Director of Benefits Administration

Recruitment #210406-UNCA-05



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This position oversees three departments that deliver retirement-related services to approximately 100,000 state and local government employees across Oklahoma. This position is not responsible for human resource functions.

Responsible for the strategic direction and effective and efficient operations of the Benefits Administration Division. Develops strategic goals for the Division and ensures timely implementation. Coordinates services between departments in the division and with other agency departments. Responsible for the delivery of services to members in all phases of retirement. Researches best practices and implements new programs that enhance the delivery of services to members.

Essential Functions: The essential functions of this position include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Administers agency policies and programs as they apply to the Defined Benefit Plans, Defined Contribution Plans, and Retired Member Services Departments. Monitors and ensures compliance with applicable laws, regulations, internal policies, and standard operating procedures.
• Directs and evaluates the performance of the Benefit Administrators of the Defined Benefit Department, Defined Contribution Department, and the Retired Member Services Department.
• Creates and ensures timely implementation of short-term and long-term strategic goals for the Division that align with the strategic goals of the agency.
• Analyzes and evaluates services provided to ensure member needs are met and takes action to identify and correct problems as they arise.
• Establishes and maintains objectives and goals for the Division and provides daily guidance to ensure effective and timely accomplishment of those goals and objectives
• Designs, recommends and implements new benefits programs. Examines possible plan designs and benefits cost changes.
• Assesses staff needs for the Division, the effective use of staff, and the establishment of standards of performance and productivity within the Division.
• Provides guidance to staff and ensures escalated issues are resolved in timely manner.
• Participates in the selection of outside contractors and vendors and monitors performance with contractual obligations.
• Participates in the legislative process when requested and provides timely input on legislative and administrative rule changes.
• Monitors administrative costs of the Departments and recommends strategies to reduce costs and/or increase services. Prepares budgetary recommendations and assists in monitoring, verifying and reconciling budgeted funds.
• Coaches staff to meet goals, improve quality, and monitors performance measurements.
• Leads process improvement activities, establishes goals and metrics, and achieves them.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
• Knowledge of effective management principles and practices that build a cohesive, well-functioning team.
• Ability to lead and coach subordinates, effectively address performance issues, and lead team to success.
• Knowledge of continuous improvement processes and how to apply them to work situations.
• Ability to think strategically and proactively.
• Ability to exercise initiative and make independent decisions in accordance with laws, rules and regulations.
• Ability to analyze problems and apply sound reasoning and decision-making to resolve difficult and complex problems.
• Ability to communicate clearly and concisely with a diverse population on complex concepts and issues in person and in large group settings.
• Ability to negotiate effectively and establish and maintain effective working relationships with others.
• Knowledge of governmental operations, the legislative process, governmental contracting, budgeting, and finance.
• Ability to manage multiple complex projects simultaneously while working under pressure to meet deadlines.

Education and Experience:
Bachelor’s degree in management, business or public administration, human resources, or a related field, and four years of supervisory experience, including two years supervising management staff with supervisory responsibilities. Three years developing and implementing strategic plans and project management. Knowledge of governmental retirement plans is preferred.

Physical Requirements:
The majority of the work is spent sitting at a desk, working at a computer screen, and using a keyboard; communicating verbally in person and by telephone, in writing and through electronic systems. May be required to lift up to 15 pounds.

Leadership Competencies
• Adapts communication to diverse audiences
• Delivers quality oral presentations
• Manages meetings effectively
• Uses effective listening skills
• Writes clearly and concisely
• Practices two-way open, direct and honest communication
• Is open to feedback from staff, peers, and supervisors
• Openly shares information with the people who need it

Continuous Improvement and Problem Solving
• Builds a culture focused on quality improvement and problem solving
• Uses a variety of tools to regularly engage staff to generate creative new solutions and approaches to customer issues and business processes
• Documents processes and collects performance measurement data to determine where improvements can be made
• Fully analyses problems, issues and situations before taking action
• Effectively uses performance measures and data to identify opportunities and measure process improvement

