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Retirement Benefits Specialist

Salary: Retirement Benefits Specialist I (#6648)

$19.97-$24.38 hourly / $3,473-$4,240 monthly / Range: 5336

Retirement Benefits Specialist II (#6649)

$22.96-$28.03 hourly / $3,994-$4,875 monthly / Range: 5616

DEFINITION: Under close (I) or general (II) supervision, administers retirement benefits to current Santa Barbara County employees, retiring members, retirees, and beneficiaries for the Santa Barbara County Employees' Retirement System; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Retirement Benefits Specialist is a paraprofessional class series responsible for administering non-disability retirement cases for current and retired County employees in accordance with the County Employees Retirement Act of 1937. It is distinguished from Retirement Disability Assistant in that the latter class performs paraprofessional duties to support the investigation and administration of disability retirement claims.

Retirement Benefits Specialist I is the entry-level class in the series. Incumbents receive close supervision and training and are expected to obtain sufficient knowledge and proficiency to progress to the journey level within a reasonable length of time. Retirement Benefits Specialist II is the journey-level class in the series. Incumbents work with more independence and are responsible for more complex assignments. This class is distinguished from Retirement Benefits Supervisor in that the incumbent in the latter class acts as a technical expert and is responsible for supervising staff and the daily operations of the Retirement Benefits Unit.

EXAMPLES OF DUTIES:

1. Conducts individual interviews and group counseling presentations for new County employees; interprets and explains policies, procedures, and retirement law to current employees; interviews retiring employees and surviving beneficiaries to obtain necessary information and explain available benefits and options; and prepares written correspondence and develops brochures and other communication tools to provide information to retirement system members.
2. Determines retirement eligibility of members; researches and computes benefit options; computes repurchase of service, withdrawal of contributions, and deferred retirement calculations; contacts, verifies, and establishes records for members requesting reciprocity; determines age adjustments and proper rates for members under reciprocity agreements; obtains legal documents required to verify date of birth; and processes applications and supporting documents for approval by Retirement Board.
3. Maintains a master file of all active, deferred, retired, and separated members of the retirement system; completes forms to make payroll changes for retired employees; prepares requests for refunds of contributions or deferred or reciprocal retirement; and enters data into the payroll system to generate the payroll.
4. Participates in annual open enrollment for retiree health insurance; assists retirees with health insurance enrollment changes; and acts on behalf of the retiree to resolve health insurance billing and eligibility problems.
5. Reads, reviews, and applies legislative changes affecting the retirement system; and collects, verifies, and provides retirement data to the fund's actuary for final computation of benefits and reserves.

Retirement Benefits Specialist II - In addition to the duties listed above:

1. Researches and calculates the division of retirement benefits due divorcing parties in response to Superior Court joinders and court orders; and explains the rights of, benefits due to, and options available to nonmember spouses.

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS:

Retirement Benefits Specialist I:

1. Possession of an associate's degree in business administration or related field; and one year of experience performing paraprofessional accounting duties related to retirement, insurance benefits, financial planning, or actuarial services; or,
2. one year of experience performing duties equivalent to the class of Accounting Technician with the Santa Barbara County Employees' Retirement System; or,
3. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Knowledge of: advanced bookkeeping practices; computerized accounting and record keeping systems; business math; English, punctuation, spelling, and grammar; office practices and procedures; information and data gathering techniques; communication techniques required for conducting direct interviews and group presentations; and effective customer service techniques.

Ability to: maintain accurate, neat, and complete financial and retirement records; perform arithmetic calculations including fractions and percentages; research, compile, and present financial data; identify and resolve discrepancies in financial and accounting records; read, learn, and apply complex policies, procedures, and laws; clearly explain irrevocable retirement options to retirees; interact effectively with individuals in sensitive and stressful situations; learn to use personal computers including word-processing, database management, and spreadsheet applications; enter data using a computer keyboard; organize and prioritize work; maintain confidentiality of member data; write clear and concise letters and reports; work effectively under deadlines; and conduct retirement planning and information seminars and workshops.

Retirement Benefits Specialist II:

1. Possession of an associate's degree in business administration or related field; and, two years of paraprofessional experience calculating and explaining retirement benefits; or,
2. two years of experience performing duties equivalent to the class of Retirement Benefits Specialist I with the Santa Barbara County Employees' Retirement System; or,
3. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Retirement Benefit Specialist II: In addition to those listed above for Retirement Benefits Specialist I:

Knowledge of: County Employees Retirement Act of 1937; and state and county retirement codes, regulations, and laws related to death benefits and divorce and property settlements.

Ability to: work independently.
 



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