Your Ultimate Guide to Benefits Administration Software Features

A benefits administration software is a software utility that enables employers in managing and administering their organizations’ employee benefits.

These tools can aid companies in streamlining processes such as the assessment of employee benefits packages, creation of benefits packages, enrolment of employees into benefits plans, eligibility and availability tracking, and distribution management.

HR managers or specific staff have the role to administer employee benefits packages.

Some of this software may also include tools and means for communications, health insurance plans and messaging as well as voluntary benefits program enrolment. The use of benefits administration delivery tools can assist companies in automating tasks about benefits and could even allow the deployment of self-service portals.

Admittedly, benefits management and administration is a complicated domain in HR and it involves a lot of facets concerning employee and employer relationships. 

This is where benefits administration can be useful as these tools can help organizations streamline the benefits administration process through automation tools.

Management of employee benefits could be expensive.  It is a time-consuming facet and necessitates a lot of logistical considerations.

What features are essential when selecting the apt benefits administration software for a business?

A competitive salary package and attractive benefits programs may help businesses in attracting new hires, and retaining talent and help alleviate worries and employees’ anxiety during difficult times just like what has been experienced during the worst times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What administration software are you using?

We review 8 benefits administration (BA) services that can also help with other HR tasks.

Benefits administrators and human resources personnel can be fully empowered through the use of intuitive benefits management software to easily identify, manage and track the usage of benefits and amenities they offer in an organization.

An effectively managed benefits program may solve issues with staff and resources.  Having functionally rich and easy-to-use software could help both employers and employees maximize the usage of the HR tools as well as the use of the benefits.

Standalone Benefits Administration Software

Several options are available when choosing the ideal benefits administration software for an organization.  Some HRIS platforms already come with built-in benefits administration features. 

For those with bespoke requirements, a stand-alone and customizable software might just be the perfect solution.  Some utilities are cloud-based while the rest are implemented on-premise.

The following are the essential features that should be supported by the tool that an organization will choose to employ.

Feature 1: Payroll Processing and Integration

The process of calculating and distributing wages, salaries, and all matters compensation to employees, which typically involves calculating the total amount of pay due to each employee is an arduous and complicated task where a lot of factors come into play such as the number of hours worked, overtime, deductions, among others.

Payroll processing indeed is an important function and should be done accurately and promptly. This may also entail other compliance tasks such as preparing and filing necessary tax return documents and unemployment insurance reports.

A good benefits administration tool has compliance management, employee self service and business intelligence tools included. These benefits administration systems can process automatic payroll deductions, payroll management and employee welfare programs as standard.

Implementing payroll with manual workflows or limited software might pose a risk for the business and may lead to delays or issues with the amount that employees will receive.  It could even lead to penalties from labor governing bodies.

When a system where payroll is seamlessly integrated with benefits management, an organization may benefit immensely with gains such as efficiency, accuracy and accessibility.  

When payroll and benefits are automated through software, manual processes can be avoided or eliminated and an increase in administrative efficiency could be achieved.  Benefits administrators and HR personnel could then focus on other important tasks thereby saving resourcing and time. 

Another benefit of having a seamless ecosystem of HR tools can ensure that information, sensitive information at that, can be transferred easily, securely and accurately.  There will be no need for manual input and input and data errors can easily be avoided. 

Finally, data that is stored and processed in this software could be easily accessed and analyzed. 

Knowing that data integrity is maintained and preserved could give the assurance that everything is properly handled and processed.  Other functions reliant on these processes and data such as tax reporting can be readily done.  

Feature 2: Workflow Management

One key component of an effective process of administering and managing employee benefits is having a comprehensive and complete record of employee and HR data. 

In addition to this, the HR partners of an organization should be fully aware of all the laws and policies that are needed for compliance and should ensure that all necessary processes are documented and supported by workflows that are implemented and observed by all parties involved. 

Key deliverables, accountable parties, and a detailed workflow need to be defined and communicated with all stakeholders so that the intended results can be achieved.  This need for meticulous planning and implementation is needed due to the complexities and numerous aspects that govern benefits administration. 

Employee data, all changes to the life and profile of an employee as well as usage of benefits are all part and parcel of this process.

The use of HR automated tools helps to foster organizational efficiency, productivity, communication, and transparency.

Feature 3: Compliance

Regulatory policies and laws constitute one hurdle that benefits administrators should always consider.  Legislation that concerns labor and employment such as HIPPA, COBRA and FMLA are a few of the bylaws that should be consulted and referred to when determining what is due for an employee. 

These regulations help determine what labor laws and compliance requirements should be fulfilled for an organization to be deemed compliant.

With the help of a benefits administrator and a digital tool for benefits delivery, a company can be assured of accurate response and delivery of employee benefits and compliance with all laws and policies. 

Feature 4: Automation in Administration

 By implementing and using a benefits delivery solution, the automation capabilities of the platform can be fully utilized to avoid manual work that is prone to errors and issues.  The need to consider and hand individual employee details as well as enrollment to insurance and medical benefits will not be necessary. 

Complicated calculations, as well as considering specific laws and policies can be automatically handled.  Reporting and analytics features are also usually included in these benefits programs to aid HR professionals in analyzing performance and determining the needs of employees and their needs.

The implementation and use of these benefits solutions provide a functionally rich utility that aids organizations in achieving and attaining efficiencies and productivity.  When automated tools are used and maximized to their full potential, adapting the business’ specific needs, the mundane, repetitive or complex tasks can be easily done with the required precision and accuracy that ensures that everyone involved and affected by the processes will be satisfied.

