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Become A Retirement Specialist

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Working As A Retirement Specialist

  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $71,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Retirement Specialist Do

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists conduct an organization’s compensation and benefits programs. They also evaluate position descriptions to determine details such as a person’s classification and salary.

Duties

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists typically do the following:

  • Research compensation and benefits policies and plans to ensure the organization’s offerings are current, cost effective, and competitive
  • Use data and cost analyses to compare compensation and benefits plans
  • Evaluate position descriptions to determine a person’s classification and salary
  • Ensure that the company complies with federal and state laws
  • Collaborate with outside partners, such as benefits vendors, insurance brokers, and investment managers 
  • Design and prepare reports summarizing research and analysis
  • Present recommendations to other human resources managers

Some specialists perform tasks within all areas of compensation, benefits, and job analysis. Others specialize in a specific area.

Compensation specialists assess the organization’s pay structure. They research compensation trends and review surveys to determine how their organization’s pay compares with that of other organizations in a particular industry and region. They often perform complex data or cost analyses to evaluate compensation policies. For example, they may research and analyze the cost of different pay-for-performance strategies, which offer rewards such as bonuses, paid leave, and other incentives.

Compensation specialists also must ensure that the organization’s pay practices comply with federal and state laws and regulations, such as workers’ compensation, minimum wage, overtime, and equal pay laws.

Benefits specialists administer the organization’s benefits programs, which include retirement plans, leave policies, wellness programs, and insurance policies, such as health, life, and disability insurance. They research and analyze benefits plans, policies, and programs, and make recommendations based on their analysis. They must frequently monitor government regulations, legislation, and benefits trends to ensure that their programs are current, legal, and competitive.

Benefits specialists also work closely with insurance brokers and benefits carriers and manage the enrollment, renewal, and delivery of benefits to the organization’s employees.

Job analysis specialists, also known as position classifiers, evaluate positions by writing or assigning job descriptions, determining position classifications, and preparing salary scales. When an organization introduces a new job or reviews existing jobs, specialists must research and make recommendations to managers on the status, description, classification, and salary of those jobs.

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How To Become A Retirement Specialist

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree, and some specialists need related work experience.

Education

Most employers require that compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists have a bachelor’s degree. Many specialists have a degree in human resources, business administration, finance, communication, or a related field. Some employers may accept previous work experience in lieu of a formal degree.

Not all colleges and universities offer an undergraduate degree in human resources, but many offer courses in human resources management, compensation analysis, and benefits administration. Students with a background in other disciplines may benefit from taking courses in business, management, finance, and accounting.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

For many jobs, compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists must have previous work experience. Employers commonly require that the previous experience includes performing compensation analysis, benefits administration, or general human resources work. Experience in related fields such as finance, insurance, or business administration, also may be beneficial.

Jobseekers without a degree in human resources must have relevant work experience. Some workers may gain this experience through internships. However, most gain experience from working in human resources.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although certification is not required, it can demonstrate professional expertise. Some employers prefer to hire certified candidates, but many employers will have their employees become certified after they are already working. Certification programs for management positions often require several years of related work experience in order to qualify for the credential.

Many associations for human resources workers offer classes to enhance the skills of their members. 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 and the Society for Human Resource Management, offer general human resources credentials.

Advancement

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists may advance to a compensation and benefits manager or a human resources manager position. Specialists typically need several years of work experience to advance.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Many specialists perform data or cost analyses to form logical conclusions. For example, they may analyze the cost of choosing a particular salary scale for a class of workers.

Business acumen. Specialists must understand basic finance and accounting.

Communication skills. Specialists often work with employees throughout their organization to provide information on compensation and benefits. They may give presentations or advise managers or employees about compensation policies or benefit plans.

Critical-thinking skills. Specialists must think critically when evaluating job positions, salary scales, promotion practices, and other compensation and benefits policies.

Detail oriented. Specialists must pay attention to detail, especially when ensuring that the organization is compliant with federal and state laws.

