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Top Benefits Administration Software

11 Best Benefits Administration Systems (Q1 2024)

The best benefits administration systems, hand-picked and field-tested by SelectSoftware Reviews' HR tech experts. See info on pricing, features, integrations, and more below.

Phil Strazzulla
Written by
Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast
Contributing Experts
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Last Updated: Dec 13, 2023
TOP
Payroll and compliance in 150 countries
Deel
4.4
Popularity Score
4.6
User Score
4.5
Product  Score
Visit Website
TOP
Payroll and compliance in 150 countries
Deel
4.4
Popularity Score
4.6
User Score
4.5
Product  Score
Learn More
TOP
Benefits administration for remote teams
Remote
4.0
Popularity Score
4.6
User Score
4.5
Product  Score
Visit Website
TOP
Benefits administration for remote teams
Remote
4.0
Popularity Score
4.6
User Score
4.5
Product  Score
Learn More
TOP
HRIS system with payroll and benefits
Gusto
4.0
Popularity Score
4.0
User Score
4.1
Product  Score
Visit Website
TOP
HRIS system with payroll and benefits
Gusto
4.0
Popularity Score
4.0
User Score
4.1
Product  Score
Learn More
Over 3 million HR leaders trust our advice

Introduction to Benefits Administration Systems

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.

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Top Benefits Administration Software

Deel

: Payroll and compliance in 150 countries

Remote

: Benefits administration for remote teams

Gusto

: HRIS system with payroll and benefits

OnPay

: Affordable payroll, HR, and benefits admin

Bennie

: Free tool for finding and managing great benefits

ForUsAll

: 401K provider for SMBs

PapayaGlobal

: Benefit management for global teams

Namely

: Great for Midsized businesses looking for a full HR suite

Maxwell Health

: Great for companies that want Sun Life insurance

Rippling

: Spend management tool in HRIS

Zenefits

: Great for SMBs looking for a comprehensive benefits platform

Our Criteria: Here's How We Chose The Top Benefits Administration Software

We assessed dozens of benefits administration software platforms with special consideration given to the three most critical functions performed by this type of tool: integration/configuration, self-service for employees, and compliance.

We used our HR industry experience to refine the scope of our research and applied our multi-dimensional assessment process to test each contender for these quality standards.

  • Integration and Configuration: First-class benefits administration software integrates smoothly with each customer’s tech stack.To test for this, our team compared the quality and quantity of integration partners against a list of common business ops tools.

Our HR tech experts also determined the most important workflow automations, and we audited each product for the ease with which a user could configure these features.

  • Self-Service for Employees: Self-service features reduce the burden of data entry on your HR team, improve the accuracy of employee information, and support employee empowerment. Our expert researchers performed simulations using each tool as if they were an employee and graded each platform's performance on the ease with which they could enter and change information across different data types.
  • Compliance: Legal compliance is imperative, so we scrutinized the fine print, checking for each company’s capacity to keep customers complaint. We considered the product's state-by-state adaptability, as well as its capacity to handle multi-national organizations.

We’re data nerds and love a good dashboard, so we also checked for each tool’s reporting and analytics capacity. To learn more about how we approach our work from the granular to the gigantic, read this article on how we assess HR tech vendors.

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Compare the Top Benefits Administration Software

Popularity Score
Best for
Key Differentiator
Pricing
Free Trial
Customers
Users Score
Product Score

Deel

Most Popular
4.4
Multinational companies focused on compliance
Offers financial products beyond what's required
Starts at $49/month
No
15,000+
4.6
4.5

Remote

Most Popular
4.0
Orgs needing financial products worldwide
Country-specific benefits for distributed teams
Custom Pricing
Yes
Undisclosed
4.6
4.5

Gusto

Most Popular
4.0
SMBs with a growing headcount
No long-term contract
Starts at $6/month/person
Yes
200,000+
4.0
4.1

OnPay

Most Popular
4.3
Small teams on a tight budget
Special services like tip calculations and separate tax filing
Starts at $36/month
Yes
10,000+
4.8
4.7

Bennie

Most Popular
4.1
Headcount number between 50 and 500
Broker service works directly with carriers
Broker Service (no fee)
Yes
Not disclosed
4.0
4.3

ForUsAll

Most Popular
4.8
Cost-conscious SMBs starting to scale
Highly customizable and built to scale
Starts at $120/month
No
Not disclosed
4.6
4.9

PapayaGlobal

Most Popular
4.2
When streamlining global payroll can't wait.
Multiple established entities already established
Starts at $12/month
Yes
600+
4.4
4.3

Namely

Most Popular
4.7
Headcount ranging from 50 to 1000
Top-tier data analysis capabilities
Custom Pricing
No
12,000+
4.1
4.6

Maxwell Health

Most Popular
4.0
Teams who want a full-service benefits administrator
End-to-end service and Sun Life Insurance
Custom Pricing
No
50+ customers
4.3
4.1

Rippling

Most Popular
4.2
SMBs to midsize teams with distributed or complex orgs
Strong emphasis on automation of workflows
Starts at $8/employee/month
No
2,000+
4.2
4.1

Zenefits

Most Popular
4.0
Small and medium size teams wanting flexibility
Focus on self-service administration
Starts at $8/employee/month
Yes
10,000+
3.9
4.0
Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast

Need Help? Get Custom Recommendations for Top Benefits Administration Software

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Detailed Reviews of the Best Benefits Administration Systems

Deel

Visit Website
Deel
Learn More
Popularity Score
4.4 / 5
User Score
4.6 / 5
Product Score
4.5 / 5

Why we picked Deel

Deel localizes your offerings in accordance with local guidelines so that you can stay compliant with your global workforce.

