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Become A Plan Administrator

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Working As A Plan Administrator

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $70,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Plan Administrator Do

Compensation managers plan, develop, and oversee programs to determine how much an organization pays its employees and how employees are paid. Benefits managers plan, direct, and coordinate retirement plans, health insurance, and other benefits that an organization offers its employees.

Duties

Compensation and benefits managers typically do the following:

  • Set the organization’s pay structure and benefits offerings
  • Determine competitive wage rates and develop or modify compensation plans
  • Evaluate employee benefits policies to assess whether they are current, competitive, and legal
  • Choose and manage outside partners, such as benefits vendors, insurance brokers, and investment managers 
  • Coordinate and supervise the work activities of specialists and support staff
  • Oversee the distribution of pay and benefits information to the organization’s employees
  • Ensure that pay and benefits plans comply with federal and state regulations
  • Prepare a program budget and keep operations within budget

Although some managers administer both the compensation and benefits programs in an organization, other managers—particularly at large organizations—often specialize and oversee one or the other. All managers, however, routinely meet with senior staff, managers of other human resources departments, and the financial officers of their organization. They provide expertise and make recommendations on compensation and benefits policies, programs, and plans.

In addition to their administrative responsibilities, compensation and benefits managers also have technical and analytical duties. For example, they may perform complex data analysis to determine the best pay and benefits plans for an organization. They may also monitor trends affecting pay and benefits and assess how their organization can improve its practices or policies. Using a variety of analytical, database, and presentation software, managers draw conclusions, present their findings, and make recommendations to other managers in the organization.

Compensation managers are responsible for managing an organization’s pay structure. They monitor market conditions and government regulations to ensure their pay rates are current and competitive. They analyze data on wages and salaries, and they evaluate how their organization’s pay structure compares with that of other companies. Compensation managers use this information to maintain or develop pay scales for an organization.

Some also design pay-for-performance plans, which include guidelines for bonuses and incentive pay. They also may help determine commission rates and other incentives for sales staff.

Benefits managers administer a company’s employee benefits program, which includes retirement plans, leave policies, wellness programs, and insurance policies such as health, life, and disability. They select benefits vendors and manage enrollment, renewal, and delivery of benefits to the organization’s employees. They must frequently monitor government regulations and market trends to ensure that their programs are current, competitive, and legal.

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How To Become A Plan Administrator

Candidates need a combination of education and related work experience to become a compensation and benefits manager.

Education

Compensation and benefits managers need at least a bachelor’s degree for most positions, and some jobs require a master’s degree. Because not all undergraduate programs offer a degree in human resources, managers often have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, business management, finance, or a related field.

Some employers prefer to hire managers who have a master’s degree, particularly one with a concentration in human resources management, finance, or business administration (MBA).

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Related work experience is essential for compensation and benefits managers. Managers often specialize in either compensation or benefits, depending on the type of experience they gain in previous jobs. For example, compensation and benefits managers often start out as compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists. Work experience in other human resource fields, finance, or management is also helpful for getting a job as a compensation and benefits manager.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although compensation and benefits managers are not legally required to be certified, certification can show expertise and credibility. Many employers prefer to hire certified candidates, and some positions may require certification.

Certification programs for management positions often require several years of related work experience to qualify for the certifying exam. Many professional associations for human resources workers offer certifications. Some associations, including the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and WorldatWork, offer certification programs that specialize in compensation and benefits. Others, including the HR Certification Institute, offer general human resources credentials.  

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Compensation and benefits managers must analyze data on salaries and the cost of benefits, and assess and devise programs that best fit an organization and its employees.

Business acumen. Compensation and benefits managers must manage a budget, build a case for their recommendations, and understand how compensation and benefits plans affect the company’s finances.

Communication skills. Compensation and benefits managers must direct staff, give presentations, and work with colleagues. For example, they may present the advantages of a certain pay scale to management and address any concerns.