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Retirement Specialist Career Paths

Retirement Specialist
Benefit Specialist Human Resources Generalist Human Resources Manager
Senior Human Resources Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Benefit Specialist Human Resources Manager Director Of Human Resources
Human Resources Vice President
12 Yearsyrs
Benefit Specialist Human Resources Generalist Office Manager
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Operations Specialist Team Leader Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Operations Specialist Team Leader Vice President
Vice President And Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Operations Specialist Team Leader Sales Manager
Regional Sales Director
11 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Store Manager Branch Manager
Manager, Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Account Manager Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Specialist Consultant Human Resources Manager
Human Resource Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Operation Supervisor Branch Manager
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Executive Assistant Human Resources Generalist
Benefits Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Finance Representative Credit Analyst Relationship Manager
Client Relationship Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Finance Representative Operation Supervisor Operations Director
Assistant Vice President Operations
8 Yearsyrs
Finance Representative Recruiter Human Resources Analyst
Hris Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Finance Consultant Senior Account Executive Sales Account Manager
Account Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Finance Consultant Executive Assistant Executive Assistant To President
Administrative Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Finance Consultant Senior Account Executive Regional Accounts Manager
Client Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Loan Officer Staff Accountant Fund Accountant
Client Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Accountant Payroll Administrator Benefits Manager
Employee Benefits Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Highest Retirement Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Retirement Valuation Specialist Mercer (Us) Inc. Louisville, KY Jun 22, 2015 $59,000 -
$81,000
Retirement Valuation Specialist-Associate Mercer (Us) Inc. Louisville, KY Jun 22, 2012 $51,400 -
$59,000
Retirement Valuation Specialist Mercer (Us) Inc. Louisville, KY Aug 28, 2010 $48,000 -
$68,000
Retirement Specialist The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company Houston, TX Jun 09, 2016 $43,389
Retirement Specialist Endorsed Diversified Services, Inc. Buffalo Grove, IL May 17, 2010 $41,740

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Top Skills for A Retirement Specialist

  1. Customer Service
  2. Retirement Accounts
  3. Distribution Options
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Utilize customer service skills to assist financial professionals and shareholders with inquires about life insurance products.
  • Calculate retirement minimum distributions for retirement accounts
  • Advise plan participants on distribution options including IRA accounts and tax implications associate with various choices.
  • Assist individuals in one-on-one consultations to help them understand difficult retirement topics and the importance of retirement planning.
  • Analyzed IRS plan provisions and regulations to explain retirement guidelines to customers

Retirement Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

46.2%

Female

44.9%

Unknown

8.9%
Ethnicity

White

63.3%

Hispanic or Latino

15.1%

Black or African American

11.7%

Asian

6.8%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.7%

German

5.6%

Chinese

2.8%

Mandarin

2.8%

Igbo

2.8%

French

2.8%

Cherokee

2.8%

Carrier

2.8%

Hindi

2.8%

Urdu

2.8%

Arabic

2.8%

Korean

2.8%
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Retirement Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

25.8%

Strayer University

6.0%

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

5.5%

University of South Florida

4.9%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.9%

University of Houston

4.9%

Towson University

4.4%

Ohio State University

3.8%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

3.8%

Cardinal Stritch University

3.3%

Brigham Young University

3.3%

Michigan State University

3.3%

University of Cincinnati

3.3%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.3%

Temple University

3.3%

Northern Kentucky University

3.3%

Pennsylvania State University

3.3%

Central Connecticut State University

3.3%

Iowa State University

3.3%

Villanova University

2.7%
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Majors

Business

35.1%

Finance

12.0%

Accounting

7.4%

Marketing

4.8%

Communication

4.6%

Management

4.5%

Psychology

4.5%

Human Resources Management

4.0%

Education

2.7%

Economics

2.7%

Criminal Justice

2.6%

Political Science

2.5%

General Studies

2.0%

English

1.8%

Insurance

1.8%

Health Care Administration

1.5%

Elementary Education

1.4%

Liberal Arts

1.4%

History

1.4%

Sociology

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

51.1%

Masters

18.9%

Other

16.7%

Associate

7.3%

Certificate

3.2%

Doctorate

1.2%

Diploma

1.0%

License

0.6%
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