HR Specialist (Benefits)

Position Type: Permanent Full Time
Job Vacancy #: PDS 2023-#06
Location: 633 Indiana Ave NW Washington, D.C. 20004

About The Job

PDS Overview:

The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) is a federally funded, independent organization governed by an eleven-member Board of Trustees. PDS provides legal representation to individuals facing a loss of freedom in the local criminal, delinquency, and mental health systems in the District of Columbia. PDS’s approximately 235 employees, comprised of attorneys, social workers, investigators, administrative, and technical staff, collaborate with each other to advance the PDS mission. PDS’s main office is located at 633 Indiana Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. District of Columbia residency is not a requirement for employment. PDS is funded by federal appropriations, and all employees are entitled to participate in federal health and life insurance plans, federal retirement plans, and the Thrift Savings Plan. Transferring employees will receive recognition of creditable federal service for leave accrual and retirement purposes. Employment at the Public Defender Service is neither federal nor District of Columbia government employment, and all employees are at-will.

Division Overview:

To support PDS’s holistic approach to public defense, the Office of Human Resources provides services throughout PDS in terms of talent acquisition, position classification, compensation and benefits administration, employee relations, organizational and employee development, payroll, HR information management, and regulatory compliance--- all for the purpose of inspiring excellence in people so the organization is successful in its mission. As a strategic partner with PDS’s leadership, the Office of Human Resources develops and delivers innovative human resource programs and services designed to support the mission of PDS. Our efforts are focused on the organization’s most valuable asset, its employees. We succeed by earning the satisfaction of our employees, the respect and trust of those who govern us, support us and collaborate with us.

Major Duties:

The HR Specialist (Benefits) will be required to:


1. Provide technical expert guidance and assistance to management and employees on benefits programs such as Federal Employee Health Benefits, Federal Employees Group Life Insurance, Thrift Savings Program, Long-Term Care Program, FERS and CSRS Retirement Programs, etc. Review, interpret, and distribute informative material from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on new, changed, and pending policy changes for employees that impact on existing benefits program entitlements. Provide counseling to management, employees, and beneficiaries regarding program coverage, options, variances in coverage, and advantages and disadvantages of benefits. Conduct new employee orientations covering numerous aspects of the employee benefits program. Advise employees on all facets of TSP, such as loan provisions, calculation of benefits and contributions, withdrawal of contributions, transfer of fund contributions to qualified pension plans. Provide advisory services for open season benefits including Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) and associated programs, TSP, and Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI), when applicable.

2. Research employment records for applicability to federal career, e.g. adjustment in service computation dates. Provide individual retirement counseling. Analyzes information to establish the length and type of creditable service, and prepare retirement annuity estimates for employees. Research regulations and records and advise employees on the buy back of creditable time for retirement. Provides technical expertise on complex retirement coverage issues including, but not limited to, creditable service for employees formerly employed in the District of Columbia Government, and specific benefits provisions affecting current and former PDS employees as stipulated by federal law. Determine the amount of retirement contributions, refunds of contributions, payments, and repayments needed for service credit to include military deposits, and whether all special requirements and conditions applicable to the type of case have been met; and whether the requirements for payment of a survivor annuity or lump sum are satisfied. Assist employees in the preparation of retirement applications and related documents.

3. Conduct off-boarding of employees whether as terminations, separations or transfers. Ensure employees’ are apprised of what happens to their benefits upon their separation from PDS (or if they transfer to a Federal agency). Processes all necessary separations paperwork. Conducts exit interviews with employees and ensures off-boarding processes and procedures are followed.

4. Completes benefits related personnel actions in the Federal Personnel and Payroll System (FPPS) and Workforce Transformation and Tracking System (WTTS). Serves as administrator in the eOPF system and other systems related to employees’ records and benefits (Employee Express, Employers’ Edge (unemployment), GRB, DPRW/NFC, etc.)

5. Manage and monitors Office of Worker’s Compensation (OWCP) Program and develop programs and processes to help reduce OWCP costs by coordinating with employees, DOL, medical professionals, and supervisors to return employees to work as soon as medically possible. Use the eComp system as an Agency Maintenance User (AMU) to maintain administrative function of the system.

6. Develop, modify, and conduct presentations of basic and/or refresher training in employee benefits programs such as workers’ compensation, retirement, TSP, EAP, etc.

7. Provide information on PDS’s available employee benefits, retirement, and leave programs. Utilize web-based personnel, timekeeping, and data retrieval systems to identify, document, and affect required actions.

8. Administer PDS’s leave program including Family Medical Leave (FMLA), Paid Parental Leave, Leave Share/Voluntary Leave Transfer, Bereavement Leave, etc.

9. Receive and research questions from supervisors and employees concerning aspects of human resources and employee benefits programs and processes. Respond with thorough explanations citing regulations, operating directives, or past practices that provide clients with additional information. When research reveals errors in the record, recommend or initiate necessary corrective action(s).

10. Serve as lead on PDS-wide initiatives and oversee ongoing WorkLife Services and Employee Programs management (Telework, Employee Assistance Program, Health and Wellness, New Employee Orientation, WorkLife Services, etc.) across PDS.

11. Establish productive working relationships with counterparts and senior level officials throughout PDS, with representatives of governmental or private sector organizations providing services to PDS.

12. Conduct analysis with benefits data mining; quantitative and qualitative analysis for assessing complex benefits issues and programs within Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE)/Datamart System to generate reports to help with these analyses.
13. Perform other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

A successful candidate must present evidence of experience in the following areas:

In-depth knowledge of and skill in applying a wide range of human resources concepts, principles, laws, regulations, and practices. Comprehensive knowledge of and skill in applying federal laws, regulations, and practices governing health and life insurance, retirements, leave administration, awards, and other benefits entitlements.