Decisionmaking skills. Compensation and benefits managers must weigh the strengths and weaknesses of different pay structures and benefits plans and choose the best options for an organization. 

Leadership skills. Compensation and benefits managers must coordinate the work activities of their staff and properly administer compensation and benefits programs, ensuring work is completed accurately and on schedule.

Writing skills. Compensation and benefits managers must prepare clearly written informational materials on compensation and benefits plans for an organization’s employees. They must also clearly convey recommendations in written reports.

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Plan Administrator Jobs

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Plan Administrator Career Paths

Plan Administrator
Bookkeeper Account Manager Key Account Manager
Account Development Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Accountant Accounting Manager
Accounting Director
11 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Billing Specialist Staff Accountant
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Internal Auditor Senior Auditor
Audit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Benefits Analyst Human Resources Manager General Manager
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager Program Manager General Manager
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager Property Manager
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Analyst Account Manager Human Resources Manager
Compensation Director
13 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Accounting Manager
Corporate Accounting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Analyst Underwriter Senior Credit Analyst
Credit And Collection Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Client Services Manager Recruiter Training Manager
Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Benefits Analyst Benefits Manager
Human Resources Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Compliance Specialist Quality Engineer Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt
Manager Of Operations Excellence
10 Yearsyrs
Client Services Manager Business Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Planning Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Specialist Operations Manager Property Manager
Portfolio Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Recruiter
Recruitment Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager General Manager
Regional Director
9 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Accounts Receivable Specialist Accounting Manager
Senior Accounting Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager General Manager Service Advisor
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Human Resources Manager General Manager
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Plan Administrator?

Plan Administrator Demographics

Gender

Female

60.3%

Male

38.1%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

63.2%

Hispanic or Latino

14.0%

Black or African American

11.1%

Asian

8.2%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.9%

Japanese

8.9%

Chinese

7.1%

German

3.6%

Cantonese

3.6%

French

3.6%

Hindi

3.6%

Mandarin

3.6%

Korean

3.6%

Turkish

1.8%

Portuguese

1.8%

Dutch

1.8%

Nepali

1.8%

Vietnamese

1.8%

Filipino

1.8%

Russian

1.8%

Carrier

1.8%

Armenian

1.8%

Arabic

1.8%

Swedish

1.8%
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Plan Administrator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

