Best employee benefits administration software in 2024

Employee benefits aren’t one-size-fits-all. But the best benefits administration software will have flexible benefits options to meet the budget of any business, along with user-friendly tools, easy enrollment, and licensed advisors to guide you through the process.

We’ve put together a handy guide to compare all the best employee benefits administration software to help you make the right choice for your growing business.

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1. Gusto – Best all-in-one benefits administration software

Overview

Gusto tops our list for best all-in-one benefits administration software with a wealth of easy-to-use, people-first features and fully integrated functionality. Their intuitive interface simplifies even the most complex tasks, and their robust benefits packages in concert with their powerful hiring and team management tools elevate HR to enterprise level even for startups and small businesses. 

Gusto offers unique no-cost, low-cost and premium benefits options that make it possible for businesses of any size to build right-sized offerings that can grow as they grow. Options include free financial planning tools, health reimbursement plans, 401(k)s, 529 savings, and commuter benefits, along with traditional medical, dental, and vision, Flexible Spending and Health Savings Accounts (FSAs and HSAs), life and disability insurance, workers’ comp, and more.

Unlike most providers, benefits administration is included at no extra cost in all of their plans, and employees can self-register for the plan they want to further reduce admin. They have more than 3,500 premium benefits options available, or if you already have a benefits provider you love, you can easily migrate to the platform. Gusto also makes it easy to understand benefits costs and even estimate costs for new hires.

All of Gusto’s tools feel designed with humans in mind, making benefits enrollment a breeze and easily handling the full employee lifecycle from recruiting and onboarding, to engagement and growth, to an employee’s last day. Overall, they offer more robust benefits options and superior functionality at a better price, winning them the top spot.

FULLY INTEGRATED

Having a single system to handle benefits, hiring, employee onboarding, vacation time, sick days, and performance management that seamlessly syncs to payroll—and automatically handles taxes and compliance—reduces your admin burden and streamlines your tech stack while saving you money.   

Every time you run payroll, all federal, state, and local taxes are automatically calculated, filed, and paid along with benefits deductions, workers’ comp, and PTO. And a full suite of HR tools is built right in to keep everything you need to manage your growing team, all in one place. 

EMPLOYEE SELF-SERVICE

Employee self-onboarding makes it easy to upload documents, e-sign contracts, and gives employees lifetime access to paystubs, W-2s, and more. Employees can self-enroll and manage benefits, add dependents, and change plans, as well as clock in and out, request time off, and access training easily from anywhere. 

BUILT-IN COMPLIANCE AND REPORTING

Gusto’s built-in compliance means you can hire new team members in all 50 states while easily staying compliant with overtime, breaks, and minimum wage. ACA reporting, Section 125, HIPAA, and COBRA are included at no extra cost. They have AI-powered reporting options for everything from labor and workforce costing to custom payroll reports, and compliance checklists and automated workflows save even more time. For even more robust compliance support, dedicated support & HR resources come included with the Premium plan or as an add-on to their Plus plan.

Key Features

  • Seamlessly integrated payroll, HR, time tracking, and benefits
  • Premium benefits + HSAs, FSAs, commuter benefits, retirement, and workers’ comp
  • No-cost financial planning benefits
  • Employee self-service and self-enrollment
  • Fully-licensed benefits advisors available
  • ACA reporting, Section 125, HIPAA, and COBRA included 
  • Robust reporting options and benefits calculators
  • Support for international contractors in 120+ countries; global payroll and benefits currently being rolled out
  • Full suite of HR, people management, and time-tracking tools
  • Dedicated support from certified HR experts available
  • Hundreds of software integrations

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Intuitive, easy to use interfacePremium benefits only available in 38 states + Washington, DC
All-in-one solution for payroll, time, benefits, and HRSimple plan includes only the most basic HR tools 
Transparent pricing, no hidden feesMobile app lacks full functionality
3,500+ premium benefits packages to choose from
No-cost and low-cost benefits options
Great customer service with fully-licensed benefits advisors
Hundreds of software integrations included with all plans

Pricing

Gusto offers three pricing plans, with the Simple plan starting at $40 per month plus $6 per person per month. The Simple plan lacks the more powerful HR tools like their applicant tracking system and performance and team management tools, but it still comes loaded with benefits administration as well as basic support for hiring and onboarding.  