Demonstrated ability to provide advice and counsel concerning all aspects of employee benefits, leave, retirement, and awards programs to executives, managers, and employees.

Demonstrated ability to develop professional working relationships with individuals and organizations throughout the agency and with other relevant organizations. Demonstrated ability to communicate successfully verbally and in writing.

Demonstrated ability to communicate successfully verbally and in writing in order to provide authoritative advice and guidance on federal benefits, leave, retirement, and awards programs.


Qualification Requirements:
For the AD-12 (GS-12 equivalent): Your resume and work experiences must show that you have at least one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 level in the Federal service or equivalent and it must include:
- Experience with federal employee benefits, leave, retirement, and awards programs;
- Experience providing guidance to employees on federal benefits, leave, retirement, and awards programs;
- Experience developing and conducting information or orientation programs for management and employees on federal benefits, retirement, leave, and awards programs

For the AD-13 (GS-13 equivalent): Your resume and work experiences must show that you have at least one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 level in the Federal service or equivalent and it must include:
- Experience providing authoritative advice and guidance on federal employee benefits, leave, retirement, and awards programs;
- Experience explaining the features of various federal employee benefits, leave, retirement, and awards programs;
- Experience developing and conducting information or orientation programs for management and employees on federal benefits, leave, retirement, and awards programs;
- Experience researching regulations and other pertinent directives to make recommendations to improve federal employee benefits, leave, retirement and awards programs
- Experience with complex regulations and other pertinent laws that affect employees that are/were enrolled in the District of Columbia Government and/or under the DC Defined Contribution Plan; determines creditable service and corresponding effects on Federal benefits

 

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: The PDS COVID-19 vaccination policy requires as a condition of employment that all employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive from PDS a reasonable accommodation due to a disability or sincere religious belief. If you are offered a position and decide to join PDS, then before starting work at PDS you will be required either (A) to submit proof that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to your initial HR representative or (B) to request and receive an accommodation due to disability of sincere religious belief


If you have any questions about the position, application, or hiring process, please contact Katie Lee, Lead HR Specialist at (202) 824-2739 or email to: [email protected]


If you require a reasonable accommodation during any part of the application process, please contact Katie Lee, Lead HR Specialist at the above contact number and e-mail.

Application Evaluation:

Your application package includes your résumé and required supporting documents. Please ensure your résumé includes detailed information to support your qualifications for this position; failure to provide sufficient evidence in your résumé may result in a rejection of your application package.


Rating: Your application package will be evaluated in the following areas: Technical, Analytical, and Communication. Your application package will be rated and ranked among others, based on your experience, education, training, performance appraisal, and awards relevant to the duties of this position. Your rating can be lowered if your application package is not supported by the supporting documents.


Referral: If you are among the top qualified candidates, your application package will be referred to a selecting official for consideration in which you may be required to participate in a selection interview. Non-local candidates may be interviewed initially via Skype or other electronic means.

Number of vacancies:

01

Pay Series:

AD 0201-12/13 (GS-12/13 Equivalent)

Compensation:

Salary Range: $94,199 - $145,617

Benefits:

PDS is funded by federal appropriations, and employees are entitled to participate in federal benefits plans, federal retirement systems, and the workers compensation program.

Transferring federal employees will receive recognition of creditable federal service for leave accrual and retirement (if applicable) purposes. Benefits include:

Federal Employees Retirement Systems (retirement annuity)

Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401K program)

Federal Employees Health Benefits (health insurance)

Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (life insurance)

Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program

Flexible Spending Accounts (for health care and dependent care)

Long Term Care Insurance

Transportation Subsidy Employee Assistance Program

Federal Occupational Health (access to health clinic and services)

Who May Apply:

U.S. Citizens or those authorized to work in the U.S. PDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and an e-Verify Participating Agency

How to Apply:

Applicants must submit the following:
a cover letter addressing your experience and qualifications,
a traditional résumé (with day telephone and email contacts),
a list of three references, and
a current performance appraisal, if available


You must provide a complete application package which includes the above materials to Katie Lee, Lead HR Specialist, Office of Human Resources, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, Job Announcement PDS#2023-06, 633 Indiana Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004; via fax to (202) 824-2741; or as MS Word or PDF document attachments to the following email address: [email protected]. The vacancy announcement # and title of the vacancy MUST APPEAR on the subject line of the email. 


All application materials become property of PDS and will not be returned. For questions or concerns regarding this vacancy announcement, please contact Katie Lee, Lead HR Specialist at (202) 824-2739 or via the email address listed above.

Disclaimer

The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) is a federally funded, independent organization; governed by an eleven-member Board of Trustees, PDS provides legal representation to individuals facing a loss of freedom in the local criminal, delinquency, and mental health systems in the District of Columbia. PDS’s approximately 235 attorneys, social workers, investigative specialists, administrative, and technical staff collaborate with each other to advance the PDS mission. PDS’s main office is located at 633 Indiana Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. District of Columbia residency is not a requirement for employment. PDS is funded by federal appropriations, and all employees are entitled to participate in the federal health and life insurance plans, the federal retirement plans (FERS, FERS-RAE, FERS-FRAE, CSRS, CSRS-Offset), and the Thrift Savings Plan. Transferring employees will receive recognition of creditable federal service for leave accrual and retirement purposes. Employment at PDS is neither federal nor District of Columbia government employment, and all employees are at-will.

PDS is an E-Verify participating agency. Please see the Right to Work Poster and the E-Verify Participation Poster for more information.

 

PDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and E-Verify Participant.