20.0%

University of Central Oklahoma

7.1%

Ohio State University

5.0%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

5.0%

New York University

4.3%

National University

4.3%

Michigan State University

4.3%

Saint John's University - New York

4.3%

Pennsylvania State University

4.3%

West Virginia University

4.3%

San Jose State University

4.3%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.3%

Ohio University -

3.6%

University of North Texas

3.6%

University of Southern California

3.6%

Old Dominion University

3.6%

Thomas More College

3.6%

Suffolk University

3.6%

Boston University

3.6%

University of Idaho

3.6%
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Majors

Business

35.3%

Accounting

11.3%

Finance

9.1%

Human Resources Management

5.0%

Management

4.6%

Psychology

3.5%

Economics

3.3%

Public Administration

2.6%

Communication

2.6%

Marketing

2.6%

Legal Support Services

2.5%

Health Care Administration

2.5%

English

2.4%

Law

2.4%

Education

2.2%

Political Science

2.0%

Project Management

1.6%

Criminal Justice

1.6%

Computer Science

1.4%

Nursing

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.8%

Masters

25.1%

Other

15.9%

Associate

6.7%

Certificate

4.3%

Doctorate

2.2%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.3%
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Real Plan Administrator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director, Stock Plan Admin. & Compensation Complia Activision Publishing, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Sep 11, 2012 $146,000
Enterprise Resource Planning Administrator 3 Capgemini America Inc. Phoenix, AZ Sep 14, 2016 $110,000
Cognos Planning Administrator Kforce Inc. Oakland, CA Sep 01, 2009 $98,089 -
$125,220
Senior Corporate Planning Administrator/Project LE Konami Gaming Inc. Las Vegas, NV Dec 13, 2013 $94,066
Financial Planning Administrator The Los Angeles Times Los Angeles, CA Jul 31, 2011 $93,642
Stock Plan Administrator (Accounting Group) ICF Incorporated, LLC Fairfax, VA May 02, 2011 $93,018
Smart Plan Suite Administrator SK E and C America, Inc. Houston, TX Jun 03, 2013 $88,670 -
$110,000
Smart Plan Suite Administrator SK E and C USA, Inc. Houston, TX Apr 15, 2013 $88,670 -
$110,000
Enterprise Resource Planning Administrator 2 Capgemini America Inc. San Jose, CA Oct 20, 2016 $87,700
Enterprise Resource Planning Administrator 3 Capgemini America Inc. Jersey City, NJ Sep 23, 2016 $87,300
Enterprise Resource Planning Administrator 3 Capgemini America Inc. Oak Brook, IL May 10, 2016 $84,700
Enterprise Resource Planning Administrator Capgemini America, Inc. Phoenix, AZ Jun 27, 2016 $80,891 -
$125,000
Enterprise Resource Planning Administrator 3 Capgemini America Inc. Seattle, WA Aug 25, 2016 $79,900
Enterprise Resource Planning Administrator 3 Capgemini America Inc. OFallon, MO Aug 26, 2016 $76,800
Enterprise Resource Planning Administrator 3 Capgemini America Inc. Oak Brook, IL Sep 29, 2016 $76,800
Systems Planning Administrator/Engineer Quidsi, Inc. Jersey City, NJ May 22, 2013 $74,000
Enterprise Resource Planning Administrator 2 Capgemini America Inc. Cary, NC May 10, 2016 $72,000
Hyperion Planning Administrator/Developer Ventois, Inc. Shrewsbury, MA Aug 23, 2014 $72,000
Planning & Zoning Administrator Ward County Minot, ND Jan 09, 2013 $64,314
Planning & Zoning Administrator Ward County Minot, ND Jan 05, 2013 $64,314
Enterprise Resource Planning Administrator 2 Capgemini America Inc. Phoenix, AZ May 10, 2016 $64,200
Enterprise Resource Planning Administrator 2 Capgemini America Inc. Milwaukee, WI May 10, 2016 $62,800
Enterprise Resource Planning Administrator 2 Capgemini America Inc. Cary, NC Aug 26, 2016 $60,000
Enterprise Resource Planning Administrator 2 Capgemini America Inc. Milwaukee, WI Aug 09, 2016 $60,000
Enterprise Resource Planning Administrator 2 Capgemini America Inc. Cary, NC Aug 19, 2016 $60,000

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR A Plan Administrator

Average Yearly Salary
$70,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$47,000
Min 10%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$103,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
JCPenney
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.6 years
How much does a Plan Administrator make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Plan Administrator in the United States is $70,231 per year or $34 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $47,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $103,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Plan Administrator?

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Top Skills for A Plan Administrator

  1. Ensure Compliance
  2. Financial Statements
  3. Retirement Planning
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prime responsibility was coordination of schedules to ensure compliance with contractual requirements.
  • Prepared and published Corporate Financial Statements to Local and Global Financial Management.
  • Counseled current employees and perspective retirees on issues ranging from retirement counseling and overall retirement planning to medical coverage issues.
  • Prepared specialized reports of plan participants per client specifications including discrimination and top-heavy testing.
  • Prepared annual government filings, calculated annual employer contributions, compliance testing using financial records and payroll census data.

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Top 10 Best States for Plan Administrators

  1. Maryland
  2. Virginia
  3. District of Columbia
  4. New Jersey
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Texas
  7. Connecticut
  8. Massachusetts
  9. North Carolina
  10. New York
  • (1,049 jobs)
  • (1,685 jobs)
  • (386 jobs)
  • (523 jobs)
  • (55 jobs)
  • (1,419 jobs)
  • (190 jobs)
  • (590 jobs)
  • (540 jobs)
  • (792 jobs)

Top Plan Administrator Employers

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