PROS

  • 24/7 in-app support and an impressively fast onboarding speed of 2-3 days.
  • Access to local payroll experts in various jurisdictions, and support is available for contractors navigating the process of setting themselves up as an LLC.
  • Smooth integration with Quickbooks, Bamboo, Greenhouse, and more
  • Their self-service approach with tech-enabled features helps workers swiftly adopt the tool.
  • Worker identity verification is reported to take less than 24 hours on average, and sometimes mere minutes.
  • Automated invoices (English language only).
  • One of the best features of Deel is its customer service. They offer 24/7 in-app support and the fastest-in-class onboarding speed of 2-3 days. Users get access to local payroll experts in each jurisdiction, and support is available for contractors facing challenges setting themselves up as an LLC.
  • Integrates seamlessly with common platforms like Quickbooks, Bamboo, Greenhouse, and more. They also offer custom integrations to automate and sync processes.
  • Self-service approach; tech-enabled features so customers can jump in quickly and easily. Our user researchers found it quite easy to set up: the identity verification process consistently took less than 24 hours, and in some cases, it took mere minutes.
  • Automated invoices, which are a breeze to do as long as they’re in English, both on the company and the contractor or employee’s side.

CONS

  • Some of Deel’s best features, like onboarding automation, are add-ons, which can be cost-prohibitive.
  • Modifying contracts or service agreements with Deel is difficult and often requires addendums for any changes.
  • Each payout comes with a $5 fee.
  • Invoicing feature is limited to generating invoices in English, with no option for other languages.
  • Some of Deel’s best and most powerful services, like onboarding automation, appear to be add-ons, which might be too costly for some companies
  • There is little to no flexibility when it comes to altering their contracts or service agreements, so many changes would require an addendum.
  • There is a $5 fee per payout
  • As far as we’ve seen, it’s not possible to generate invoices in another language.

Deel Review

If your benefits-management needs feel complex due to the presence of team members in different geographies, Deel is worth looking into. They help with hiring and providing benefits and perks for people in various geographies. The benefits themselves would vary depending on the region. Still, you’d streamline their management through the same platform you’d use for payroll, contracts, timesheets, invoicing, and even some core HR functions.

As to the specific benefits offered, the best way to vet them is to go to their benefits tool on their website. You select a country and the type of benefits, and they present what they can provide. For example, if you want to hire in Canada, you can choose Statutory and/or Common benefits. These include employment and worker compensation insurance, transportation and electronic coverage, and certifications.

Deel Customers

  • Brex
  • Doogle
  • Duffel
  • Andela
  • HomeLight
  • Makerpad

Deel Pricing

A cool thing about Deel is that you can sign up for free and play around with the tool, not being charged until you pay your first team member. Once you do, pricing for Deel will vary as follows: 

  • Contractors: At $49 per contractor per month, Deel takes care of payroll and compliance for contracts in 150 countries. 
  • Full-time: From $500, this plan lets you hire full-time employees in a new country without having to set up a legal entity there. Deel becomes an Employer of Record and hires the employee for you.

Best For

Deel is a good bet for those businesses that want to provide benefits on top of payroll for an overseas workforce, whether it’s through an EOR arrangement or for their contractors. It’s worth noting that they have a way for you to offer interesting perks apart from the law-required benefits.

Deel in action
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Remote

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Remote
Learn More
Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
4.6 / 5
Product Score
4.5 / 5

Why we picked Remote

While Remote is mainly known for their global payroll product, teams interested in options for benefits administration for internationally distributed teams should pay attention! That is because, unlike many vendors, Remote owns local entities in the countries in which they operate. This means, in very general terms, that its customers can offer their employees a more straightforward, more “local” experience regarding payroll and benefits.

PROS

  • Remote provides flat rates, so you can easily compare its pricing with other vendors. The platform doesn’t add a markup on any benefits premiums.
  • Self-service options for employees.
  • Local specialists provide 24/7 support.
  • Benefits plans are locally curated. Health, dental, vision, life, mental health support, and disability are all covered, as is pension/401(k).
  • Helpful resources are available on their site, offering tips for specific to geographic regions.
  • Equity-based compensation is available.

CONS

  • Some employers reported a steep learning curve in learning to navigate the software.
  • No off-cycle pay runs are available at the moment.
  • Though the current live chat and email support have been great, there is no phone support users can reach out to.
  • Remote offers limited integration options, yet you can access its custom API for free.

Remote Review

Remote lets you offer customized benefits packages to fit each country where you have employees. The platform enables compliance by providing country-specific benefits and perks that adhere to local laws. We like that Remote is one of just a few vendors that own local legal entities in countries that the platform services. Since it has no intermediaries, it can offer more flexibility and speed.

Though they were a bit hard to locate in their respective app stores, both the Android and iOS apps are in good shape – they are easy to use and equipped with essential features.

Remote Customers

Arduino, GitLab, Paystack, Loom, cargo.one, Secureframe, Phaidra.

Remote Pricing

  • Contractor Management plan:  $29/contractor/mo
  • Employer of Record plan: $599/employee/mo (when paid annually)
  • Global Payroll and Remote Enterprise plans: Customized pricing – contact Remote for details
  • Startup and nonprofit discount: Eligible startups and nonprofits can get 15% off EOR and Contractor Management services for 12 months.
  • Refugee discount: Up to 10 employees free when hiring refugees

Best For

Remote is a robust solution for startups and distributed teams to provide their employees and contractors with country-specific benefits and easy onboarding and payroll.

