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Montana State University Benefits Manager/Retiree Specialist in Bozeman, Montana

Position Details

Position Information

Announcement Number STAFF - VA - 22327

For questions regarding this position, please contact:

Linda Shott


Classification Title Benefits Supv

Working Title Benefits Manager/Retiree Specialist

Brief Position Overview

The Human Resources Benefit Manager will oversee and supervise MSU Bozeman’s benefit functions, ensuring accuracy and compliance with university, state, and federal regulations. The Manager supervises a staff of two full time benefit team members and serves on the HR Leadership team.

Position Number 4M0262

Department HR Benefits & Payroll Services

Division Administration

Appointment Type Classified

Contract Term Fiscal Year


If other, specify From date

If other, specify End date

FLSA Exempt

Union Affiliation Exempt from Collective Bargaining

FTE 1.0

Benefits Eligible Eligible

Salary Salary is commensurate with experience, education and qualifications. Rate of pay will be determined by the staff compensation plan. For questions, contact

Contract Type Classified Salary

If other, please specify

Recruitment Type Open

Position Details

General Statement

The Human Resources Benefits Manager plays a significant role in the administration of the Montana University System ( MUS ) benefits and retirement plans. The Manager works closely with the Payroll Manager to ensure accurate records and reports, and ensure compliance with university, state, and federal regulations. This position facilitates audits by providing records and documentation to auditors; identifies and recommends updates to our benefit enrollment platform (Benefitsolver); recruits, interviews, hires, trains and mentors new team members; oversees the daily workflow of the Benefits department; provides constructive and timely performance evaluations, and conducts staff performance management. The Benefits Manager serves as a contributing member of the UHR Leadership Team.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Plan, direct, manage and coordinate the activities of the Payroll/Benefit team
  • Mentor, train, and direct benefit staff. Perform complex staffing duties including determine staffing needs, establish wage, and manage performance. Provide day-to-day guidance and direction on processes, meeting deadlines, problem resolution, and service delivery.

  • Facilitate a collaborative, effective, and efficient team environment by mentoring and training staff on positive team dynamics, hard and soft-skill development, and ability to provide exceptional customer service to both internal and external clients.

  • Analyze methods, processes, and tools of service delivery and identify opportunities for process improvement to maximize efficiencies. Develop and implement service delivery training plans.

  • Guide and train staff on a wide variety of UHR , State, Federal, MSU and MUS policies, procedures, and practices and provide guidance on unusual situations.

  • Establish work schedules, conduct employee performance evaluations and performance improvement plans.

  1. Administration of the MUS “Choices” Benefit Program and retirement systems ( PERS , TIAA , TRS ) and VEBA in close coordination with the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
  • Maintain and update New Employee Benefits Orientation materials in order to counsel new employees on Choices Benefit enrollment.

  • Coordinate annual reenrollment process.

  • Maintain and enhance procedures in order to feed accurately and timely benefits enrollment information to our third-party benefits enrollment platform.

  • Ensure compliance with ACA and MUS eligibility requirements.

  • Oversee and facilitate annual VEBA information sessions and voting process

  1. Data Analytics
  • Develop, analyze, and interpret complex benefit information and reports to assist UHR , MSU , and MUS management with strategic planning, short and long-term goals, and other management decisions.

  • Develop and maintain internal system to collect, report, and analyze Benefit inquiries, workload, department response rates, and FAQ’s.

  • Participate in UHR Leadership Team discussions regarding client needs and service delivery.

    1. Provide internal and campus-wide training, workshops, and presentations
  • Determine training topics and needs in areas of expertise and develop related presentations for internal HR staff as well as campus constituents.

  • Participate in development and presentation of “HR Basecamp” training series, New Employee Benefits Orientation, VEBA information sessions etc.

  1. Provide retirement support to MSU faculty and staff
  • Provide information and guidance through the retiring process.

  • Administration of the Choices retiree benefit plan.

  • Provide guidance and support to retired faculty and staff.

    Required Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills

  • Substantial relevant experience in benefits administration or human resource management or Bachelor’s degree in human resources (or related field), or equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Demonstrated experience delivering training and presenting to small and large groups.

  • Demonstrated experience researching, compiling, analyzing, and documenting information to evaluate and solve complex matters.

  • Demonstrated competence effectively interpreting and communicating detailed information, procedures, and directions clearly and accurately, in person, by telephone, and through business correspondence to a wide variety of individuals both internal and external to the organization.

  • Demonstrated competence organizing and prioritizing multiple work assignments, meeting deadlines, and exercising adaptability to changing priorities while maintaining a positive, effective, and professional approach.

  • Demonstrated experience designing, writing, editing and formatting professional documents such as reports, business correspondence, spreadsheets, and brochures with a high level of accuracy.

  • Demonstrated competence using personal computers and various software such as word processing, spreadsheets, database, presentation, email and internet. Microsoft Office software preferred.

    Preferred Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills

  • Advanced knowledge of and expertise in human resource practices and application of human resources concepts.

  • Advanced skills in Excel and database management.

  • Successful experience providing customer service for a diverse group of internal and external constituents in a complex organizational environment.

  • Certification in SHRM or HRCI .

    The Successful Candidate Will

  • Possess excellent leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills.

  • Demonstrate ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with various constituencies, including administrators, faculty, coworkers, students, and the public.

  • Ability to lead/mentor in a team environment where collaboration, motivation and the knowledge transfer process is critical for success.

  • Knowledge of state and federal laws and regulations that influence human resource and administrative management.

  • Exceptional critical thinking skills.

  • Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced dynamic environment with changing and conflicting priorities.

  • Experience communicating HR or administrative processes or topics within an organization.

  • Consistently exercise initiative and good judgement.

  • Exercise flexibility and adaptability.

  • Work effectively both independently and in a team-oriented manner under minimal supervision.

  • Ability to professionally represent the Department and University.

  • Ability to effectively work with and maintain confidential information.

    Position Special Requirements/Additional Information

This job description should not be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or requirements, but a general description of the job. Nothing contained herein restricts Montana State University’s rights to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

Physical Demands

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily with or without reasonable accommodations. The requirements listed above are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

This position has supervisory duties? Yes

Posting Detail Information

Number of Vacancies 1

Desired Start Date

Position End Date (if temporary)

Open Date

Close Date

Applications will be:

Screening of applications will begin on May 9th, 2022 ; however, applications will continue to be accepted until an adequate applicant pool has been established.

Special Instructions

Diversity Statement

Montana State University values diverse perspectives and is committed to continually supporting, promoting and building an inclusive and culturally diverse campus environment. MSU recognizes the importance of work-life integration and strives to be responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

In compliance with the Montana Veteran’s Employment Preference Act, MSU provides preference in employment to veterans, disabled veterans, and certain eligible relatives of veterans. To claim veteran’s preference please complete the veteran’s preference information located in the Demographics section of your profile.

MSU’s Non-Discrimination Policy and Discrimination Grievance Procedures can be located on the MSU Website: