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Director Benefits-Retirement Programs

Columbus, OH

If you’re passionate about becoming a Nationwide associate and believe you have the potential to be something great, let’s talk.Please refer to bolded text for specific job duties.

This role is compensation grade H4.

  • Hybrid role -position will be a combination of in office (Columbus OH) and home office.
  • Proven leadership skills; will lead a team of three vendor managers and one consultant.
  • Experience with/solid understanding of, defined contribution, defined benefit, retiree medical, non-qualified plans and financial wellness.
  • Benefits Design - Ability to research the feasibility of offering/changing various programs and coverages.
  • Leads applicable vendor contract renewals and negotiations/RFPs.
  • Leads/directs team to implement new vendor partners.
  • Guides team to make benefit/process changes with existing vendors to ensure plan provisions are accurately reflected in plan setup.
  • Collaborate closely with legal partners to update/review plan documents, summary plan descriptions and amendments.
  • Lead team in efforts to increase associate awareness of all resources made available by our vendors, through strategic communications, webinars and other promotional tools and education.
  • Find process improvements/efficiencies for the team and Benefits Planning in general.
  • Benefits Administration: Serve as escalation point as appropriate for vendor issues, including design intent and setup for the team you support.
  • Exceptional computer skills (i.e., Office, Teams, SharePoint, Workday).
  • CEBS, CPA or JD a plus.

Our work supports healthier, more secure and productive lives, allowing associates and retirees focus on their work or on enjoying their retirement. As is true throughout Nationwide, outstanding customer service is our standard. If you value being able to help people when they most need it, by providing and communicating a competitive benefits program for a diverse, engaged workforce, we want to know more about you!

As a Director, you lead the Benefits Planning function that maintains and improves Nationwide's retirement benefit plans and programs (retirement plans and financial planning) both strategically and administratively for all associates and retirees. We'll count on you to collaborate with business units and Human Resources leadership to create corporate benefits and total rewards strategy.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Identifies and recommends opportunities within retirement plans and financial planning to 1) innovate cutting edge designs, processes, communications and financing; 2) for new plans/programs, vendors and designs; and 3) improve existing plans. Leads the team through recommended and approved changes.
  • Directs team and vendors on the administration of benefit plans in accordance with plan terms and provisions, and on the development of communication materials for associates and retirees.
  • Recommends, negotiates and handles all relationships with vendors and suppliers of benefit-related services, including contracts, performance measurements, governance and overall implementation of vendors and administrative processes.
  • Develops short and long-term communication strategies, administrative process improvements and specific tactics that will ensure the company achieves financial and human resource goals for the corporate tax-qualified and non-qualified retirement benefit plans and programs, new vendors and new designs.
  • Advises, provides leadership and represents Benefits Planning in interactions involving retirement programs within Human Resources, Human Resources Information Services, General Counsel, Tax, Investments, Actuarial, and Finance. Scope includes Defined Benefit Retirement Plan, Defined Contribution Savings Plan, Supplemental Retirement Plan, Deferred Compensation Plans, financial wellness, direct billing, etc.
  • Performs analysis, evaluation, and recommendations for company provided retirement programs in support of the Compensation and Benefits Committee, Benefits Committee, Benefits Investment Committee and various fiduciary committees that support Nationwide’s funded benefit plans.
  • Builds, implements, and administers program support structures, processes and methodologies for associate transition strategies, HR systems development support and oversight, implementation and administration.
  • Leads large complex projects involving multiple functions, manual and automated systems, involving both internal and external customers.
  • Hires and develops talent, provides consistent mentoring and feedback.

May perform other responsibilities as assigned.

Reporting Relationships: Reports to the Associate Vice President, Benefits Planning. Manages a team of four associates. 

Typical Skills and Experiences:

  • Education: Undergraduate studies preferred. MBA, JD or other related graduate degree a plus. 
  • License/Certification/Designation: Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) or other benefits designation a plus.
  • Experience: Ten year or more of progressively responsible management experience, with five years of corporate employee benefits experience. Experience with cash balance plans, portfolio management, mergers and acquisitions, benefits vendor management, process management, financial management and project management. 
  • Knowledge, Abilities and Skills: Strong technical knowledge of legal and financial aspects of employee benefits. Knowledge of alternative investments to anticipate non-qualified plan liabilities. Proven knowledge of general management practices, human resources subject areas and financial services or insurance industry a plus. Strong communication skills and the ability to distill complicated information into understandable presentations and reporting. Strong organization skills. Ability to lead and deal with ambiguity. 
  • Other criteria, including leadership skills, competencies and experiences may take precedence. 
  • Staffing exceptions to the above must be approved by the hiring manager’s leader and HR Business Partner.

Values: Regularly and consistently demonstrates the Nationwide Values.


Overtime Eligibility: Not Eligible (Exempt)

Working Conditions: Normal office environment. Occasional travel. Non-standard or extended hours based on work or project needs.

ADA: The above statements cover what are generally believed to be principal and essential functions of this job. Specific circumstances may allow or require some people in the job to perform a somewhat different combination of duties. 


We have an array of benefits to fit your needs, including: medical/dental/vision, life insurance, short and long term disability coverage, paid time off with newly hired associates receiving a minimum of 18 days paid time off each full calendar year pro-rated quarterly based on hire date, nine paid holidays, 8 hours of Lifetime paid time off, 8 hours of Unity Day paid time off, 401(k) with company match, company-paid pension plan, business casual attire, and more. To learn more about the benefits we offer, click here.

Nationwide is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive culture where everyone feels challenged, appreciated, respected and engaged. Nationwide prohibits discrimination and harassment and affords equal employment opportunities to employees and applicants without regard to any characteristic (or classification) protected by applicable law.

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