County of Alameda

Fire Department Benefits Specialist (#8189)

Bargaining Unit: Unrep - Fire Clerical (074)
$36.62-$44.95 Hourly / $2,929.85-$3,595.85 BiWeekly /
$6,348.00-$7,791.00 Monthly / $76,176.00-$93,492.00 Yearly


Under general direction, performs paraprofessional employee benefits’ duties for the Department’s Human Resources division.  Duties will include: conducting employee orientations, enrolling, and providing on-going assistance to Alameda County Fire Department (ACFD) employees and retirees with insurance plans and benefits that include health, dental and vision plans, life insurance, flexible spending accounts, and deferred compensation; monitors benefit payments for employees; and performs other related duties as required.  


The Fire Department Benefits Specialist is located in the Alameda County Fire Department and is a non-safety classification. This single paraprofessional classification is responsible for performing complex administration duties requiring the exercise of initiative and judgement beyond that of a journey-level clerical classification. This classification reports directly to the Human Resources Manager and focuses solely on benefit services to ACFD employees. The class of Fire Department Benefits Specialist is distinguished from the Specialist Clerk in that the former is working predominantly in benefit duties while the latter focuses on clerical duties.


NOTE:    The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification.  However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level.  Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

  1. Administer and conduct new employee orientations; explain employment and benefit policies and programs; distribute, collect and process all information pertaining to employment including all benefits and governmental forms and optional deductions; administer the COBRA program for the ACFD; enroll new employees and maintain employee updates in various Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS), insurance, and California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) retirement and medical plans, and other optional insurance plans.
  2. Administer, calculate, and prepare payment for all employee benefits including medical, dental, life insurance, employee assistance program, vision, flexible spending accounts, cafeteria plan and other optional items ensuring accuracy; monitoring for employee leaves as it relates to benefits billing; process retroactive benefit adjustments and ensure correct employee benefit payments.
  3. Act as liaison between benefit providers and employees to provide information about benefit plans and programs, resolve problems and coordinate benefit changes; administer open enrollment; respond to requests for personnel and employment information; arrange for representatives from providers to make presentations to employees and provide explanations of the Department’s benefits policies and procedures.
  4. Analyze, research, and resolve routine to complex problems involving benefit accounts, eligibility, enrollment, premiums, data, and system issues.
  5. Create employee personnel, benefit, payroll, and medical files for new employees and maintain records including employee contact information, historical files, salary adjustments, confidential files, separated employee files, and various other employment records. Ensure confidentiality of information is maintained according to applicable laws, rules, regulations, and administrative orders.
  6. Provide information to employees, retirees and retiree-survivors on the applicable laws, policies, rules, and regulations, concerning the benefits plans and programs ensuring complete confidentiality.
  7. Prepare, analyze, and manipulate a large variety of statistical and analytical data for reports and queries; creates and updates various employee benefit related communications and forms.  
  8. Review, validate, and process benefits documents and reports, ensure all employees are enrolled in the correct benefits plans, correct errors, monitor workflow to ensure transactions are entered into the applicable HRIS systems in a timely manner.  
  9. Regularly review employee benefit administration related processes and procedures and recommend appropriate changes to improve service delivery.



The equivalent of three (3) years of full-time experience providing administrative support in a human resources, finance, or benefit administration environment which must have included working with a computerized human resource system, databases, and spreadsheets.  

Experience within CalPERS retirement and benefit administration is highly desirable.  


Possession of an Associate’s degree from an accredited college or university in human resources administration, business or public administration, finance, accounting or a closely related field can be substituted for one (1) year of the required experience.    

Possession of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in human resources administration, business or public administration, finance, accounting, or a closely related field can be substituted for two (2) years of the required experience.  


Possession of a valid State of California Motor Vehicle Operator’s License.  

NOTE:    The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.


NOTE:    The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the "Examples of Duties" section of this specification.  

Knowledge of:

  • Laws, regulations, and procedures related to employee benefit programs.
  • Principles and practices of employee benefits enrollment processing and administration.
  • General principles and practices of employee payroll processing.
  • Current trends in employee benefit rules, regulations, and practices.
  • Principles and practices of effective and efficient customer service.
  • Extensive knowledge of modern office practices and procedures including filing and the operations of standard office equipment and computer hardware and software.
  • Administration of the benefits programs from California Public Employees' Retirement System.    

Ability to:

  • Interpret, explain, and apply administrative guidelines, regulations, and policies and procedures related to employee benefit programs.
  • Gather and evaluate relevant information in researching and resolving benefit-related issues. 
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with internal and external customers and vendors.
  • Prioritize tasks and perform detailed work accurately within established timeframe.
  • Review documents for completeness, accuracy, appropriate authorization, and compliance.
  • Maintain accurate records including spreadsheets, information system databases and files.
  • Maintain confidentiality of employee benefit records and reports.
  • Perform various mathematical computations related to rates, premiums, refunds, deductions, and contributions.
  • Use and design spreadsheet applications to automate work processes.


NewSpec 8189

RE:sa 04/08/2021

CSC Date: 04/21/2021


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees) 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 12 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.


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