Top Benefits Administration Systems - September 2021

Use a top benefit administration system to let you eliminate busy work, stay compliant, and create a better open enrollment experience for employees

Author Phil Strazzulla, HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Finance and Software Nerd
Phil Strazzulla,HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Finance and Software Nerd - Oct 19, 2021

As a benefits leader, you have the rewarding job of making your company a great place to work. After all, employee benefits packages and other perks can help you attract top talent, retain current employees, and build a culture that aligns with your values. 

The downside, of course, is all the administrative work that benefit plans and benefits enrollment creates for you. Fortunately, benefits administration software can help you automate your benefits management, improve efficiency, and streamline open enrollment — all while staying compliant.

Benefits administration software serves as a one-stop-shop for all your employee benefits. With everything centralized, the setup and management is easier for you and open enrollment is easier for your employees. 

The result? Employees make smarter, more informed decisions about their benefits, and you have less administrative work to manage. To help you find the right benefits management software, we put together the following guide with top software platforms, features to look out for, common mistakes to consider, pricing, and more.

We spend hundreds of hours researching the best HR and recruiting software so you don’t have to.  We never take money from vendors during our research phase and rely heavily on practitioners and experts to help us recommend the right software.  However we may earn a fee if you click on vendor links on this page.

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A Quick Breakdown: Top Benefits Administration Software

OnPay is very quick to set up and is quite affordable for a solution that combines payroll, HR, and benefits.
Remote is a robust and modern platform specialized in HR, payroll, and benefits for, as their name suggests, remote-first teams.
Bennie is a free platform that allows HR teams to manage best in class employee benefits to attract and retain talent.
Namely helps mid-sized companies manage plans easily and efficiently.
Maxwell Health’s solution is incredibly streamlined thanks to the partnership with Sun Life Insurance.
Rippling integrates with over 500 different apps, allowing for a unified tech stack.
Zenefits can do it all with their HRIS, but their benefits software on its own is very strong too.
Easy to use benefits administration software with small businesses in mind.

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Top Benefits Administration Software Programs

After surveying the landscape, we came up with this short list of top benefits administration software you should check out.

OnPay

Review

OnPay is a cloud-based payroll software that also offers features for HR management and benefits administration. It integrates with several low-cost benefits administration solutions so you’re able to offer health insurance, 401(k) retirement as well as workers’ comp. Not only that, but OnPay is also quick to set up, user-friendly and affordable, featuring a single, transparent monthly fee for everything.

OnPay

Stats

  • 30 years of payroll experience
  • 98% of their clients recommend them
  • Benefits and HR in all 50 states of the US
  • Processes over $2 Billion in payroll annually

OnPay

Pricing:

OnPay charges a base fee of $36, plus $4 per employee per month. You can use the price calculator on their website to see exactly how much it’ll run you for your team size. You can also sign up for a one-month free trial there.

Best For

OnPay is great for small businesses looking for a payroll solution with basic HR features.

Worth Checking Out:

Zenefits

Review

Zenefits offers benefits administration alongside their flagship HRIS product. The tool allows for employees to manage their benefits themselves on any platform they want, mobile or desktop. 

For employers, you get detailed insights on your employees on top of saved time. In fact, Zenefits says that their customers save up to a full week of work by using their online enrollment tool alone.

Zenefits

Stats

  • 11,000 customers
  • Serves 35 different industries

Zenefits

Pricing

Zenefits has two methods of subscription, per employee per month or per employee per year. The three tiers are:

  • Basic: $8/month billed annually or $10/month billed monthly (per employee)
  • Growth: $14/month billed annually or $18/month billed monthly (per employee)
  • Zen: $21/month billed annually or $27/month billed monthly (per employee)

Best For

Zenefits focuses on small to medium sized businesses. Enterprise corporations might want to find a solution that is more geared towards their size.

Worth Checking Out:

Maxwell Health

Review

Maxwell Health, now owned by Sun Life Insurance, offers companies a modern approach to managing benefits for employees. From open enrollment to COBRA, they can help you stay compliant, and give employees a wide range of options all available through an easy to use mobile interface.

Maxwell Health

Stats

  • 98% customer satisfaction with support interactions

Maxwell Health

Pricing

Maxwell does not release their pricing online. You will have to contact a sales representative.

Best For

If your company isn’t picky about what insurance company to work with, Maxwell Health’s partnership with Sun Life Insurance is ideal. You get a simplified end-to-end experience, requiring even less administrative work on your part.

Worth Checking Out:

Remote

Review

Remote lets you offer customized benefits packages to fit each country where you have people. They let you stay compliant by providing world-class benefits and perks that are in adherence with local laws and up-to-par with standards. These range from part time off to holidays, health care, and life insurance.

