnerships.
  • Collaborates with the AVP-HR in managing the university's relationship with benefits consultants, vendors of benefits plans, legal and actuarial consultants, record-keepers, etc.
  • Coordinates with AVP-HR in development of benefits proposals and annual renewal negotiations with insurance carriers, and administration of contracts or other agreements involving employee benefits.
  • Manages leave of absences for employees. Responsible for communicating policy on leaves of absence to employees. Counsels employees and supervisors on their leave of absence options. Works with Benefits Data Coordinator to ensure payroll and accounting for LOA payroll information and benefits deductions are timely and accurate. Teaches annual supervisor training class on Leave Management.
  • Coordinates accommodation requests and workers compensation issues for employees.
  • In conjunction with the AVP-HR, schedules, facilitates and provides ongoing records as a non-voting member of the Investment Committee.
  • Coordinates with the AVP-HR on administration of the University Retirement plans, The Defined Contribution Retirement Plan 401(a); the Employee Savings Plan 403(b) , and the 457(b) and 457(f) plans, including but not limited to compliance with IRS, DOL and related ERISA regulations.
  • In coordination with the Benefits Data Coordinator, completes annual reporting and testing, and the performance of the annual plan audits. Administers plan procedures in compliance with plan document provisions related but not limited to eligibility, enrollment determinations, distributions, transfers, forfeiture completion and analysis, break in service and hours of service determinations. Implements and monitors plan accounting functions to assist in ongoing analysis.
  • In cooperation with the AVP-HR, plans for employee retirement education needs: Ensures that employees receive appropriate and ample opportunities to explore their retirement options by providing annual training seminars and quarterly educational opportunities, including the annual Retirement Readiness Seminar and Brighten Your Horizons workshop.
  • Coordinates with the Benefits Data Coordinator to Performs monthly administration of the Emeriti Retirement Health Solutions Program and coordinate and complete annual audit, Form 990 and 5500 for the plans.
  • Works with AVP-HR to ensure that development and implementation of benefits programs, policies and practices are in compliance with ERISA, COBRA, FMLA, HIPAA, ACA, ADA, Seattle Sick-Safe, WA Paid Family Leave and other applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. Conducts periodic audits of benefits policies and procedures, plan documents, and summary plan descriptions. Maintains calendar of due dates for filing of Form 5500, Summary Annual Reports, Summary of Material Modifications, OSHA 300, etc.
  • Responsible for timely and accurate updating to the HR website/wiki pages as benefits policies change.


  • Bachelor's degree in business management, human resource management or other related field, and/or commensurate experience in benefits coordination/administration.
  • 4+ years of progressively responsible related experience working as a human resources generalist with emphasis in benefits management and administration.
  • Ability to communicate complicated subject matter clearly. Strong written and verbal communication skills. Must be able to use good judgment in making decisions.
  • Strong attention to detail, minimum intermediate user in Excel. Familiarity with Microsoft Office suite, including Work, Outlook, PowerPoint, SharePoint and Teams.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master's degree in business, human resources or related fields and/or commensurate experience in benefits management.
  • 5+ years of experience coordinating benefits programs, higher-ed experience a plus.
  • Prefer PHR or SPHR; and CEBS or GBA.

Additional Information:

Position will remain open until filled.

Salary: $65,000 - $73,000 annually DOE

This is a full time position with excellent benefits. SPU pays the employee premium for medical, dental, and vision insurance. SPU makes contributions to an employee HSA account and to a retirement account after one year of eligibility in the plan. Tuition discount program available for the employee and qualified immediate family members.

Application Instructions:

Please submit a cover letter and resume along with the online application.

All SPU employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to submit documentary proof of vaccination unless an exception applies. For more information, see SPU's Vaccination Requirements FAQs web page.

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