Linking HR with benefits providers

Ensuring data survives the trip through cyberspace
By John Johnston
|CHRR, Guide to Pensions & Benefits|Last Updated: 02/11/2003

Transferring employee information, whether it be pension or other data, between an employer’s HR system and the company’s pension and benefits carrier can be tricky. While most company’s IT staff are aware of these issues, many HR departments are mystified about the interface design process.

File transfers are, in truth, much more complex and generally beyond what would be expected of an HR or HRIS staff member. But a little understanding by HR of the basics can go a long way in answering questions from both IT and the carrier.

The first major step is to understand the data requirements of the carrier. Generally each carrier has a specific format for the data they wish to receive from their clients. Often this format is common to all clients and is designed to smoothly integrate the data into their system. The carrier will provide a listing of the fields of data for each employee and will specify the file format.