Pensions and 401k plans are a type of benefit provided by employers that allows employees to save money for retirement while still working. 401k/pension specialists are the professionals who manage these plans.
401k/pension specialists enroll employees in retirement plans, recording how much they wish to contribute from each paycheck, as well as how they wish to invest the money. The also make changes to the plan when employees request them. Specialists also compile period summaries or reports about the value of accounts.
Some 401k/pension specialists work directly for a company and handle the retirement plans of fellow employees. Others work for insurance companies or third-party services that manage plans for a variety of companies.
401k/pension specialists answer questions about retirement plans, including information about eligibility, any matching or funding done by the employer and about investing options. The specialists do not provide financial planning services, however, and cannot advise employees about where to invest their retirement plans.
Most employers require 401k/pension specialists to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in human resources or a similar field. The ability to interpret financial data and use software programs such as word processing, email, databases and spreadsheets is also necessary.
Like other benefits specialists, 401k/pension specialists averaged annual salaries of $57,060 as of May 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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