Senior Benefits Analyst
Chicago, IL 60606
Equity Residential is an S&P 500 real estate company and an industry leading multi-family REIT, headquartered in downtown Chicago. And working for Equity Residential means being part of a community and striving to provide the best in apartment living, speaking boldly about new ideas for innovation, and inspiring creativity in the ways we work together. That’s what our Be.Think.Play.Live. culture is all about.
Under the direction of the Benefits Director, the Senior Benefits Analyst will be responsible for researching, analyzing, measuring, and evaluating the company’s employee benefits programs and services. Your primary focus includes analyzing and administering employee health and welfare programs, in addition to assisting with the design, delivery, and administration of other total rewards program elements, such as the 401(k) Plan, Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP), and various ancillary voluntary benefits. Additionally, this role has a responsibility to interpret guidelines and legislation related to benefits products and programs to ensure Equity Residential remains compliant, competitive, cost-effective, and affordable, while meeting the needs of both the business and its employees. In other words, the Senior Benefits Analyst serves as the internal subject matter expert in all applicable benefits disciplines and helps to research and recommend HR philosophies as they relate to the company’s benefits products and programs. As the Senior Benefits Analyst, you also have a hand in assisting with the analysis of health and welfare plan claims/expenses, in addition to reconciliation of the 401(k) and Employee Stock Purchase Plan. Each day will be unique, requiring an ability to prioritize, multitask, think strategically, take initiative, and employ a diverse set of skills. Expect to be a key member of the company’s HR Benefits & Compensation Team, which means you’ll have the opportunity to get involved in a variety of cross-functional projects. Above all, you’ll have a direct hand in ensuring that Equity Residential can effectively attract and retain talent by helping to maintain and enhance the company’s total wellbeing package.
WHO YOU ARE
- Analytical. You are comfortable building models, analyzing data, deciphering data, and evaluating trends. You’ve got strong quantitative skills and you know how to apply them accordingly across a variety of benefits-related activities.
- Knowledgeable. You have a broad-based familiarity with benefits programs, regulations, and best practices. Topics related to medical, dental, life, vision, FSA, 401(k), and employee stock purchase plans are all subjects you’re comfortable interpreting, assessing, and making recommendations about. And when inquiries about employee benefit elements bubble up, you enjoy providing clarity and helping others to understand. For example, you are comfortable explaining processes such as benefits eligibility and FSA non-discrimination testing, among other benefits specific processes.
- Strong Communicator. Your writing and speaking skills are clear, articulate, and effective, demonstrating your ability to interact with all levels and various teams within the organization and be understood. In addition, your ability to partner with external representatives, such as vendors and system administrators, will be critical in order to be effective in this role .
- Technologically Savvy. You’ve previously been exposed to HR management systems (Oracle, PeopleSoft, Ceridian, etc.) and know how to extract relevant information and build reports. You’ve got a deep knowledge of Microsoft Excel and can also operate successfully across the Google platform. And when technology doesn’t operate as you might expect, you are comfortable researching and troubleshooting issues until root cause is identified and resolved.
- A Team Player. You are known for serving as a resource and trusted business partner for internal groups. Participating in cross-functional projects is the type of work you love.
- Passionate. Motivated. Eager to Learn. You are resourceful, ask smart questions, challenge the status quo, and regularly seek to understand. You invest extra energy to reach your goals. And when a special project arises, you volunteer.
- Organized, Efficient, and Accountable. You have a keen eye for detail and pride yourself on delivering quality work. You multitask well, re-prioritize accordingly, and meet deadlines consistently. Above all, you are flexible and able to juggle the needs of changing priorities of the business. In other words, you handle pressure well and do so with confidence!
- Maintain confidentiality. The ability to work with protected health information and other confidential data, while using discretion, is crucial to this position.
WHAT YOU’LL DO
- Participate in the administration of the company’s medical, dental, life, vision, FSA, 401(k), and employee stock purchase programs.
- Perform reporting and analysis, then make recommendations on health & welfare benefits data, as well as 401(k) plan and employee stock purchase plan data. Responsibility begins with data collection and extends through the complete process, from analysis to auditing to enhancement recommendations.
- Support the delivery of company-wide annual benefits enrollment.
- Assist in the administration of the company’s benefits plans, which requires a sound demonstration of ERISA and IRS rules, as they pertain to employee and executive benefits. Also, track and administer employee eligibility for benefit plans.
- Serve as the liaison for Equity Residential and its benefits vendors, which includes preparing the documentation and data files, as well as coordinating the transfer of information and monies between parties.
- Manage benefits-focused projects such as coordinating external audits and reporting.
- Develop and build a variety of benefits reports from Equity Residential’s HR management system; coordinate accordingly with IT to update HR benefit tables with current rates and IRS limits.
- Participate in the design and implementation of employee communication campaigns relevant to benefits offering; activities might include designing or updating forms, drafting letters, emails, and procedural documentation, and preparing summary plan documents.
- Provide friendly, timely, and accurate customer service to research and troubleshoot employee inquiries and issues.
- Process annual filings for health & welfare and 401(k) plans, such as Form 5500 and Summary Annual Reports.
- Provide ongoing consultation, support, follow-up, and education to ensure effective understanding of company benefit programs across the organization.
- Handle special projects relevant to acquisitions/mergers, plan re-designs, as well as training initiatives surrounding the organization’s benefits offering.
- Strong analytical skills, problem solving capabilities, as well as project management experience.
- Solid understanding of regulations impacting benefits policies, practices, and plan designs.
- Proven strong work ethic, ability to make decisions, and work in a fast-paced environment under tight deadlines, without sacrificing quality of work product. Detail oriented and well-organized, with an ability to multi-task.
- Team player that demonstrates flexibility and the ability to integrate and work well with others.
- Strong communication and presentation skills – able to speak and write in a clear and articulate manner.
- Demonstrated ability to work with confidential information and use discretion accordingly.
- Motivated to succeed with capacity to assume increasing responsibility.
- Bachelor’s degree in business administration, human resources, or a related field
- 3+ years of experience working in an analytical role; experience working with health & welfare programs and 401(k) plans highly preferred.
- Must possess a working knowledge of HR management system (Oracle, PeopleSoft, Ceridian) and have considerable experience with data analytics and building reports.
- Familiarity working with Google platform and Microsoft Office suite. Advanced Microsoft Excel data analysis skills required.
- CEBS, CBP, PHR, SPHR, or other HR certifications/designations are a plus!
We recognize everyone has different needs outside of work. That’s why, in addition to a competitive benefits package (medical, dental, vision and paid time off), we offer many unique options to employees, like adoption benefits and paid time off for community service projects. To learn more, view our Total Wellbeing page here.
401k Retirement Plan
Short Term Disability
Long Term Disability
Internal Training Programs
Stock Purchase Plan