SDSU Research Foundation

Benefits & Retirement Specialist

Req No.
Human Resources
Full-Time Central Staff
$61,224 to $75,000
Dept/Proj Name
SDSURF - Human Resources
Close Date


The Human Resources department provides a full range of personnel services to approximately 175 central staff employees, 800 regular salaried employees, and up to 5000 temporary employees per year. Areas of responsibility include development and application of personnel policies and procedures, employee relations, fringe benefits, compensation administration, computerized personnel/payroll system, staffing and affirmative action. Employees of Human Resources participate, as active members in various groups and committees dealing with various specific and broad management problems confronting SDSU Research Foundation. The Human Resources staff is expected to develop and use innovative approaches, techniques and procedures to provide more effective and responsive services to Project Directors and other SDSU Research Foundation managers and staff.


Under the supervision of the Associate Director of HR, the Benefits and Retirement Specialist is responsible for administering the benefit programs, retiree health programs, and retirement and deferred compensation programs for the Research Foundation; first line supervisory responsibility for Benefits and Leave Coordinator.


• Administers employee benefit and post-retirement health/dental programs including assesses benefits needs, identifying benefit options and monitoring cost control; in close partnership with benefits brokers, researching and recommending new benefit plans and programs; and stays current on legislative changes that may impact benefit programs
• Recommends new and revised benefits policies and procedures and coordinates their implementation
• Serves as point of contact for all employee benefit questions; assists employees and retirees with complex benefits questions and provides options and solutions relating to their benefits plans
• Coordinates the annual audit of employee benefits, coordinates the annual valuation of the post-retirement health/dental program, collects required data and prepares annual reports to ensure reporting compliance
• Oversees the performance of non-discrimination testing on health and welfare and retirement plans
• Manages all aspects of Annual Open Enrollment and employee communications, validates all benefit information is accurately presented to employees, and all employees are accurately enrolled and information is sent to carriers timely
• Assists employees and HR department with enrollment questions, concerns and inquiries; researches billing issues and works with insurance carriers and/or broker to resolve problems
• Coordinates and communicates the benefit enrollment process including new hire benefits and qualifying events throughout the year
• Presents benefits portion of new employee orientation and follows-up with employees regarding benefit enrollment questions; maintains content of the benefits section of new employee orientation material; presents benefits orientation for all JDP students and Post-Doctoral employees
• Administers the Wellness and Well Being programs
• Administers the Pre-Post Doctoral benefits program
• Updates plan documents and Benefits Summaries with new rates and information; develops annual fringe benefit rate and retiree health program rates


• Administers the Research Foundation’s 403b Retirement Plan and the Tax Deferred Annuity Plans in close collaboration with retirement plan administrator and retirement plan advisors
• Serves as point of contact for all retirement plan questions; assists employees and retirees with complex questions; and provides options and recommendations relating to future retirement date conversations
• Processes retirement requests and benefits changes, maintaining accurate retiree information; audits, researches, and corrects retirement transition problems based on retiree inquiry and carrier reports
• Runs retirement plan eligibility reports semi-monthly and sends eligibility communication to employees and fringe benefits cost change notification to program administrators
• Communicates with employees regarding eligibility and plan questions; communicates new group retirement participants with TIAA and follows-up on any outstanding discrepancies on applications
• Oversees the performance of non-discrimination testing on retirement plan
• Collects required data and prepares reports for 5500 filings, ensuring compliance with all ERISA reporting requirements to the DOL and to employees/participants
• Audits enrollment confirmation reports quarterly; audits LTD retirement contributions/confirmations annually
• Coordinates TIAA educational and informational workshops and 1-on-1 consultation schedules
• Completes employer Repurchase Authorizations and forwards to TIAA as needed


• Works in close collaboration with and backs-up Benefits and Leave Coordinator, as required
• Fosters teamwork and positive work environment through frequent collaboration with other HR employees, promoting best practices


Bachelor’s degree in human resources, business or other relevant disciplines plus 5 years benefits and retirement plan administration experience or equivalent combination of education and professional work experience in full scope benefits and retirement programs.


Preferred Experience
• Prior supervisory experience
• Benefits Reporting and Analytics
• Administration of 403b retirement plans
• Administration of post-retirement health plans
• HR or benefits certification


San Diego State University Research Foundation is an EEO/AA/Disability/Vets Employer


A background check (including criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with SDSU Research Foundation


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