Financial Management
• Develops program and resource plans and budgets for projects or units
• Understands the relationship of the budget and resources to strategic planning
• Monitors expenditures and resources to ensure spending is within allotments or makes appropriate modifications
• Monitors and verifies ongoing cost-effectiveness

Innovation and Change Management
• Fosters an environment of innovation and change
• Aligns changes with the agency’s strategic direction, objectives, and customer expectations
• Identifies appropriate change strategies
• Recognizes the scope of problems and understands the impact of changes on others
• Guides staff through fundamental change
• Learns from failure
• Assumes personal responsibility to ensure necessary change is adopted and effectively implemented
• Effectively manages and reduces resistance to change from individuals and groups

• Understands the vision, mission, functions, business strategies, and structure of the agency
• Proactively expands his/her knowledge of other parts of the agency
• Supports and provides input to the development of agency objectives and plans
• Delegates responsibility with associated authority and holds staff accountable
• Promotes a cooperative work environment
• Sets clear, reasonable expectations and holds team members accountable for achieving objectives
• Shares information and keeps staff informed
• Addresses staff conflicts promptly and follows up to ensure resolution

Project/Program Management/Operational Excellence
• Understands customer needs and ensures and measures customer satisfaction
• Keeps projects on track through planning
• Focuses on outcomes and achieves results on time
• Responds effectively to unforeseen problems
• Ensures quality and quantity standards are met
• Effectively manages multiple projects, demands and competing deadlines
• Stays up to date on professional and technical developments

Strategic Planning and Execution
• Maintains a clear focus on internal and external customer needs
• Establishes challenging, attainable goals and objectives based on a customer-focused perspective
• Identifies short-range and long-range agency needs
• Ensures performance measures are in place to monitor progress and assess accomplishments and achievement of strategic goals and objectives
• Monitors the business environment for opportunities and threats
• Articulates the vision and plans to others

• Supports and focuses on the vision, mission, and goals of the agency and team
• Recognizes the contribution of others
• Views the success of the agency and team as more important than individual achievement
• Supports teamwork and cooperation through open and honest communication
• Supports creativity in others
• Actively seeks out different viewpoints and leverages the benefits of different perspectives
• Advocates for processes that encourage transparent team interaction
• Sets high performance goals for the team

Performance Management, Employee Development, and Coaching
• Coaches and mentors; inspires and motivates
• Provides timely and helpful feedback on a regular basis
• Clearly communicates performance expectations and goals
• Addresses performance issues and takes prompt corrective action
• Provides staff with new challenges and experiences for development

Ethics and Integrity
• Earns trust by acting with integrity
• Follows through on promises and commitments in a timely manner
• Treats everyone with dignity and respect regardless of their position or role
• Maintains the highest ethical standards
• Controls emotions in high pressure situations

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, new hires must meet the following telework requirements which include, at a minimum:
1. Telework is not an entitlement and an employee may be required to return to the primary agency location at any time. Telework does not confer upon the employee a contract of employment.
2. OPERS office hours are 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding official state holidays.
3. All training will take place using teleconferencing systems such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
4. Telework employees may be required to return to the primary agency location to work full-time.
5. Employees are required to provide adequate internet connectivity to support agency operations while teleworking. A reliable, high-speed internet connection of 25Mbps or faster is recommended. Costs for connectivity are the responsibility of the employee and will not be reimbursed.
6. OPERS will provide all necessary computer hardware and software to successfully perform the functions of the job. The employee is responsible to provide their own office furnishings (e.g., desk, chair, etc.) necessary to successfully perform the functions of the job. OPERS will provide common office supplies (e.g., paper, pens, etc.).
7. The telework location must be a private, secure area. It cannot be in a public library or other public place.
8. The focus of telework is job performance and meeting agency performance expectations. Telework is not designed to be a substitute for appropriate child care or adult care or for conducting personal business.
9. OPERS is not responsible for and does not provide advice related to tax or legal issues arising from telework.


Veteran’s preference points apply only for initial appointment in the classified service.