Plus plans start at $80 per month plus $12 per person per month and include the full suite of hiring, onboarding, and team management tools. Plus plans also come loaded with popular features like next-day payroll and Gusto’s integrated time tracking. 

Dedicated support from certified HR pros along with compliance alerts is available only with the Premium plan or through the HR add-on at $8 per person per month.  

Premium plans are priced exclusively, and include everything Gusto has to offer with no hidden monthly fees. For more info on Premium pricing, contact their sales team today

Free Trial? Yes, Gusto is free until you run your first payroll.

Free Version: No.

Transform your payroll processes with Gusto, a platform that’s already the choice of over 300,000 businesses.

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2. TriNet HR – Best benefits administration software for ACA and COBRA compliance

Overview

TriNet HR offers traditional benefits through a few dozen brokers. You can fill out your company information and they’ll come back to you with custom quotes. Once you choose a provider, you can build custom plans on their website. In addition to traditional benefits, they also offer HSAs, FSAs, and commuter benefits, employee “perks” such as access to special discounts on premium brands, and tax-optimized expense reimbursement.

TriNet has a robust set of offerings, but where they really shine is their automated compliance. Their compliance dashboard helps you stay ahead of deadlines, generate any forms you need, and even automate workflows for COBRA coverage during termination. 

All of TriNet HR’s packages also include HR tools like automated self-onboarding with offer letters and background checks, employee self-service, digital docs and signatures, and account provisioning. They come loaded with employee scheduling, time off tracking, PTO, data and document management, company directories and org charts, software integrations, mobile app access, and their basic analytics dashboard. 

However, benefits administration, payroll, recruiting tools, and learning management are available only as add-on modules to their packages at a per-employee-per-month rate. Payroll is only included in their highest-tier package, though it does come with automated federal and state tax filing, as well as new-hire reporting.

At the end of the day, TriNet HR is one of the most affordable basic HR systems with an intuitive, user-friendly benefits process. If you’re looking for benefits that bundle with a full suite of HR tools like advanced reporting and performance management, however, there are more affordable solutions out there. And if you’re looking for a more payroll-focused option, TriNet shouldn’t make your list. 

NOTE: TriNet used to operate solely as a PEO before they merged with Zenefits. Their product became TriNet Zenefits for a time, and now Zenefits has been dropped entirely. Their standalone HRIS is now called TriNet HR, and their PEO is now called TriNet PEO. The recommendation here is for the standalone HR platform, not for their PEO.

Key Features

  • Premium benefits + HSAs, FSAs, commuter benefits, stock options, and employee discounts
  • Employee self-service & enrollment
  • Built-in compliance for ACA and COBRA
  • Time tracking, PTO, and scheduling tools 
  • Paperless employee self-onboarding
  • Payroll add-on available with automated tax filings
  • Robust, native communication tools
  • Mobile app for benefits, time tracking, communication, PTO requests, and more
  • Employee happiness surveys and retention tools
  • Reporting & insights into benefit costs

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Very affordable base plan with more tools than mostBenefits, hiring tools, payroll, and HR advisory are all paid add-ons
Easy-to-follow reporting and compliance dashboardMinimum 5-employee requirement for all plans
Transparent pricingLimited integrations
Benefits administration fee is waived if you use a TriNet-referred brokerPayroll is a separate platform and is not included in any plans
Can be difficult to reach customer service

Pricing

TriNet’s HR Platform starts with the “Essentials” plan at $8 per employee per month, and then offers two higher-tier plans, “Growth” at $16 and “Zen” at $27 per employee per month. But these prices are only available if you make an annual commitment. For month-to-month packages, the prices go up to $10, $20, and $33 per employee per month, respectively. 