Remote in action
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Gusto

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Gusto
Learn More
Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
4 / 5
Product Score
4.1 / 5

Why we picked Gusto

Gusto provides full-service payroll services with benefits and HR. The software takes care of the administration and deductions by syncing them with payroll and makes things easier for you and your employees with its built-in employee self-service.

PROS

  • Gusto has an eye-catching UI and is compatible with several devices.
  • Automatic payroll deductions for easier benefits administration.
  • The dashboard feature keeps tabs on compliance tasks.
  • The hiring and onboarding sequence is nicely streamlined between HR and the new hire
  • Post-offer, pre-start tasks are made easy with integrations like CorpNet and Checkr.
  • Easy payroll for U.S.-based W-2 folks, domestic and international contractors.
  • Phone support, email, and other customer service resources.
  • Licensed benefits advisors for all plan users.
  • The business model is responsive to customer needs.
  • Transparent pricing structure. Doesn’t require long-term contracts.
  • Free account setup.
  • Ability to create onboarding checklists, send offer letters, collect signatures, and store all onboarding documents online.
  • The dashboard feature keeps tabs on compliance tasks
  • The hiring and onboarding sequence is nicely streamlined between HR and the new hire
  • Post-offer, pre-start tasks are made easy with integrations like CorpNet (state tax set up) Checkr (background checks)
  • Easy payroll for U.S.-based W-2 folks, domestic, and international contractors
  • Person-to-person phone support, email, and other customer service resources
  • The business model is responsive to customer needs

CONS

  • Gusto facilitates payments for international contractors but not for employees.
  • There is no built-in accounting feature, so the management of earnings and expenses can’t happen in one place.
  • Analytics dashboard capabilities are underwhelming
  • Simple plan users do not have access to native time tracking, necessitating third-party integrations.
  • Users of the Simple plan cannot access federal and state compliance alerts – they are not even available as add-ons.
  • Plus plan users have access to compliance alerts, but they must be added on.
  • No free trial or free version
  • Gusto can support payments for international contractors, but not employees
  • No native accounting feature to keep earning and spending under the same roof
  • Analytics dashboard is simplistic

Gusto Review

We have had a positive experience with Gusto's benefits administration features. The software seamlessly integrates payroll and benefits administration, simplifying the process with automatic deductions and syncing capabilities. The built-in employee self-service functionality is also a nice touch that makes it easy for employers and employees to manage benefits and access relevant information.

Gusto's user interface is visually appealing. Being browser-based lets it provide a smooth user experience across multiple devices. Additionally, Gusto provides licensed benefits advisors to assist and guide users in optimizing their benefit plans.

We appreciate Gusto's customer-centric approach, as they remain responsive to customer needs and continuously improve their services based on feedback. Their transparent pricing structure and flexibility without long-term contracts add to the appeal. Moreover, Gusto offers free account setup, making it convenient for businesses to get started.

The availability of person-to-person phone support, email assistance, and other customer service resources reflects Gusto's commitment to providing excellent support. However, it's worth noting that some features, such as federal and state compliance alerts and integrating existing broker and health insurance plans, are only available in the Premium plan or as add-ons for the Plus plan. Simple plan users may need to consider third-party integrations for certain functionalities like time tracking.

While it doesn't offer a free trial, Gusto's consistent focus on core functionalities sets it apart from other platforms that often get sidetracked by unnecessary features.

Gusto Customers

American Canning, Matchless Builds, Citizen Pilates, Pain Clinic, Distant Moon.

Gusto Pricing

  • Simple: $40/month +$6/month/person
  • Plus: $60/month +$9/month/person (limited time sale)
  • Premium: call sales for customized plan options
  • Contractor only (no W-2 employees): $6/month/person

Best For

Even budget-strapped startups can afford Gusto’s basic plan. For companies with some bank capital to invest in human capital, the top-tier Premium plan is a great choice, especially if they have an HR department of one person.

Gusto in action
Reviewer's Rating
7/10

We used Gusto to manage payroll, streamline benefits administration, and centralize HR tasks. The platform simplifies payroll processing, ensures compliance with tax regulations, and automates various HR functions. Additionally, Gusto facilitates employee self-service, allowing individuals to access their pay stubs, tax forms, and benefit information conveniently. Its reporting tools provide valuable insights for strategic decision-making. Overall, Gusto plays a pivotal role in enhancing our HR efficiency and employee experience.

What do you like about this tool?

Gusto offers an intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate various tasks. Their system consolidates our processes and reduces the need for multiple platforms. Additionally, they provide excellent customer support, offering timely assistance whenever needed.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

We chose Gusto due to its comprehensive payroll, benefits, and HR solutions, streamlining our administrative processes. The user-friendly interface and automation features enhance efficiency. Overall, Gusto has been a valuable asset to our HR team.

What do you dislike about this tool?
  • While Gusto is comprehensive, we have encountered some challenges with integrating it with other existing HR tools. Also, there are instances where we wished for more customization options within Gusto.
  • Periodic updates to the platform have previously disrupted our workflow.

How is this tool different than their competitors?

Gusto is a bit more user-friendly. Also, their comprehensive approach distinguishes them from competitors that may offer specialized services but not the same breadth of integrated solutions.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

Ensure it aligns with your organization's specific needs and growth objectives. Also, look for a platform that is intuitive and requires minimal training for your team to navigate and operate effectively.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

Given the dynamic nature of tax regulations and HR compliance, Gusto has demonstrated platform update agility. Over time, they have refined the platform's interface, making it more intuitive and user-friendly.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

It seems to be best fit for smaller organizations.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

A small team that is looking to grow and provide more impact for their organizations.