This also allows an organization to divert and focus its efforts and time on other important tasks.

Feature 5: Integrations for Scaling Up and Building a Digital Ecosystem

 When it comes to benefits, integration is essential because more often than not, connectivity with third-party systems, vendors and providers will be needed.  Connectivity with these systems is essential for the companies to provide a seamless and complete benefits delivery to the employees. 

One useful application for this is when applications and enrolments need to be submitted or forwarded to carriers and service providers.  There, it is imperative to consider supported integrations and the presence of APIs in the platforms when choosing which benefits administration software is best for a company. 

Acquiring new services and providers as well as data migration, combination, conversion and transfer of data might also be needed for the implementation of new software.  The existing technology stack of a company is also part of what should be considered.

When all the essential requirements are considered during the procurement of the benefits management platform, the company can have the assurance that all the necessary features can provide the necessary functions demanded by the business requirements.

What should be automated in employee benefits administration?

A company’s HR department handles a lot of tasks, especially administrative tasks and all activities that concern all employees, from recruiting, onboarding, training, managing health insurance and care, employee benefits and offboarding. 

Some of these tasks are repetitive and may involve working with a multitude of benefits administration software and software, several vendors and providers and probably a huge number of forms and tons of paperwork. 

Using benefits administration software can help organizations in automating some if not all of these tasks.  Some of the tasks that can be automated, according to EverythingBenefits.com are:

Enrollment Process

Automating enrollment processes not only eliminates repetitive actions and tasks but ensures that each enrollment activity will be done correctly, swiftly and efficiently.  Submission of the enrollment data can also be done automatically through integrations.

Usage Tracking

Having the means to track the availability and usage of benefits can benefit both the employer and employee by allowing the easy perusal of what benefits are still available and providing employers with the means to gauge usage and determine what benefits are preferred by the staff.

Benefits Calculation

Anything that involves calculation, if done automatically through a platform, can eliminate human errors, allow faster generation of results and ensure accuracy.

Employee Data Management

Maintaining a digital solution to record and manage data ensures a safe, secure and central repository of data.  With this, capturing and editing of information can be easily performed.  Generating reports and obtaining important information can be facilitated. 

New Hire Reporting

Automating recruiting and the hiring process can save a lot of time and ensure that all the essential tasks can be done such as the submission of requirements and documents and the provision of all important information that a new hire should know about.  Line managers and

HR personnel can also be reminded of key dates and tasks that can ensure that a proper and efficient onboarding will be done.

PTO Management

When it comes to PTO management, having a benefits administration system where application, tracking and approval functions are present will remove this process from HR and will instead empower the employees and managers to manage time off and leaves themselves.

How can benefits administration software elevate a company’s HR team?

Time-Saver

When manual processes, tasks, and form-filling are eliminated, it benefits both HR partners and employees.  Through online accounts, portals and self-service facilities, employees can navigate and obtain their benefits data by themselves.  Automated benefits administration software can also facilitate time-off applications, benefits and reimbursement options without the need for a benefits administrator to focus on these requests.  

Error Elimination

With the use of benefits administration software, the possibility of human errors due to issues with data capture and manual calculation is minimized.  These tools also give the assurance to the organizations that the data and forms are securely stored and can be recovered and accessed at any time.

Convenience

With digital transformation and implementation, most of the activities involving benefits management can be done on-site or remotely, providing a convenient way of administering and managing employee benefits.  Paperwork and other infrastructure associated with obsolete means of doing things can be avoided. 

The availability of data, portals and functions through mobile sites and smartphones also makes things easy for employees to use their benefits.  This enhances the employee’s experience especially if the benefits administration software is easy to use and navigate.  

Compliance

Most of the time, conforming to laws, policies and the huge number of government regulations that govern benefits are handled automatically in this benefits administration software, giving proper guidance for employees and HR practitioners in ensuring that everything is done in compliance with the company and government policies.

Visit our post on The Top Benefits Administration Software to learn more about benefits administration products.

What factors should be considered as criteria for selecting the best benefits administration software for a company?

When implementing HR automated solutions such as benefits administration, the processes involving benefits management would not only be simplified but can also be streamlined and automated. 

The growth of the company and plans to scale should also be considered, because this directly affects and influences recruitment and employee engagement and retention.

HR partners should also consider the processes that should be catered by these platforms, as well as the relationships that need to be considered such as vendors and brokers.

The company should also evaluate data integration capabilities and functions that the platform should support so that all employee benefits can be done via the platform.

If an organization is already using an HRIS platform with a built-in benefits administration, it could be an advantage provided that the module can fully support all the benefits management requirements of the company.

Otherwise, choosing the best benefits administration as a stand-alone platform can be done as long as this software can be integrated with the company’s existing technology stack.

Are there Disadvantages to using Benefits Administration Software?

List of Cons in Implementing Benefits Administration Software:

  • It might take time to learn how to use this software and roll them out for use in an organization.

  • Subscribing to a service or purchasing a platform might be too costly.

  • The functions could be too specialized, especially when considering the geological location and laws that govern the area and country where a company is located.

  • Having a workplace setup where employees are located in different parts of the globe could be a challenge because each location’s laws and policies should be considered.

The Wrap

Benefits administration is a very important aspect of running a business especially since this affects the workforce directly, and using software to manage and administer benefits will have a huge impact on an organization. 

A lot of factors come into play when evaluating and choosing the perfect employee benefits software for a company.  What is important is the needs and experiences of both the employees and HR partners should be front and centre when determining what platform will be utilized.