Staff Positions

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All posted positions close at 11:59 PST of the Closes On Date, unless posted as Open Until Filled.
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Job #: F569
Posted Date: September 1, 2017
Closes On: Open Until Filled
Job Title: Benefits Compliance Specialist
Status: Regular Full Time
Benefits Eligible: Yes
Laboratory/Department: Human Resources
The Human Resources department strives to create a working environment for all members of the Salk community that inspires innovation, encourages collaboration and mutual respect, and promotes scientific excellence. We aim to provide high standards of service that anticipate and meet the diverse needs of the Salk community. Through collaboration and partnership, we work to develop programs and systems and identify solutions that are flexible, efficient, and add value.
Position Description:
  • Subject matter expert on ERISA, HIPAA, ACA, IRS and DOL and IRS regulations impacting employee benefits (e.g., Sections 132, 125). Maintains & shares current knowledge in all of these areas.
  • Knowledge of defined contribution retirement plans, preferably 403(b) plans. Works with outside recordkeeper and investment advisor to ensure all participant notices are sent/filed in a timely manner.
  • Handles all ACA filing and notice requirements with TPA and broker. Handles PCORI filing with Sr. Manager, Comp. Benefits & Systems and broker.
  • Works with health & welfare broker and Finance Department to file Forms 5500.
  • Provides staff support to the retirement plan administrative committee (RPAC). Learns and understands committee charter.
  • Pays invoices out of the ERISA account ensuring compliance with its use.
  • Handles employee benefits sections of the internal audits with Finance Department and external auditors. May be point of contact for external agency (DOL, IRS) audits of employee benefits.
  • Provides audit support on leaves of absence planning and assists employees when primary administrator is unavailable. Maintains & shares current knowledge in FMLA, CFRA, ADA, PDL.
  • Reviews benefit plan documents, summary plan descriptions and policies & ensures they are in alignment; works with manager and broker to correct inaccuracies.
  • Serves as backup workers comp. Administrator and maintains current knowledge on related regulations & internal SOP's.
  • Primary contact for retiree health/life benefits compliance & associated enrollment, billing/open enrollment. Main contact for union (post-negotiation) ensuring compliance & promptly payment of pension contributions in accordance with the contract.
  • Participates in annual employee benefits renewal as needed to support the benefits team. Provides input to benefits management team on related requests for proposals (RFPs).
  • 403(b) retirement plan & related compliance (QDRO, distributions, loans, rollovers, etc.) as well as the requirements specific to each record keeper.
  • Responsible subject matter expert on Institute's health and welfare plans (medical, life, dental, vision, EAP, 125 plan) to ensure Institute compliance and that knowledge of all benefits under the plans are advertised for maximum use.
  • Maintains annual benefits compliance calendar and ensures all deadlines are met.
  • Ensures that Institute policies are compliant with relevant benefits regulations. Proposes and drafts policies as needed in this area, conducting research and bench marking as needed in order to build a solid foundation.
  • Maintains current knowledge on CA labor code; advises on any areas that impact employee benefits, wellness programming; advises on any areas/compliance considerations within employee benefits that may be impacted.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Business, Human Resources, Legal/Paralegal Studies or a related field or combination of education and experience.
  • 5+ years’ experience in a compliance-focused role with a preference that it be in the employee benefits area. In the alternative candidates with extensive employee benefits experience with a demonstrated track record of working on compliance-related tasks will also be considered.
  • Strong knowledge of all ERISA, HIPAA, ACA and employee benefits IRS regulations required, or knowledge of most and experience/ability to quickly get up to speed on others.
  • Strong knowledge of FMLA, CFRA, ADA, PDL and knowledge of defined contribution retirement plans.
  • Experience with federal agency audits helpful.
  • Basic knowledge of the compliance considerations related to employee wellness programming. Basic OSHA knowledge helpful.
  • Strong MS Office: Powerpoint, Excel & Word. Experience with MS Project or another scheduling/planning tool. Visio flow chart knowledge helpful.
  • Knowledge of common HRIS systems and BeneTrac knowledge helpful.
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills and professional oral communication skills. Ability to communicate with individuals at levels of the organization and a diverse population.
  • Must have exceptional, professional, and highly effective written communication skills that are geared toward clear communication, policy development, and other related documentation.
  • Must be a critical thinker and effective on a team with the ability to influence, manage conflict and negotiate as needed.
  • Ability to read, synthesize, interpret and explain lengthy, detailed, and at times complex plan documents to colleagues and supervisors.
  • Ability to plan and organize schedule and time in an efficient and production manner.
  • Demonstrated track record of initiative, flexibility and sense of urgency that strives to find ways to resourcefully overcome challenges.
Special Requirements:
  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute’s background investigation.
  • Able to work a flexible schedule as needed based on workload and deadlines.
  • Must sign an Employee Confidentiality Agreement.
    Physical Requirements:

    This position requires constant seeing, reading, reasoning, analyzing and working inside.



    • CBP (Certified Benefits Professional) designation.