OnPay

Visit Website
OnPay
Learn More
Popularity Score
4.3 / 5
User Score
4.8 / 5
Product Score
4.7 / 5

Why we picked OnPay

OnPay ensures compliance and takes no upfront payment for its benefits administration software. When you decide to use it, you'll be connected with their team of licensed brokers so that your employees can get their favorite benefits from the best companies.

PROS

  • Transparent pricing is among the most budget-friendly in the industry.
  • Offers a one-month free trial.
  • The plan combines payroll, benefits, and HR tools.
  • Supports several pay types: regular hours, salary, overtime, and bonus. You can also create your own.
  • Ability to act as an insurance broker to help businesses find medical, vision, and dental insurance in 50 states.
  • Special payroll services for certain industries like restaurants, farms and agricultures, churches and clergy, and nonprofits.

CONS

  • Incompetent mobile app with poor ratings (2.1/5) from iOS users.
  • Limited integrations.
  • Takes two to four days for direct deposit. No faster direct deposit option is available.
  • Lacks advanced HR features like employee surveys and performance reviews.

OnPay Review

We recommended OnPay because, besides being a solid cloud-based payroll software solution, it also offers features for HR management and benefits administration at an affordable, transparent monthly price. For businesses in certain industries like restaurants and agriculture, the platform also provides special payroll services (tip calculations, separate tax filings, etc.) without charging additional fees.

OnPay partners with several low-cost benefits administration providers so that you can choose several health insurances and 401(k) retirement plans for your employees. While we found that OnPay’s integration is quite limited compared to its rival Gusto, its feature-rich HR tools are offered without requiring users to upgrade their plans or pay more, making the platform a more cost-effective option for several startups and small businesses.

OnPay Customers

OnPay Pricing

  • OnPay charges a base fee of $40 plus $6 per employee per month.
  • Setup and migration of employee data are free of charge.
  • You can use the price calculator on their website to see exactly how much it’ll run you for your team size.
  • One-month free trial is available on the website.

Best For

Businesses looking for an affordable software tool that can carry HR, payroll, and benefits in one place. Its special payroll offerings also make the software a better bet for businesses in industries like restaurants, farms and agricultures, churches and clergy, as well as nonprofits.

OnPay in action
No items found.

Bennie

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Bennie
Learn More
Popularity Score
4.1 / 5
User Score
4 / 5
Product Score
4.3 / 5

Why we picked Bennie

Designed to make benefits more accessible and less complicated, Bennie is available both as a web and a mobile app. With it, employees can track claims spending, estimate cost of care, find a doctor, access a live concierge team, and more.

PROS

CONS

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 Customers

  • Schedulicity
  • Superhuman
  • Nabis

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.

Bennie in action
No items found.

ForUsAll

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ForUsAll
Learn More
Popularity Score
4.8 / 5
User Score
4.6 / 5
Product Score
4.9 / 5

Why we picked ForUsAll

ForUsAll is a great choice for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) because it is very quick to set up and quite affordable.

PROS

CONS

ForUsAll Review

ForUsAll is a cloud-based 401(k) administration platform for small and medium-sized businesses. Acting as both your 3(38) and 3(16) fiduciary, ForUsAll ensures you stay compliant while automating manual tasks such as contributions, 401(k) loans, eligibility tracking, hardships, and notifications. You can integrate ForUsAll with most cloud-based payroll systems for an automatic synchronization of your data. Payroll integration also allows it to automatically update deferrals, notify new participants when they become eligible, and more.

ForUsAll Customers

CMC Properties, Lever, Arbor Lodging, Smart Biz, Bolt Threads

ForUsAll Pricing

ForUsAll costs as follows: 

  • For the employer: Employers using ForUsAll pay a base monthly fee of $120 with an addition of $6 per participant per month.
  • For employees: Employees pay 0.50% of assets under management annually.

Best For

ForUsAll in action
No items found.

PapayaGlobal

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PapayaGlobal
Learn More
Popularity Score
4.2 / 5
User Score
4.4 / 5
Product Score
4.3 / 5

Why we picked PapayaGlobal

Papaya Global lets you manage payroll and provide benefits for your employees and contractors, wherever they are. They operate in 160+ countries, most of them through their EOR model. Their benefits offering has evolved notably with time, encompassing telehealth services and other forms of holistic wellbeing.

PROS

  • Employees get a personalized physical and mental health plan tailored to their location. They can then access these services through the web and mobile versions of the platform.
  • Papaya ensures prompt payouts within 72 hours across 160+ countries through the platform.
  • Transparent pricing with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
  • Dedicated customer success managers in your time zone for localized assistance.
  • The starter monthly fee is reduced to $12 per employee for full-service payroll.

  • Papaya Global packs the EOR services you need to do global payroll and employment compliantly in over 160 countries.
  • Automated payments in over 100 currencies, 80 of them directly to the worker's bank account through its global banking partners.
  • Dedicated customer support providing locations-specific knowledge regarding employment and payroll.
  • End-to-end payroll guaranteed payouts in 72 hours.
  • Offers four standalone solutions: data and insights, supplemental benefits & immigration support, payment services, and employee data management, making the platform more affordable and scalable.

CONS

  • Lacks local entities in some of the countries they operate in; no tax penalty guarantee information available.
  • No free trial or plan is offered.
  • Additional fees include setup, onboarding, cycle per employee, year-end fees, and a required deposit.
  • Limited existing integrations, but free use of pre-built APIs and custom API integrations.