How do they do this? Remote fully owns local legal entities in all the countries they cover. Since they have no intermediaries to deal with, they’re able to offer more flexibility and speed at very interesting costs.

Remote

Stats

  • 99.999% uptime
  • <150ms response times
  • Founded in 2019 as a remote-first company
  • VC-backing from Sequoia, Index Ventures, and General Catalyst, among others.

Remote

Pricing

Remote has four plans. “Contractors” lets you manage and pay global contract workers for free; you only pay for payment processing fees. Then, they have their “Global Employment” plan, which starts at $299 per employee per month. For the other two plans, “Payroll & Benefits” and “Global Employment Plus”, they offer customized pricing.

Best For

Remote-first companies that have both employees and contractors overseas but don't want to set up a legal entity in each country.

Worth Checking Out:

Gusto

Review

Gusto was previously known as ZenPayroll, and originally started as the easiest way to run payroll for smaller companies. It has since added benefits administration as well as other features that are commonly found in your HRIS (onboarding, org charts, etc). Gusto continues to scale their customer base rapidly and has now acquired over 100,000 customers.

Gusto

Stats

  • Used by 100,000 small businesses
  • Numerous free tools and calculators on their website

Gusto

Pricing

Gusto has a few different plans:

  • Basic: Features payroll basics and is recommended for teams of 1 or 2 employees. It starts at $19/month, plus an extra $6/month per employee.
  • Core: Comes with everything on the Basic plan, but adds health insurance administration, document management features, onboarding tools, and accounting and time tracking integrations. It's $39/month plus $6/month per employee. Gusto recommends this for small teams up to 10.
  • Complete: The Complete plan is Gusto's recommended plan for most companies. It includes every feature of the previous two plans, plus permissions administration, an employee directory, surveys, project tracking, and workforce costing. It's $39/month, with an additional; $12/month per employee.
  • Concierge: This plan is Gusto's all-encompassing plan, having every feature from the previous plans plus access to certified HR professionals and an HR resource center to help your company with any HR issues it may run into. It costs $149/month plus $12/month per employee.

Best For

Gusto is perfect for small businesses that need simple benefits administration. It's easy to scale up their plans as your organization continues to grow.

Worth Checking Out:

Gusto is a dead simple way to run payroll for smaller companies.

Rippling

Review

Rippling focuses on helping SMBs manage HR and IT in one solution.  The tech is what you’d expect from a silicon valley based startup with a great UI and intuitive design.  They also have over 500 integrations with everything from Slack to Github.

Rippling

Stats

  • Over 4,000 health insurance plans to choose from on platform
  • 500+ integrations

Rippling

Pricing

Rippling starts at $8 a month per user at the base level. Costs for additional features must be discussed with the Rippling sales team.

Best For

Rippling is great for any company with 50 - 1000 employees that want a single system to fit all of their needs.

Worth Checking Out:

Namely

Review

Namely’s HR software includes payroll and benefits functionality that also integrates into the rest of their HRIS.  If you’re looking for a full HR software suite, check out Namely’s solution.

Namely

Stats

  • Process over $16 billion in payroll each year
  • 75% of customers say Namely increased employee engagement
  • 78% of employees log into Namely at least once per month

Namely

Pricing

Namely does not provide pricing on their website. However, having no benchmark provides the unique opportunity to negotiate with sales to determine the right price for your company specifically.

Best For

Namely targets mid-sized companies. They specifically mention companies with 50 employees up to a thousand, which is a large range. Most of their customer testimonials are from companies with 100 - 500 employees.

Worth Checking Out:

Bennie

Review

Bennie is a hub for your employee benefits information on a mobile-first platform. If employees have any questions about their benefits, they simply go to the app and interact with Ask Bennie, a smart healthcare concierge.

For employers, Bennie skips the typical brokerage experience. Instead, Bennie partners with major regional and national carriers to bring your company more personalized benefits. HR teams have their own backend to manage everything in one place. Customers also get access to strategic benefits and HR technology consulting.

Bennie

Stats

  • >100 customers
  • 8,000 members

Bennie

Pricing

The Bennie app is free to use for your company and employees. Bennie shops around for the best plan for your company, and takes a commission from the insurance company you decide on.

Best For

Companies in the 50-500 employee range.

Worth Checking Out:

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Next Steps for Your Employee Benefits Administration

Broadly speaking, there are two ways to get benefits admin support: a platform that only focuses on benefits admin or a more comprehensive Human Capital Management (HCM) suite that offers benefits admin as one of many HR features. 

So, you’ll need to figure out which one will make the most sense for your company. We recommend demoing a couple vendors that fit into these two buckets so you can see how their solutions and features align with your needs and budget.

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