Skip Navigation


Senior Benefits Administrator

Grand Rapids, MI
ID: 591-085


Senior Benefits Administrator


Van Andel Institute (VAI),  a nonprofit biomedical research and science education institute located in the heart of Grand Rapids, MI’s vibrant Medical Mile, is seeking to hire a Senior Benefits Administrator to join our Human Resources Team.


The Senior Benefits Administrator is the highest individual contributor role that also serves in an advisory capacity for Institute partners, proactively liaises and leverages external resources and internal partners to assess and enhance existing benefits processes, protocols and programs. You will join a Human Resources team committed to creating an environment where employees and graduate students can do their best, where best-in-class talent comes, stays and thrives.


Your Key Responsibilities in this role will include the following:

  • Manage all aspects of health and welfare benefit plans including medical/RX, dental, vision, life, AD&D, disability, flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, travel, Long-Term Care and Employee Assistance Program. You will actively manage the day-to-day administration of the plans, develop positive relationships with vendor partners and actively manage the performance of these partners.
  • Provide support for financial audits of plans, assist with the preparation of the 5500’s, respond to other audit requests, as necessary.
  • Audit, reconcile and coordinate remittance processes for benefit-related invoices. Including research and resolve bill errors and discrepancies and oversee the tracking of changes, charges and refunds.
  • Provide timely eligibility, enrollment and benefit plan documents and material to participants. Coordinate resolution of claims, enrollment, and eligibility issues with internal and external clients.
  • Manage multiple open enrollments and annual benefit renewal process by leading efforts across the Institute and partnering with benefits broker.
  • Manage claims utilization, plan compliance, participant documentation, government-mandated reports, benefit reporting and uses trend analysis to recommend plan improvements.
  • Administer the Institute’s time off programs including short- and long-term disability, Family Medical Leave, Parental Leave, etc. and ADA requests for accommodations. Prepare and distribute required documentation including determination of eligibility.  Provide education and support to Institute units to assist with the management of leaves.
  • Coordinate benefit and leave transactions affecting employees’ wages and taxes with payroll, ensuring timely, accurate communication and documentation relating to benefit deductions, plan remittances and management of paid and unpaid leaves.
  • Develop and deploy communication strategies to ensure all benefit programs are fully understood and valued by employees during recruitment, new hire orientation, and open enrollment through Summary Plan Documents, memorandums, benefit bulletins, emails, internal SharePoint site, enrollment materials, forms, etc.


You should possess the following characteristics/traits:

  • A dynamic individual with the ability to be agile, collaborative and take initiative to seek solutions and opportunities.
  • You have no problem wearing multiple hats at one time: 1) subject matter expert, 2) vendor manager, 3) day-to-day operations, and 4) point-of-contact for employees/vendors facing difficult and complex leave and benefit issues. 
  • You are exceptionally organized and thorough, like details and have an analytical mind for catching errors, yet capable to manage several projects at the same time meeting deadlines.
  • You strive to exceed customer/client expectations and can explain complex concepts to non-technical audiences. You serve as the point-of-contact across several affiliates who share similar, but not always identical benefit plans.  You enjoy presenting on a variety of benefit topics to diverse audiences to include workshops, meetings, and advisory sessions.  You actively triage and resolve escalated inquires.
  • You have proven success building relationships with employees, managers, executives, and external vendors. You possess sound judgment to know when to involve key stakeholders and how to present information to them.
  • You are cost-conscious, and a systems thinker to develop process flows and improve efficiencies.


The qualifications you will be required to have in this role:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Business Administration or related field
  • Minimum of 6-8 years of relevant professional work experience in the benefit field.
  • Strong subject matter expert in Benefit administration and current regulatory requirements (ACA, ADA, COBRA, ERISA, FMLA, HIPPA, Section 125 Cafeteria Plans).
  • Proficient in Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and benefit driven HRIS systems.


You will go above and beyond our minimum requirements, if you:

  • Have a CEBS designation, Certificate in Benefit Plan Administration or Certificate in Health and Welfare plans,
  • Have a master’s degree in Human Resources, Business Administration or related field.



All full-time employees of Van Andel Institute are eligible for benefits, effective day one! The salary you can expect in this Senior Benefits Administrator role is based on your experience and skills.



If you are a person who has demonstrated success in these areas, we would love to have a conversation with you! The first step in beginning this conversation is starting your application.  


In addition to your resume, please provide a cover letter outlining why you are interested in this role and how this position aligns with your goals.


If you have any difficulty uploading your application or any questions, please email Eric Miller at


VAI is actively striving to diversify its workforce and strongly encourages qualified individuals from underrepresented groups to apply. Van Andel Institute is an EEO and Affirmative Action Employer