  • No free trial or free plan.
  • Doesn’t own entities in all the countries it serves. The platform forms relationships with existing local in-country partners to handle employment in a specific region on the client’s behalf.
  • BI analytics reports and global immigration services cost additional fees.
  • Charges extra fees for setup, onboarding, employee cycle, and tax filing. Also requires a refundable deposit.
  • Built-in integration options aren’t very robust. However, the platform does offer pre-built APIs, SFTP, and custom API integrations for free.

PapayaGlobal Review

Paya Global is one of the best platforms for handling international benefits and payroll. With Papaya Global, you offer an overseas employee a similar benefits package (including equity) as if you had an operating entity in their region.

They can do this both through the Employer of Record and Contractor models. Of course, the pricing varies for both cases. It’s also worth mentioning that the global benefits offering is an add-on, starting at $190 per employee per month.

Papaya Global has garnered high praise from both users we've interacted with and our editorial team. Our familiarity with the tool dates back to early 2021, and it immediately impressed us with its transparent pricing, extensive HR capabilities, robust BI analytics, and localized customer support.

The platform serves both employers and employees, offering seamless access to payroll, payments, and workforce analytics. It guarantees automated payments in local currencies, personalized benefit packages, and multilingual pay slips across 160+ countries.

That said, when considering Papaya Global for your global payroll software, remember that it may not have a local entity in the particular service region you need one and, when that is the case, they rely on third-party local partners. Note that while pricing transparency is a strength, additional expenses like setup fees per location, onboarding fees, cycle fees per employee, year-end tax filing fees, and a refundable deposit should be considered.

PapayaGlobal Customers

Wix, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Toyota, Deezer, Fiverr, Microsoft

PapayaGlobal Pricing

  • Full-Service Payroll service: Starts at $12 per employee per month, with flexible options based on operational needs.
  • Payroll Platform License service: Begins at $3 per employee per location for tech upgrades.
  • Data and Insights Platform License service: From $150 per employee per month, offering real-time analytics on payroll costs and headcount.
  • Payments-as-a-Service service: Starting at $3 per employee per month, delivering a dedicated workforce payment platform.
  • Global EOR plan: Ranges from $650 to $1000 per employee per month for comprehensive EOR management.
  • Contractor Management & IC Compliance plan: Tailored services for outsourced contractors, starting at $2 per contractor per month.
  • Global expertise services: Starting at $190 per month per employee, this lets you add the global health plan, immigration support, and global equity for employees.

Best For

Papaya Global is a top choice for streamlining global payroll and benefits operations in countries with established entities, especially for businesses with international hires located within Papaya Global’s extensive country coverage.

PapayaGlobal in action
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Namely

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Namely
Learn More
Popularity Score
4.7 / 5
User Score
4.1 / 5
Product Score
4.6 / 5

Why we picked Namely

Easy to navigate, Namely is extremely organized and uses the best-in-class technology. Its benefits administration software is integrated with its HR and payroll system to save time and complexity.

PROS

  • Namely’s user interface is highly praised for its intuitiveness and cleanliness, allowing users to navigate the platform effortlessly despite its extensive features.
  • Users appreciate Namely's employee onboarding module, which includes a user-friendly wizard that helps new hires quickly understand their tasks and responsibilities.
  • In addition to the platform's built-in tools for data management, recruiting, onboarding, time off tracking, payroll, and benefits administration, Namely offers managed payroll and benefits administration services, alleviating the workload for internal teams.
  • The majority of users are able to navigate Namely without any issues. They find the UI to be intuitive and clean, despite the fact that the platform has lots of features. 
  • Namely’s employee onboarding module gets a alot of praise from users. It features an easy-to-follow wizard, which helps new hires get on quickly and be clear on what they need to do. 
  • Besides the platform’s built in features for data management, recruiting, onboarding, time off tracking, payroll and benefits administration, there are also managed payroll and benefits administration services you can opt for to reduce the burden on your internal teams. 

CONS

  • Namely's primary focus is on the U.S. market, limiting its suitability for those seeking a global payroll and benefits provider.
  • Implementing Namely can take a while, with an average implementation period of 6-8 weeks, according to the platform's own team.
  • Namely lacks dedicated features for employee development, such as skill training, career pathing, and succession planning.
  • Users should verify if Namely is compatible with their existing benefits provider, as there have been reports of Namely's team persuading customers to switch to providers that charge higher fees.
  • Namely primarily operates in the U.S., which means if you’re looking for a global payroll and benefits provider, this platform isn’t for you.
  • Though many praise the platform’s ease of use, it does take long to implement it. Namely’s own team says that an average implementation takes between 6-8 weeks.
  • For a platform of Namely’s size, there currently aren’t any features that focus on employee development such as skill training, career pathing, succession planning etc. 
  • You’ll need to check beforehand if Namely can work with your existing benefits provider, if you have one. There have been a few reports (but not few enough to ignore) about Namely’s team convincing customers to change their benefits provider to providers that charged them more. 

Namely Review

Namely’s comprehensive HR suite packs a range of features that make it an excellent choice for benefits administration. You can enroll your employees in, track, and manage various benefits programs such as health insurance, retirement plans, and flexible spending accounts. All of this is simplified through customizable online enrollment forms that provide employees with plan details. The software also allows for seamless integration with insurance carriers and third-party administrators to automate data transfers and reduce manual entry errors.

We appreciate a good reporting module, and the one Namely has can not only generate reports but also give you deep insights into benefits utilization, costs, and trends, which is a nice feature to have if you want to frequently improve your benefits plans and compete in today’s super competitive hiring landscape.

