International Paper Benefits Consultant III in MEMPHIS, Tennessee

What if you were given the opportunity and responsibility to make a difference? It is time to embrace your Infinite Possibilities. This is your opportunity to be part of International Paper, a Fortune 500 company and global leader in paper and packaging products. IP is known for our commitment to the environment and to cutting-edge technology. We have spent more than 100 years creating new ideas, and we are looking for people who can collaborate to help us build on our history, while creating future success. We are committed to attracting, preparing, promoting and supporting our teams. At International Paper, you control your destiny. We offer benefits, challenges, global opportunities and total rewards. When we say Infinite Possibilities, we mean it.

* * * ACTUAL PL WILL BASED UPON EXPERIENCE * * *

PURPOSE:

Works independently with minimal guidance. Develops policy, practices and financial controls for benefit plans, including executive plans, and programs. Works with actuaries, accountants, auditors, lawyers and underwriters to develop benefit cost and design information. Works with managers in developing alternatives in plan design, funding and delivery of employee benefits. Insures benefit plans are written clearly and correctly, well understood by customers, and administered accurately and efficiently. Participates in defining or redefining the issues and scope of assigned projects, and determines approach and methodology for implementation. Key customers include management and human resource professionals.

This position has substantial latitude for recommending changes in procedures, interpreting and applying plan provisions and company policy, and approving unreviewed actions or decisions.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES

  • Identifies and assesses plan design and cost implications of the company’s benefit programs, identifies opportunities, and develops recommendations in line with business/HR strategy;

  • Develops recommendations, documents, and facilitates organizational consensus on overall benefit package for an individual employee population, business group, reorganized operations and newly acquired companies;

  • Assures that benefit plans are well-designed, i.e., the plans are competitive, compliant, cost effective, and employee friendly; meet strategic business objectives; and facilitate ease of administration;

  • Jointly develops benefit costs for financial analysis and budgeting with corporate finance and the company’s actuaries;

  • Keeps current on benefit trends, industry standards, legislative requirements, etc. and communicates to management for consideration;

  • Achieves skillful and efficient management (with direct supervisory responsibilities) of the Benefits Analysts team (four exempt positions) and its work;

  • Insures accurate and consistent interpretation of our benefit plans, including non-qualified executive plans, and recommendations for changes in our plans, through in-depth research and knowledgeable consultation and discussion with others;

  • Achieves timely and accurate review and approval of tier III and ERISA appeal responses, including those with substantial financial implications;

  • Conducts detailed, constructive impact analysis of proposed plan and legislative changes from legal, administrative, participant and other perspectives through in-depth research;

  • Develops and executes implementation strategies for plan changes and other benefits-related changes through strong project management involving multiple customers and vendors;

  • Develops timely, accurate and effective communication and training products, including federally required Summary Plan Descriptions, through strong technical, marketing and employee relations skills; and

  • Understands the company’s business needs and HR strategy.

KEY CHALLENGES:

The external environment, including technology, competition, markets:

  • Understands overall changes in the benefits environment and analyzes how these changes impact our plans. The legislative arena continues to create challenges to keep benefit plans in compliance and cost effective. The technology revolution in the benefits market puts more pressure on plan sponsors to take risks and to stay ahead of the “curve” to be able to deliver quality, cost-effective benefits.

The internal environment, including interaction with others, (both inside and outside the company) policies/practices:

  • Works effectively with internal legal, tax, finance and human resource professionals. Designs and recommends changes in policies and practices that are aligned with business/HR strategy. Stays current with the impact of FASB and actuarial valuations on alternative cost structures;

  • Insures that outsourced relationships work well and that the integrity of the plans (the accurate and consistent enforcement of plan provisions) remains intact throughout the administrative process.

The work itself, e.g., problems, opportunities, change:

  • There are numerous opportunities to identify and recommend alternative policies and practices that can benefit both the company from a cost/productivity standpoint and employee relations. The challenge will be to balance employee relations with cost-effectiveness in every aspect of planning. Prevention, safety and productivity are also attributes that need to be considered in designing a sound benefits program.

  • Understands, communicates and successfully implements a wide variety of new programs and new legislative requirements while continuing to insure the integrity of existing Company plans; provides strong due diligence for ERISA compliance audits

SCOPE:

  • The company sponsors 50 health and welfare plans providing over 350 benefit levels, one retirement plan with approximately 200 benefit formulas and 1,500 active formula combinations and 3 savings plans.

  • Approximately 200 locations

  • Approximately 15 vendors

  • 180,000 employees and former employees

  • Approximately 150 bargaining units

  • Approximately $1.1 billion in benefit expense annually

This position has an important impact on plan interpretation and administration, each of which has a direct impact on plan costs, administrative efficiency and accuracy, and the overall understanding, acceptance and appreciation of the benefit plans by employees. This position also reviews and renegotiates vendor costs on specific projects.

KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS:

The candidate must demonstrate strength in all of the following:

  • Actuarial/technical knowledge;

  • Analytical/accounting/actuarial/mathematical/underwriting skills;

  • Computer and software usage;

  • Leadership and interpersonal skills;

  • People management;

  • Problem-solving;

  • Project management;

  • Technical writing and other forms of communication, including presentation skills; and

  • Vendor management.

EDUCATION:

The position requires both of the following:

  • College degree of four years or greater (or equivalent service); and

  • Minimum of eight years of benefits experience in corporate, consulting or insurance environment.

International Paper offers a competitive salary and an excellent benefits package that includes medical, dental, disability, life and accident insurance, vacation as well as a 401(k) plan and retirement savings account. This is a great opportunity to start a career with a dynamic and proven manufacturing company.

International Paper is an Equal Opportunity Employer - Minorities/Females/Individuals with Disabilities/Veterans.