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BENEFITS COUNSELOR - 6049700

We continually strive for a workforce that reflects the growing diversity within the State of Illinois. A variety of employee backgrounds, perspectives, ideas and experiences are crucial to our ability to most effectively serve the public. Bilingual skills welcome

Reasonable Accommodation Statement

The State of Illinois is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities. Further, federal law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities. Please tell us if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for a job, interview for a job, or for any other activity related to the hiring process. Examples of reasonable accommodation include, but are not limited to, making a change to the application process (if possible), providing documents in an alternate format, using a sign language interpreter, or using specialized equipment.

To be provided a Reasonable Accommodation during the hiring process, you will need to provide a certification of disability from a physician, psychiatrist, school official or an Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselor. Supporting documentation should be uploaded under My Documents → Additional Documents section for each application.

Any questions on Reasonable Accommodations can be directed to Central Management Services Disability Resource Center at CMS.DisabilityResCen@illinois.gov or call (217) 524-7514 for further information and to request or discuss an accommodation.

Sponsorship for Employment

The State of Illinois does not provide sponsorship for employment visa status (e.g. H-1B visa status). To be considered for permanent employment with the State of Illinois, applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis.

Disclosure of Salary Information

In compliance with the Illinois Equal Pay Act, 820 ILCS 112/1 et seq., the State does not seek, request, or require a job applicant’s wage or salary history.  Employment decisions are not made based on an applicant’s wage or salary history.  To that end, please do not include wage or salary information in your resume or other profile or application materials.

Date:  Nov 23, 2022
Location: 

Springfield, IL, US, 62702-3397

Job Requisition ID:  21535

Agency:  Teachers' Retirement System of the State of Illinois 
Closing Date/Time:   
Salary:  $4,472.00 Monthly 
Job Type:  Hourly Full Time 
County:  Sangamon 
Number of Vacancies:  1 

 

 

****************A RESUME IS REQUIRED FOR THIS JOB POSTING****************

Please attach a DETAILED Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV) to the MY DOCUMENTS section of your application. You WILL NOT be considered for the position if you attach a CMS100, CMS100b or any other document that is not a Resume or CV.

Position Overview

Under the supervision of the Benefits Counseling Supervisor, the Benefits Counselor is responsible for providing factual information to members of the Teachers’ Retirement System regarding benefits and retirement options.  The incumbent responds to a large volume of inquiries by conducting teleconferences, individual in-house counseling sessions, individual field conferences and large group presentations.  

The incumbent provides guidance and assistance to TRS contributing members, annuitants and staff regarding eligibility, retirement options and the consequences associated with various retirement scenarios pursuant to the Illinois Pension Code and the Illinois Retirement Systems Reciprocal Act.  Services are provided through individual counseling sessions and large and small group meetings.  Travel and evening work is required.  The incumbent is required to possess a valid driver’s license. A working knowledge of the Illinois Pension Code and the Administrative Rules is required.  The incumbent is required to maintain an understanding and the ability to explain various statements produced by TRS, Central Management Services and the Office of the Comptroller.  A comprehensive knowledge of the benefits available through the Teachers' Retirement Insurance Program (TRIP) and the State of Illinois group insurance plan is required. In addition, the incumbent must maintain a working knowledge of the various TRS forms used for processing benefits.

The incumbent is required to possess excellent analytical, computational, interpersonal and communication skills.  The ability to adjust the style of communication when explaining complex calculations and concepts in an understandable manner is required.  In addition, the incumbent must possess the ability to handle unusual, sensitive, and challenging member situations. The incumbent is required to provide courteous, accurate and prompt service, and present a professional and positive image of the System when interacting with members, co-workers, and external contacts.

Job Responsibilities

  • Maintain an understanding of existing statutory requirements, rules and procedures that determine retirement options and benefits.
  • Use Excel spreadsheets and computerized procedures to process information requests and calculate benefit estimates including age retirement annuities, reversionary, reciprocal, and single-sum retirements. 
  • Analyze and prepare all necessary calculation and benefit information in order to provide comprehensive and concise information to members via teleconferences, individual conferences, and correspondence.
  • Conduct individual field conferences and teleconferences.
  • Make oral presentations at member meetings explaining TRS benefits and new legislation.
  • Edit the standard meeting presentation to meet the needs of different member groups such as state employees covered by TRS or retired members.
  • Conduct individual counseling sessions via Teleconference, video, or In-office.
  • Respond to member emails according to standard procedures.
  • Analyze inquiries, recommend solutions, or refer cases complex issues to the Benefits Counseling Manager according to established problem resolution procedures. 
  • Receive requests for income verification letters, publications, specialized forms, and other documents; respond in an accurate and timely manner.
  • Assist the Call Center by receiving and responding to the telephone inquiries, requests and complaints regarding benefits and services in accordance with existing statutory requirements, rules, and procedures.  Document calls in STAR.

(Job Responsibilities continued)

  • Compose correspondence for review by a fellow benefits counselor.
  • Participate in internal and external training programs designed to improve performance in any aspect of counseling.
  • Accurately schedule appointments for both the Springfield and Lisle offices according to approved procedures.
  • Initiate various claims such as age retirement annuities, single-sum retirements, death, refund, and disability claims.
  • Provide Web assistance to members enrolling in the TRS Member Account Access area and assist members when problems occur with their accounts.
  • Assist in training new Counseling and Call Center staff when requested.
  • Calculate reciprocal benefit estimates for four reciprocal systems.  This includes data entry of estimates in STAR and Excel.
  • Review manual benefit calculations performed by MSR’s and other Counselors.
  • Perform voicemail call backs as assigned.
  • Suggest and participate in implementing initiatives to improve Counseling Services effectiveness and member service.
  • Perform other duties as required or assigned.

Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in math, statistics, accounting, education, business, or a related degree OR five (5) years of progressive experience in lieu of a degree
  • Three (3) years of progressive responsibility in a related business or education field
  • Preferred experience with pensions, benefits, and/or employee relations

Work Hours:  Mon - Fri, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm (some evenings) 
Work Location: 2815 W. Washington St., Springfield, IL 62702-3397 
Agency Contact:  MKissel@trsil.org 
Job Family: Fiscal/Finance/Business 

TRS provides retirement benefits for teachers who are employed by all Illinois public common and charter school districts located outside the city of Chicago. The Illinois Pension Code contains the laws relating to our creation, benefits, and administration.

 

The main form of communication will be through email. Please check your “junk mail”, “spam”, or “other” folder for communication(s) regarding any submitted application(s). You may receive emails from the following addresses:

  • donotreply@SIL-P1.ns2cloud.com
  • systems@SIL-P1.ns2cloud.com