Namely Customers

Over 1200 companies use Namely, including Greenhouse, The Channel Company, Life is Good, and OneLogin.

Namely Pricing

Namely does not disclose their pricing upfront. 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 50-1000 employees.

Namely in action
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Maxwell Health

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Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
4.3 / 5
Product Score
4.1 / 5

Why we picked Maxwell Health

A one-stop technology solution that merges your HR ecosystem with benefits administration system, Maxwell Health helps employees save time and make sound decisions about their benefits.

PROS

CONS

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 Customers

  • Rose Street Advisors
  • Taney County, Missouri
  • Harrisburg University of Science and Technology

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.

Maxwell Health in action
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Rippling

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Rippling
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Popularity Score
4.2 / 5
User Score
4.2 / 5
Product Score
4.1 / 5

Why we picked Rippling

Rippling is geared toward SMBs with its terrific automation and built-in integrations. Besides common features like self-service and onboarding, the benefits administration tool lets you work with your picked broker within the app and choose benefits packages from over 4,000 plans.

PROS

  • Rippling can operate globally with almost any currency.
  • 500+ integrations.
  • Automates issuance processes.
  • Provides a holistic view of company outflows—headcount costs included.
  • All-in-one platform for employee management + PEO services offered, and even a suite of other IT products 
  • With 500 integrations, it’s very likely that they integrate with other key tools from your tech stack.
  • Operates globally with any currency
  • Workflow automation
  • Analytics opportunities
  • Provides a holistic view of company outflows—headcount costs included

CONS

  • Total buy-in to Rippling is essential.
  • No free trial.
  • Phone support is available via the HR Help Desk service, which costs extra.
  • Very SMB-oriented, so perhaps not the best option for larger companies.
  • Total buy-in to Rippling is essential 
  • Very SMB-oriented, in case you’re a larger company. 
  • New features tend to be buggy in ways that tech teams are not accustomed to fixing

Rippling Review

Rippling is in a class by itself compared to other benefits administration software. With a remarkable 500 app connectors, it surpasses most vendors we've tested across multiple categories. This helps the tool not only perform standard features an average benefits tracking system does, like parsing a paper receipt image captured with a phone but can also contextualize spending activity within the larger framework of employee data.

We tested Rippling's benefits management features and discovered that despite being a relatively new solution, it stands out for its strong emphasis on automation. Alongside standard functionalities like online onboarding, benefits enrollment, and employee self-service portals, Rippling offers unique capabilities.

One notable feature is the ability to add your existing broker as a user or receive recommendations if you don't have one. Additionally, Rippling excels in automation by automatically updating employee deductions when qualifying life events occur, such as location changes or marital status updates.

In the past two years, Rippling has expanded its offerings to include time and attendance, talent management, learning management, licensed PEO services, and global payroll. Remarkably, the platform has maintained its eye-catching UI despite the additions. However, there are a few aspects to keep in mind.

While you have the flexibility to select and purchase modules separately, Rippling’s core HR offering is the starter plan for all iterations.

Rippling Customers

Vox, Maximum Games, Superhuman, Compass Coffee, Highnoon.

Rippling Pricing

Rippling's Core HR platform starts at $8 per employee per month. Contact Rippling regarding a custom Benefits Administration quote.

Best For

Rippling is best for small to medium-sized companies, globally or nationally distributed with multiple levels of organization.

Rippling in action
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Zenefits

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Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
3.9 / 5
Product Score
4 / 5

Why we picked Zenefits

Whether you're just getting started or looking for ways to improve your benefits, Zenefits can help you simplify your process. One of its best features is that employees get detailed reports on their benefits to see what's working.

PROS

  • A well-known brand of HR tech and payroll software for SMBs
  • UX/UI is above average in design and usability
  • Flexible pricing plans allow companies to add features when needed, or get rid of them if they don’t
  • It’s one of the top names in HR tech and payroll software for American small businesses. 
  • Their platform is one of the best-looking and easiest to figure out among the sector. 
  • Zenefits can grow with you. Its pricing plans allow you to pay and tweak as you go, add certain modules when you need them, or get rid of them if you don’t.

CONS

  • Though focused on small businesses, the platform does not provide the option to create a custom bundle of desired services or modules. For instance, a standalone ACA module is not available, necessitating the purchase of an entire HRIS plan to access this feature.
  • Primarily targets small to mid-sized companies, making it less suitable for enterprise organizations.
  • Strong focus on the US market, so not ideal for teams primarily located in other countries, especially for certain modules like payroll and benefits that require local expertise.
  • As oriented to small businesses as the tool is, it doesn’t give you the chance to create a custom bundle of the services and/or modules you’d like to have. For instance, Zenefits does not offer a standalone ACA module. Therefore, you will need to purchase an entire HRIS plan if you want to access that offering.
  • In addition, Zenefits focuses on small to mid sized companies. If you're an enterprise organization, you may want to consider another option. 
  • Zenefits is also rather focused on the US market at this point. So, if your team is mostly in another country and you need more of a local know-how, it might not be the best bet for certain modules like payroll and benefits.

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 Customers

  • Coney Island Prep High School (NYC)
  • MeUndies
  • Goals for Autism

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.

Zenefits in action
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Why Use Benefits Administration Software

As an employer, you are required to offer certain benefits (like health insurance and Social Security), while others are “nice-to-haves” that can help with recruiting and retention. 

