Posted by: Altura Benefits in Insurance
Outsourcing benefits administration means hiring a team of people with a thorough understanding of your employee benefits packages. Ideally they should be able to explain your benefits program in an easily understood manner, establish best practices, and be a source of customer service and expertise for your employees’ benefits.
Using a specialist benefits consultant gives you access to expert knowledge while simultaneously keeping costs under control and reducing liability risks. Outsourcing employee benefits administration makes sense for a business of any size!
When you outsource to a specialist, you get the dual advantage of that outsourced company’s expertise. The clear first advantage is the access you have to their breadth of experience. The best outsourcing benefits companies have accumulated many years of knowledge and are subject matter specialists when it comes to employee benefits. This experience can lead them to even suggesting additional benefits you might not have considered, potentially providing a perfect solution for your staff and their lifestyles.
In addition, outsourcing benefits administration provides you with access to professionals whose job is to consistently keep a finger on the pulse of the latest changes/developments in benefits options and regulations. This gives you the confidence that you are finding the right deal for you in the here-and-now.
Outsourcing can save your company money in multiple ways. Due to their specialization in the field, employee benefit experts operate more efficiently when researching your options and handling the administration. You can benefit from economies of scale as well, getting plans at more affordable rates or gaining access to entire benefit plan options that wouldn’t be available to you as a standalone business. An example of this is the Utah Manufacturers Association’s Benefits Program, where manufacturing-related companies can access better benefits for their employees by pooling multiple companies together.
Benefits-related administration can become a real headache as your business continues to grow. Simply adding a few extra staff can generate enough extra paperwork to overwhelm your existing set-up, yet not be enough to financially justify taking on new human resources managers.
Outsourcing your benefits administration gives you much more flexibility. It allows you to comfortably increase (or decrease) the number of employees, while giving you confidence that any changes that are made will be smoothly handled by the outsourced specialists. In addition, hiring a team of experts ensures that your benefits administration costs will remain proportionate, regardless of changes to your staffing.
Although employee benefits are a key piece of staff recruitment and retention, employees must first trust that their needs are being fulfilled before any benefit can be achieved down the road for your company. By bringing in external experts through outsourcing, staff are provided with another level of reinforcement that your company has their best interests at heart. Employees may be more likely to trust information, or accept outside advice as more credible, by an independent party. This can generate a more motivated staff and lead to increased satisfaction, trust, and security.
Employee benefits can seem complicated to many. The only thing more difficult than staying on top of your employee benefits packages, is having the ability to explain these packages to employees in a clear and concise way. A professional administrator will have developed the skills needed to help your staff understand their options, along with the potential rewards and risks of any benefits choices they have to make. These specialists are capable of presenting options with an approach that employee’s can relate to, something that is difficult for owners to accomplish. Employing a third-party to handle communications with your staff is a great way to establish a sense of comfort within your team, making them feel like their concerns are heard and understood.
The sheer administration involved with managing employee benefits, along with making the impactful decisions about which benefits/options to provide, leaves plenty of room for things to go wrong as an employer. Whether or not you are ultimately found at fault, accusations of mishandled benefits by staff is a liability which can become costly, time-consuming, and a serious drain on company morale.
Outsourcing benefits administration reduces this risk by passing much of it off to the external company instead. An outsourced specialist will often absorb some or all of the liability risk, so you won’t need to worry about making expensive business errors.
The intricacies of federal compliance laws, which includes employee benefits, can be a particular burden on small and medium sized businesses. A good external benefits administrator eases this burden by ensuring that your company stays within the rules (both now and in the future). In addition, these experts have the ability to train your human resources staff to follow the same blueprint going forward. Whether your business grows, or regulations change, you can have peace of mind in knowing that your company will remain compliant— even when your attention is turned to other ventures.
An external specialist can often gather relevant information directly from staff and process/store it in a secure manner that’s fully compliant with all relevant data protection legislation. This means that your HR staff won’t need as much direct access to sensitive data such as health or personal finance information. Instead, outsourcing your benefits administration removes any risk of perceived impropriety or undue influence when it comes to internal disciplinary or promotion decisions.
Altura Benefits is a specialist in benefits administration consulting. We have the experience necessary for an efficient work-flow and are dedicated to consistently finding the most appropriate plans for your employees. The advantages above are undoubtedly beneficial to your business, but it’s the combination of these which gives you the greatest end result— the best possible employee benefits management for your staff, along with substantially more resources (and free time) to concentrate on growing your brand in the future. Let us do the heavy lifting, contact us to find out what Altura can do for you.
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