10 days old

Assistant Director of Benefits

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods hole, Massachusetts 02543
  • Job Type
  • Job Status
    Full Time
  • Shift
    1st Shift

The Human Resources Department is searching for an Assistant Director, Benefits to join its team!  Reporting to the Director of HR & EEO Officer. This is a regular full-time position and is eligible for benefits. 


The Assistant Director, Benefits manages and performs the planning, implementation, administration and communication of the Institution’s complex health, welfare, and retirement programs.  These programs include but are not limited to Defined Benefit, Defined Contribution, Retiree Medical, and self-insured Medical, Dental, Life, LTD, STD, AD&D, HSA and FSA Medical and Dependent plans. Together with a benefits team of two (2), she/he ensures these programs are delivered with exceptional customer service in mind to our employees and retirees.  Important focus is on the strategic planning and timely and accurate execution of all related compliance deadlines and day-to-day activities; including but not limited to ERISA, ACA, IRS regulations and other legislative rules that impact benefit matters.  Special attention is given to ensuring cost-effective, market-competitive programs and benefits consistent with the Institution’s overall strategic plan and objectives and meeting related fiduciary responsibilities.  Incorporating benefits best practices is essential including documenting all related procedures to ensure continuity of process and to facilitate training as well as appropriate archiving of records.  Partner internally with Finance and Accounting by delivering accurate and detailed analytics and calculations and preparing for and responding to all related audits.  Partner with outside service providers to ensure service delivery meets the requirements of the Institution and third party agreements. As a member of the HR management team, work collaboratively with other members of the HR team to ensure and promote teamwork within the department and in support of the Institution.

  • Oversee, prepare and/or submit timely reporting required by law to be filed with federal and state agencies related to benefits programs for in-house, insurance and regulatory purposes
  • Prepare detailed reporting for the Retirement Committee(s) and respond to benefits-related questions as subject matter expert
  • Oversee processing of all documents and required notifications necessary for implementation of various benefits programs and maintenance of such records as required for compliance with ERISA, COBRA, and other applicable regulations
  • Prepare for and manage the annual audits and tax preparation for Health & Welfare Plan and Retirement Plans and other benefit plans in conjunction with Finance and Accounting.

Day-to-Day Management and Leadership:

  • Manage and perform as necessary, the evaluation, planning, and administration of the Institution’s various health, welfare, and retirement programs
  • Serve as an authoritative source to Institution employees and outside inquiries relative to the Institution’s benefits programs
  • Serve as subject matter expert on assigned committees and advisory boards and maintain open communications with employees, retirees, insurance carriers, and other constituent groups
  • Respond to and resolve questions and/or concerns regarding Institution benefits programs
  • Develop, design, update and/or present various communications (including announcements, articles, materials for open enrollment meetings, plan descriptions, benefit statements, etc.)
  • Develop effective working relationships with vendors of Institution benefit plans, legal and actuarial consultants, fund custodians, etc.
  • Assess effectiveness of programs in meeting overall strategic objectives, and oversee the development and implementation of changes and improvements to benefits program
  • Direct, oversee, and perform/develop quality control of benefit proposals, negotiation with insurance carriers and external contractors, and administration of contracts or other agreements involving employee benefits
  • Provide clear direction and leadership to the benefits team through mentoring and development of direct reports, creating a positive, collaborative learning environment
  • Manage small projects/tasks as part of larger initiatives.  This work is often complex requiring strong analytical and quantitative method skills. (e.g. benchmarking analysis, HRIS report generation and evaluations, audits, data interpretations, etc.)
  • Prepare data file for online benefit statements
  • Analyze and control over-head Benefits Budget
  • Inform, advise, and counsel management on trends and current development in the field of employee benefits
  • Maintain thorough knowledge of benefits, pension, tax and government legislation, socioeconomic trends, and court decisions related to areas of responsibility.
  • Participate in development, implementation, and maintenance of related policies and programs, objectives, short- and long-range goal planning;
  • May represent the Institution at various community and/or business meetings
  • Inform supervisor of developments and trends that presently or potentially impact areas of responsibility.
  • May serve as secondary support to other Human Resources professionals and/or perform other duties as necessary
  • Other responsibilities as needed from Human Resources to serve the Institution


  • Prior experience managing defined benefit and/or defined contribution plans and ERISA plans required. 
  • Must be highly computer literate and possess strong analytical skills.
  • Advanced MS Excel aptitude required. Must have experience with the various regulatory filings and requirements of the various benefit plans. 
  • The incumbent will be expected to have a solid foundation in human resource and in-depth knowledge of benefits.
  • Must enjoy and be successful managing people. 
  • Attention to detail is critical.
  • Must be known as a pro-active, resourceful individual who takes initiative and successfully contributes to a team environment.
  • Must effectively prioritize work, work effectively under pressure, successfully handle sensitive situations with a high level of professionalism, and manage multiple duties simultaneously.
  • Must exhibit excellent communication skills both written and verbal.
  • Must readily display diplomacy and effective cross-cultural communication skills; sensitivity to the needs of a cross-cultural population.
Physical duties for this position include but are not limited to, ability to lift less than 25 lbs. independently and up to 10 lbs. with assistance; this position is mostly sedentary in nature with occasional standing/ walking and repetitive motion. Occupational requirements include hearing, talking and responding to instructions, communicate effectively, work around and with others as well as alone. Other physical tasks include and prolonged work hours.  Physical duties are subject to change.
WHOI is a member of the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC). We are sensitive to the issues of dual career candidates and we will work with applicants to address them. Please visit HERC - for more information.

WHOI is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer/Disabled/Veterans/M/F. We encourage Veterans and those with Disabilities to apply. Applications are reviewed confidentially. Applicants that require accommodation in the job application process are encouraged to contact us at (508) 289-2253 or email
eeo@whoi.edu for assistance.


  • Benefits

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Assistant Director of Benefits

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods hole, Massachusetts 02543

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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods hole, Massachusetts

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