The more benefits you offer, the more administrative work you have to manage — unless, of course, you use benefits administration software. If you offer any or all of the following benefits, a benefits admin platform can streamline how you manage them — and how employees sign up for them:

  • Social Security: A federal benefits program that provides insurance for older workers and their spouses, those whose spouse or qualifying ex-spouse have died, and the disabled.
  • Worker’s Comp: Benefits given to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. It helps cover medical care, wages from lost wok time, and more.
  • Health Insurance: A type of insurance that covers medical and surgical expenses. This is arguably your biggest benefits expense.
  • Unemployment Insurance: A state-provided insurance that workers are eligible for if they lose their job and meet other requirements.
  • Family Medical Leave: The Family and Medical Leave Act (also known as FMLA) provides up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave per year to care for a seriously injured or ill immediate family member (i.e. spouse, child, or parent). While the leave is unpaid, FMLA requires that health benefits remain intact.
  • Vacation Time & Other Paid Leave: This can include a certain number of PTO days, sick days, and parental leave for your full-time employees.
  • Affordable Care Act (ACA) Coverage: The landmark health reform, also known as Obamacare. Under the ACA, employers with 50 or more full-time employees are required to offer affordable, essential coverage to their full-time employees or choose to pay a tax penalty.
  • Dental Insurance: A type of insurance that covers certain dental procedures and expenses.
  • Vision Insurance: A type of insurance that covers certain vision procedures and expenses.
  • Pet Insurance: A type of insurance that covers certain veterinary costs when your pet gets sick or injured.
  • Wellness Programs: While these differ per company, wellness programs are designed to promote long-term health for employees. Some programs include discounts on gym memberships, providing on-site fitness classes, offering preventative health screenings, hosting stress management workshops, stocking kitchens with healthy snacks, etc.
  • Financial Wellness: Financial wellness programs are designed to help employees take control of their finances so they can spend smarter, reduce debt, and save more money. Such programs include retirement/401k plans, student debt repayment, and more. 
  • Education Benefits: Also known as tuition benefits, education programs are designed to give employees opportunities to further their education. For example, some companies offer employees a reimbursement benefit up to a certain amount that covers classes, courses, certifications, etc. 
  • Life Insurance: A type of insurance that provides a lump-sum payment to the insured’s beneficiaries upon the insured’s passing.
  • HSA & FSA: Pre-tax dollars that can be used for health-related and other approved expenses.

If you're not sure what benefits to offer at your company (besides, of course, the bare minimum requirements), consider who your full-time employees are. 

In other words, what is important to them? For example, if the bulk of your employees are fresh out of college, a financial wellness benefit that helps them pay off their student debt will be a very attractive offering. You could also survey your employees if you're on the fence about a certain benefit to see if it’s something they actually want and would use.

Pro Tips on Benefits Administration Systems

Considerations for Employee Benefits Admin — Plus, Common Mistakes to Avoid

The features we just listed are pretty comprehensive, but benefits admin software won't take everything benefits-related off of your plate. Not only that, benefits management in general has its share of challenges. To make sure you do benefits "right," have successful open enrollment periods, and don't blow your benefits budget, here are six considerations and common mistakes to look out for:

  • Choosing benefits that fit your company's need vs everything: As you probably already know, there are seemingly endless benefits you could offer to your employees. While it might be tempting to offer everything under the sun (which can be a great recruiting tool), you might end up creating more work and spending more money than it’s worth. In other words, you could wind up offering (and paying for) benefits that your employees don’t actually use. So think about what makes sense for your company and your employees — and start there.
  • Not allowing employees to pick and choose benefits: By nature, people like having choices and making informed decisions for themselves. So give them different options so they can pick and choose the benefits that are right for them.
  • Compliance with mandated benefits: Under laws like the Affordable Care Act, certain benefits are required for businesses of 50 or more full-time employees. If you don’t stay compliant, you could be charged fees. Fortunately, many benefits admin solutions offer automated compliance workflows so you can get the right forms to the right regulatory bodies when you need to.
  • Knowing which benefits are offered tax free: Offering tax-free benefits are a win-win for your company and your employees. For example, tax-free benefits like health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts, commuter benefits, even tuition benefits can save your employees — and your company — money. After all, the income your employees set aside pre-tax for these benefits does NOT count toward your payroll tax dues. So, you could be leaving money on the table if you don’t offer tax-free benefits — or if your employees aren’t taking advantage of them.
  • Costs can get high quickly: Your benefits offering can get expensive very quickly, especially when it comes to healthcare coverage. There are a variety of ways to keep your costs in check — from cost-sharing with employees (i.e. with increased employee contributions and higher deductibles), to changing vendor partners (like moving retirees from group plans to Medicare), to managing pharmacy spend (for example, encouraging the use of generic prescriptions or adding a narrow network).

Benefits & ROI

Benefits admin software can help your company in a myriad of ways. Here is a summary of the benefits we’ve mentioned:

  • Compliance: At the most basic level, you’re required by law to offer certain benefits — and benefits admin software makes it easier for you to stay compliant with these laws.
  • Less Busy Work: Because benefits admin software lets you automate the paperwork-heavy busy-work associated with benefits, your team will have more time to focus on other high-priority areas.
  • Employee Satisfaction: Open enrollment will no longer feel like a chore for your employees — instead, they’ll be able to make smart enrollment decisions online and, in most cases, with just a few clicks. Offering a full-suite of benefits (that are easy to elect) will help you attract top candidates to your organization — and keep them once they’re hired.
  • Smarter Investments: Because benefits admin software offers reporting, you’ll be able to see what benefits are being utilized the most — and which ones aren’t worth investing in further.

To get an idea of what benefits like these can actually do for your bottom line, check out our HR Tech ROI Calculators.

