Benefits Specialist
Southern Methodist University Inc

Dallas, Texas

Posted in Education and Training

This job has expired.

Job Info


Salary Range:

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications.

About SMU:

SMU's more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and 80 countries to take advantage of the University's small classes, hands-on research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs. The University offers a strong foundation in the humanities and sciences and undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs through eight schools.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is increasingly recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical leaders in their professions and communities. Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is increasingly recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical leaders in their professions and communities. The University's entrepreneurial spirit lives in people from every academic discipline who see opportunities to create something new in the world - and work hard to bring their innovations to life. SMU's relationship with Dallas - the dynamic center of one of the nation's fastest-growing regions - offers unique learning, research, social and career opportunities that provide a launch pad for our students, faculty and alumni to make a global impact. On the most beautiful college campus in the country, SMU Mustangs are energized by unbridled opportunities - from teaching, learning and research to creativity, performance and athletic endeavor.

About the Position:

The Benefits Specialist performs a variety of duties related to the delivery of employee benefits to University employees. Interprets and applies HR benefits programs & policies, responds to employee and management inquiries, and resolves participant issues. Provides project support (e.g., open enrollment, web page development, etc.), working with other members of the HR Department. Interacts regularly with all benefits vendors, Benefits Accounting, Payroll, Legal, Student Financials, & International Student & Scholar Services. Heavily involved in data management and Benefits Administration Peoplesoft module processes, working with OIT, Payroll and vendors to ensure employee data integrity is maintained.

This role is an in-person, on-campus position.
Essential Functions

  • Administration: Interprets/applies HR benefits programs & policies. Manages Unemployment Compensation, medical coverage for employees on J1 Visas, COBRA, and weekly BCBS discrepancy reports.
  • Customer Care: Responds to questions regarding plan eligibility, interpretation of plan provisions, vacation accruals, vacation payout, life events, COBRA, Unemployment Compensation, time reporting/approval, and numerous other HR related issues via phone, email or in-person.
  • Data/Technical: Runs daily BenAdmin and monthly passive event processes. Reviews system output from file processing; researches/resolves issues. Creates/monitors life events. Edits/runs queries. Identifies/researches system/file issues at participant/plan/program level. Assists OIT with system set-up & testing. Coordinates resolution of problems with appropriate internal/external parties.
  • Auditing: Regularly audits monthly time reporting for terminating monthly staff; dependent eligibility for health plans; contribution limits for spending accounts; 403(b) Retirement Plan and Emeriti Health Account mandatory enrollment; health savings account activation. Additional audits as needed.
  • Benefits Website: Update the Benefits pages of the Human Resources website annually and as needed (e.g., premiums changes, plans changes, etc.)
  • Special Events & Projects - Open Enrollment, New Employee/New Faculty Orientation, and others as needed.


Education and Experience:

A bachelor's degree is required, preferably in Human Resources or a related subject.

A minimum of one year of relevant work experience is required. Candidate with prior employee benefit administration experience is required, primarily in the areas of qualified health and retirement plans, FMLA, COBRA, new employee onboarding, retirements, and annual open enrollment.

Candidate with CEBS, PHR or SHRM-CP certifications is preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Innovative problem-solver candidate with strong employee relations and vendor management skills is required. Candidate with working knowledge of relevant regulations applicable to qualified benefits plan administration (i.e., FMLA, HIPAA, COBRA, ADA and the Affordable Care Act) is required.

Candidate should have proficiency in MS Office, with advanced skills in Excel is preferred. A working knowledge of HRIS is also required; PeopleSoft preferred. Previous experience with web page development and maintenance (e.g. Frontpage, Sitecore) is also preferred.

The ideal candidate must demonstrate to have strong written, verbal and interpersonal communications skills with a commitment to customer service. Organizational and planning skills with a keen attention to detail is a must.

Deadline to Apply

This position is open until filled.

Priority consideration will be given to candidates who apply by February 29, 2024.

Physical and Environmental Demands:

This position requires the ability to bend, carry/lift up to 25 lbs., and sit for long periods of time

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,


SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU's retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn't just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.

This job has expired.

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