Careers at UMass Amherst

Clerk V - Retirement Specialist

Apply now Job no: 518281
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Human Resources
Union: Non-Unit Non-Exempt
Categories: Human Resources, Administrative & Office Support

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

Responds knowledgeably to a broad range of inquiries (routine to complex) regarding HR policies, procedures, programs and benefits. Strives to provide superior customer service to all University customers (internal and external) in person at the Service Center, via telephone, e-mail, Salesforce and other modes of communication.

Serves as University’s retirement specialist including daily administration of retirement programs [ORP, MSERS, 457, 403(b), OBRA]. Counsels current & former University employees regarding retirement and impact of retirement on benefits including, but not limited to insurance plans. Actively works with UMass System Office and external customers (multiple retirement boards, Dept. of Higher Education, MA 457 vendor and University 403b vendors). Backs up University administration of employee insurances (health, life, disability and dental).


Essential Functions

  • Responds to inquiries and requests from customers (phone, e-mail, in person, Salesforce and other modes of communication) by fully understanding the question(s) or request(s), determining the need and/or urgency of the request or problem and following through with necessary action. Answers general questions regarding employment and employee benefits, policies and procedures and providing appropriate forms/guidance; refers employees with specific or detailed questions to a subject specialist when necessary.
  • Actively provides in person assistance at the Service Center including problem resolution, answering questions about all benefits & benefits processes, payroll and pay statement related questions.
  • Assists in design of, and conducts, presentations to University employees regarding University benefits, policies, procedures, etc.
  • Designs and maintains forms necessary to perform duties; develops and organizes material for mass communications; assists with mailings and mail receipt/distribution.
  • Provides information about retirement programs and benefits in response to inquiries; processes retirement enrollments, buybacks, salary and employment data requests, retirement applications, retirement withdrawals, Social Security and Medicare forms, etc.
  • Calculates retirement projections (requires knowledge of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 32 and the State Board of Retirement’s various legal interpretations). Researches prior employment information using both digital and non-digital materials. Counsels employees regarding retirement options and corresponding University and state retirement benefits.
  • Oversees daily administration of Optional Retirement Program, OBRA and MSERS/state pension system. Researches and responds to problems in this regard and notifies direct supervisor and appropriate agencies of exceptional issues.
  • Receives, researches and provides required forms and letters regarding first eligible to retire dates and Medicare enrollments.
  • Provides notification to appropriate departments and state agencies upon death or retirement of University employee in keeping with University and Human Resources protocol.
  • Backs up administration and processing of insurance (health, dental, life, and disability) and flexible spending account enrollments/changes including but not limited to data entry onto related systems (MAGIC, spreadsheets).


Other Functions

  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • High school diploma or equivalent with three (3) years of office, administrative, or related experience; OR an Associate’s degree with one (1) year of office, administrative, or related experience.
  • Experience working with computers.
  • Ability to assess work priorities and meet deadlines.
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise independent judgment and creative problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with demonstrated ability to interact with a wide variety of people. Dedication to providing customer service.
  • Attentive to detail and ability to work accurately with figures.
  • Ability to use a computer terminal and familiarity with data management, word processing and spreadsheet software programs. Ability to maintain a database of information.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Knowledge of payroll functions.
  • Administrative/leadership experience.
  • Experience in Human Resource related functions.
  • General knowledge of employee benefits.
  • General knowledge of Human Resources policies and procedures.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Typical office environment.


Additional Details

  • Works under the direct supervision of the Benefits Supervisor.
  • Performs tasks in accordance with specified procedures and timelines.
  • Exercises judgment in the management of established processes, performance of routine tasks and research/response to questions from internal and external customers.
  • Recommends and implements changes to policies and procedures; proposes and implements creative solutions to benefits challenges.


Work Schedule

  • Monday – Friday.
  • 37.5 hours/week.


Salary Information

Grade 15


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter and contact information for three (3) professional references. The search will remain open until filled.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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