Benefits Specialist – Atlantic Central

Atlantic Central is the trade association for credit unions in Atlantic Canada. We are passionate people committed to top notch customer service, partnering with credit unions across the Atlantic provinces to enable the Atlantic credit union system and the communities they serve to thrive.

To that end, we are working with a dynamic group of credit unions from across Atlantic Canada who are building a human resource shared service model focused on creating an exceptional employee experience.  This streamlined, efficient and data enabled approach to human resources will generate capacity for credit union managers to focus on big-picture issues and service strategies that make a difference for our members.

We are looking for a Benefits Specialist to join us at the ground level of this innovative and collaborative initiative.  We’ve implemented a Risk Management & Compliance shared service and are now ready to start building the Human Resource arm. This is an exciting time for credit unions in Atlantic Canada, we strive to empower and support the growth of our employees in our team environment and we want YOU to join our team!

We provide a range of services, leadership and advocacy at the provincial, regional and national levels. Collectively, the 45 credit unions we support are entrusted to manage $6 billion in assets on behalf of 300,000+ members. League Savings and Mortgage Company is a subsidiary of Atlantic Central and has been a trusted credit union partner for over 50 years.

In the role of Benefits Specialist, you’ll report to the Manager, Rewards Administration & HR Systems and be responsible for the administration, education and communication of the employee benefits plans, including health and dental, life and disability, retirement and other group benefits, for customer organizations and the Atlantic Services Centre (ASC). You’ll serve as a resource for the benefits plans and provides guidance and support to employees, managers, and the HR Shared Services units for questions and issues related to the plans.

The ideal candidate will not only share our passion for customer service excellence, but also be team focused, and able to balance structure and flexibility while creating this new shared services team.

Benefits Administration 

  • Administering the benefits enrolment, Flex Plan re-enrolment, changes and termination process for the group benefits plans (health and dental insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, employee and family assistance program (EFAP), voluntary benefits, Group Savings for Retirement Plan (GSRP), pension and retiree benefits).
  • Administering the annual renewal process including preparing and the conducting renewal presentation with employees and preparing and distributing the employee renewal memo; providing the renewal rates and effective dates to payroll to update the payroll system.
  • Staying current on regulations concerning insurance and employee benefits and assessing the potential impact of these changes on HR related services.

Plan Administration Support

  • Providing advice and guidance to the Atlantic Plan participants in the Credit Union National Benefits (CUNB) Plan on the administration of the Plan and eligibility for coverage; distributing CUNB issued communications for Plan Administrators and plan members; investigating and resolving issues or escalating as appropriate; conducting and/or coordinating training for Plan Administrators.
  • Administering the corporate gym membership program available through Atlantic Central

Plan Member Support

  • Responding to managers, employees and retirees on benefits related inquiries. Investigating and resolving benefits related issues or escalating as appropriate. Liaising with the insurance carrier on questions and/or issues. Monitoring themes in inquiries and identifying opportunities to clarify benefits coverage and/or administrative processes.

Benefits Communication/Education

  • Providing input into and/or developing communication and educational materials on benefits packages. Communicating information to employees and retirees about benefits programs, plan design changes, new and changed procedures, and rate impacts. Conducting group information and education sessions on new/changed benefits.
  • Maintaining the benefits section of the extranet site.
  • Providing support to and liaising with the Talent and Total Rewards team and Wellness team(s) in communicating and deploying health and wellness initiatives across credit unions and the Atlantic Service Centre.

Disability Management & Leaves of Absence Administration

  • Performing administrative, transactional and insurer management activities for leaves of absence and return to work programs related to medical leaves, short and long-term disability claims, pregnancy/parental leave and other unpaid leaves of absence.

Invoice Processing and Auditing

  • Generating and processing monthly invoices from carriers for payment. Performing quarterly audits to ensure accuracy of coverage levels and rates on invoices. Investigating and resolving reconciliation outages provided by Payroll. Verifying that deductions on employee profile equals deductions showing on payroll reports. Researching and resolving discrepancies between employee, payroll, and benefits provider data.

Department and Company Support

  • Ensuring proper flow and maintenance of employee data in collaboration with the Payroll Specialist and the HRIS Analyst.
  • Providing input into the annual budgeting process for employee benefits related expenses.
  • Participating in the development and ongoing maintenance of processes and procedures to improve upon the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the Rewards Administration & HR Systems function. Developing and maintaining procedures for the Benefits Specialist job.
  • Assisting and backing up other members of the HR Shared Services teams as required and completing other projects and duties as assigned.

This position offers the ability to telecommute.

This position requires occasional travel throughout Atlantic Canada and occasional evening and weekend work.

The ideal candidate for this position will have a Bachelors’ Degree plus have a minimum of five years benefits related experience in a high volume, customer-focused environment; or have an equivalent combination of education and experience. A Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) designation will be considered an asset.

The successful candidate will have the following skills and knowledge: 

  • Excellent oral and written communications skills including the ability to write clearly and succinctly in a variety of communication settings and styles; communicate with technical and non-technical users
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to respond to inquiries and issues
  • Proven presentation skills and ability
  • Ability to translate insurance related jargon into layman’s terms for clarification purposes
  • Proven ability to effectively work with diverse stakeholder groups and to interact with all levels of management and staff
  • Advanced knowledge of employee benefits and pension related programs and regulated provincial and federal legislation pertaining to benefits
  • Working knowledge of Human Resources practices and principles
  • Working knowledge of employment legislation and regulations
  • Proven ability to interpret and apply a variety of policies, practices and processes to come up with sound resolutions and improvement if needed
  • Demonstrated high proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, etc.)
  • Demonstrated proficiency in the use of an HRIS or similar database program that is integrated with a payroll operating system and/or insurance carrier system
  • Proven time management skills and ability in organizing work, setting priorities, and performing multiple tasks with conflicting priorities and rigid deadlines
  • Proven analytical and problem-solving skills in identifying and resolving issues and discrepancies
  • Proven ability to accurately compile, input data and maintain data and ability to manipulate large data sets while maintaining data integrity
  • Proven ability in maintaining a high level of discretion and confidentiality in handling confidential and personal information and in confidential personnel matters, situations and discussions
  • Proven ability to work well under pressure
  • Proven ability to work well in a fast paced and dynamic environment while maintaining consistency of approach
  • Proven ability to work independently with minimum supervision
  • Proven customer service orientation ability in delivering high quality customer service and establishing/maintaining effective and collaborative working relationships
  • Demonstrated understanding of a shared services function and customer service principles

The successful candidate will also demonstrate strong ability in the following behavioural competencies: 

  • Adaptability to Change
  • Customer Service Orientation
  • Listening, Understanding and Responding
  • Results Orientation
  • Teamwork & Cooperation
  • Strategic Orientation

This is a permanent full-time position and is rated a Salary Level CU-6 ($55,636 – $65,454). Atlantic Central offers a competitive benefits package as well as the opportunity to participate in the Performance Sharing Incentive Plan.

Applications will close on November 22, 2019.  

Interested candidates should forward their résumé, including salary expectations, in confidence, to:

Human Resources Department
Atlantic Central
6074 Lady Hammond Road
Halifax, NS   B3K 2R7

(When sending applications by e-mail, please send in MS Word format)