Pricing: What Employee Benefits Admin Platforms Cost

Most benefits admin platforms charge on a per-employee-per month basis and offer tiered pricing depending on the amount of features and functionality you’re looking for. We’ve seen pricing start as low as $8/employee/month. 

When you have your demo(s), you should get a pricing plan that is customized for your company and needs. Just make sure that each quote you get breaks down the features that are included so you can easily compare and make the most informed investment for your company.

Features: What You Can Expect from Benefits Administration Software

Benefits administration software isn’t just a way to centralize your benefits management and alleviate the burdens of paperwork and other administrative tasks. They also offer a host of integrations and features to make your job easier, keep you compliant, save you money, and promote employee engagement. Let’s take a look:

  • Suite of Benefits: Depending on the vendor you choose, you can manage all of your benefits in one place. We’ll talk about this later in the guide, but remember to ask your vendor(s) of choice which benefits are included with their solution.
  • Online Enrollment & Self-Service for Employees: Allow employees to opt-in to their benefits elections themselves — and say goodbye to endless paperwork. With a safe and secure benefits admin platform, your employees can easily enroll in their plans of choice online — or even through a mobile app.
  • Plan Configuration: Easily set up and manage all plans and benefits in one place. This not only makes things easier for your HR/people operations team, it also makes benefits shopping easier for your employees. They can more easily compare plans and sign up online.
  • Payroll Integration: Integrate your benefits and payroll data so the right deductions automatically sync to each employee’s payroll record.
  • Simple Onboarding: Make onboarding easy for new employees by centralizing all necessary paperwork and enrollment opportunities in one place. What’s more, if an employee leaves your company, you can just as easily un-enroll them and initiate COBRA.
  • COBRA: Easily manage COBRA eligibility and compliance with automated reporting to your COBRA administrator. 
  • ACA Reporting: The Affordable Care Act requires employers with 50+ full-time employees to report healthcare coverage to the IRS. With benefits administration software, you can easily generate forms 1094 and 1095 and submit your reports for you so you stay compliant (and avoid fees).
  • More Compliance: In addition to ACA and COBRA compliance, benefits administration software can help you stay compliant in other areas — and get ahead of changing regulations. This includes compliance with HIPAA (i.e. protecting employees’ Personal Health Information, or PHI), ERISA, the Dept. of Labor, the IRS, and OSHA.
  • Reporting: Automate reporting of your HR data — including billing insights, headcount and attrition reports, job and salary reports, and more — to make more strategic, data-driven people decisions. You could even benchmark against other companies in your space to see if there are opportunities or areas of improvement. 

As you develop your full benefits package, think about the features that would benefit your employees the most AND that would help make your job easier.

Demo Questions: What to Ask About Benefits Administration Software

We always recommend demoing a couple vendors so you can see their platforms in action before you actually invest. To prepare for your demos, create a list of questions specific to your company’s benefits needs. Here are some sample questions to get you started:

  • What benefits does your platform have?
  • What benefits do you find are most attractive to employees like mine?
  • How can employees sign up for benefits?
  • Can employees access their benefits plan on their phones?
  • How does HR create a benefits plan?
  • How will this solution fit into the rest of my tech stack and therefore what integrations do I need?
  • How will others in the organization use this solution?
  • What are the key features I want to ask about?
  • What are the things that would make me nervous about buying this sort of solution?

Implementation: Getting Your Employee Benefits Software Off the Ground

The first step to implementing benefits admin software is figuring out what your suite of benefits looks like. From there — and based on the information you gathered during your demo — you’ll know what is required to get your platform of choice up and running. For example, you might need to engage your IT team to help with any necessary integrations.

Then, you’ll need to encourage utilization of the platform during open enrollment periods, for new employees who are onboarding, and for employees who are leaving and need to sign up for COBRA. To get employees to make their benefits elections before your open enrollment period ends, we recommend a variety of touch-points, including:

Software Training Sessions: If you're using a new system, you're going to need to train your HR or People Ops team on setting up and managing each benefit. Then, you'll need to introduce the platform to your employees so they know how to use it. You could do this a number of ways:

  • Ask your vendor if they have pre-recorded training videos that you can share with your employees
  • Meet with individual teams to walk them through the platform
  • Give a brief demo of the platform at an all-staff meeting

All-Staff Emails: Send a note to the entire company at the beginning of open enrollment with instructions on how to use the platform, what actions they need to take by the deadline, what happens if they don't do anything, etc. Then follow-up with "last-call" reminders as the deadline approaches.

Engage Team Leads: Ask team leads and managers to remind their direct reports to make their benefits selections before the deadline.

Benefits Administration Software FAQs

What is benefits administration software?

Benefits administration software are platforms built specifically to plan and provide benefits packages to employees, while also maintaining compliance with government regulations.

Why use benefits administration software?

Benefits administration software streamlines all benefits operations, saving your HR team much needed time. In addition, all employee benefits data is held in one portal, meaning you can analyze all benefits information and create detailed reports about what benefits are used most or least. This provides you with valuable action points for benefits administration. Finally, letting software maintain compliance for you ensures simple, fast, and accurate reports to the IRS and other government entities.

What are some features of benefits administration software?

Features of benefits administration software include reporting, ACA and COBRA compliance, onboarding tools, plan configuration, self-service portal, online enrollment, and payroll integrations.

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.

About Us

  • Our goal at SSR is to help HR and recruiting teams to find and buy the right software for their needs.
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  • SSR lists all companies we feel are top vendors - not just those who pay us - in our comprehensive directories full of the advice needed to make the right purchase decision for your HR team.

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