Benefits administration, recruiting tools (powered by JazzHR), and HR advisory services aren’t included in any plans. Benefits administration costs $5 per employee per month, but this fee is waived if you choose a benefits broker referred by TriNet.

The Essentials plan comes loaded with all of the basic HRIS systems functionality you need including onboarding and offboarding and employee and data management, but it lacks more robust reporting and analytics. 

For their full suite of reporting, analytics, data, compensation, and performance management, you’ll need to upgrade to their Growth plan. Payroll can be added to either of these plans for $6 per employee per month.

Finally, the Zen plan adds on retention tools like employee engagement, a “People Hub” to facilitate communication, and payroll at no extra cost. However payroll is only included for select industries.

It’s also worth noting that TriNet isn’t built for start-ups and very small businesses. They have a minimum requirement of 5 employees for any of their pricing plans. You can still use their service if you only have two or three employees on payroll, but you’ll still have to pay for all five. 

Free Trial? No.

Free Plan: No.Learn more about TriNet HR

3. ADP Workforce Now – Best HR benefits administration software for midsize companies

Overview

ADP is a behemoth in the space and offers two payroll and HR solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses: ADP Run for businesses with fewer than 50 employees and ADP Workforce Now for businesses with 50–999. 

While ADP Run is a highly rated platform, It’s primarily a payroll tool with a few extra HR functions, and their pricing puts them out of reach for many. Benefits administration is not included in any plans; it’s a separate integration that costs extra. For this reason, we don’t recommend ADP Run for startups or smaller businesses. For businesses with more than 50 employers, however, their Workforce Now packages provide a robust solution for managing teams.

ADP Workforce Now includes payroll and HR tools in all of their packages. Benefits administration is available in their midrange and premium options. They integrate with more than 700 benefits providers, and they support FSAs, retirement options, and commuter benefits in addition to traditional medical, dental, and vision. You can build custom plan options that work for your business, employees can self-enroll and self-manage their benefits, and their platform includes robust reporting options to aid in decision-making.    

In addition to benefits, ADP Workforce Now offers everything any team might need to manage payroll, recruiting, hiring, and more, along with over 700 software integrations. Best of all, you can build a package that includes only the services you need.  

The only questions are: how much does it cost, and is that included in the plan I have? Getting the answer requires reaching out for a custom quote.

Key Features

  • Fully integrated HR, payroll, benefits, and time tracking
  • Employee self-service benefits
  • Medical, dental, vision + FSA, commuter, retirement, and workers’ comp 
  • Over 700 software integrations available
  • Direct integration with benefits providers
  • ACA & COBRA compliance dashboard
  • Mobile app
  • Every HR, time, and people tool imaginable
  • Highly rated payroll tool

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Trusted payroll platformSignificant learning curve to get started
HR Outsourcing and PEO options availableSlow customer service
Robust options for businesses with 50999 employeesPricing is not transparent and difficult to piece together
Tons of products and features for maximum scalabilityNo benefits administration included in small business packages
Powerful reporting options

Pricing

ADP’s pricing tiers are confusing at best. For businesses with fewer than 50 employees, they offer 4 pricing tiers: Essential Payroll, Enhanced Payroll that includes wage garnishment, unemployment, background checks and job postings, Complete Payroll and HR+ that adds on some HR tools like employee handbooks, proactive compliance alerts, a job description wizard, and access to the HR help desk, and HR Pro Payroll and HR, that includes an applicant tracking system, onboarding tools, and an LMS. Benefits administration isn’t included in any of these plans.

Where ADP stands out is their Workforce Now packages for medium-sized businesses from 50–999 employees. They offer three tiers: Select, Plus, and Premium. Select is a basic suite of HR and payroll tools. Plus includes benefits administration, and Premium adds on their suite of time and attendance tools including time tracking and PTO management. 

With any of the Workforce Now packages, you can add on modules for Talent Acquisition, Performance Management, Compensation Management, HR Assist, Analytics and Enhanced Insights, and Learning Management.

According to Forbes, users reported pricing starts from $62 per month, but the average business should expect to spend a lot more than that. For example, the ADP support team quoted payroll only for 50 employees at $400 per month.    

Free Trial? Yes, three months free on select products. 

Free Plan: No.


Learn more about ADP

4. Justworks – Best PEO for benefits administration

Overview

Justworks is one of the most affordable PEO options out there, and their HRIS comes with support for payroll, tax filings, onboarding, PTO management, and compliance. But where Justworks really shines is their custom benefits packages. They offer one of the widest ranges of unique options including fertility benefits, commuter benefits, fitness memberships, medical travel coverage, mental health resources, and financial perks, along with life and disability insurance, FSA, HSAs, retirement, and traditional benefits like medical, dental, and vision. Some of these benefits are available in their basic package, but you’ll need to upgrade to the Plus package to access traditional benefits.

Whether building a custom benefits package or assigning admin permissions to users with different job titles and levels of seniority, Justworks’ software is highly rated as easy to use, and their customer service responds quickly and is available 24/7. They also recently released a mobile app to allow your employees to easily access the data they need.   

Justworks is one of the more affordable PEOs on the market, but they achieve this by paring down some of their offerings. Their HR suite includes e-signing, org charts, employee handbooks, new hire compliance, onboarding, and PTO policy management, but doesn’t provide hiring tools. They do offer an integration with Greenhouse’s applicant tracking system, but you’ll have to pay extra. Time tracking also isn’t included, and Justworks Hours costs an additional $8 per user per month. 

For smaller businesses looking to offer attractive benefits and take complex HR and compliance tasks off their plate, Justworks is an affordable option that can grow as you grow your business. But for larger businesses with money to spend, there are more robust PEOs out there. 

Key Features

  • Full service PEO
  • Unique, low-cost options for commuter, health & wellness, and financial benefits
  • New-hire compliance in all 50 states
  • ACA & COBRA compliance
  • Self-service employee onboarding & benefits management
  • E-signing and secure document storage
  • Flexible admin permissions
  • Highly rated customer service 
  • Mobile app 
  • International contractor support (rolling out EOR services soon)

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Transparent pricingTime-tracking app costs extra
Unique, low-cost benefits availableOffering traditional benefits nearly doubles the monthly base price
Affordable for smaller businesses with the option to growFewer HR tools than some other PEOs
Highly rated, user-friendly interface
24/7 customer service on phone, email, chat, Slack, or SMS

Pricing

Justworks has two pricing tiers: Basic and Plus. The Basic plan costs $59 per employee per month up to your 50th employee, where it drops down to $49 per employee per month. This includes everything Justworks offers save for traditional benefits like medical, dental, vision, COBRA administration, and access to HSAs and FSAs, along with a few of their unique benefits like fertility care. The Plus plan jumps up to $99 per employee per month ($89 from your 50th employee onwards) and includes everything they offer, save for their time tracking app and international contractor payments. These are both paid add ons. Time tracking is $8 per employee per month, and paying international contractors costs $39 per month.    

Free Trial? Yes, 14 days.

Free Plan: Yes.

Learn more about Justworks

5. Remote – Best health benefits administration software for global workers

Overview

The future of work is global, and Remote makes it easy to hire and pay your team in more than 180 countries around the world. Their impressive suite of international support includes global payroll, contractors, hiring, self-service onboarding, compliance, and benefits. The best part is you can pay all of your team members around the world—whether contractor, full-time, or EOR—with a single payment.  

Remote makes it easy to offer localized benefits to international hires including traditional medical, dental, and vision, pensions and 401(k)s, PTO and sick leave, and life and disability insurance. They also offer more comprehensive plans for employee wellbeing including parental leave, mental health care, and learning and development, as well as employee stock options, home office stipends, and flexible working hours.

The best part about Remote is they understand the local markets, keeping you competitive with local employers, and they handle all of the compliance as an employer of record (EOR). They don’t contract with outside entities, which means better, faster support. For hiring international contractors, they provide compliant local contracts to make sure you’re staying within local labor laws as well as support for local taxes. 

Their website also includes a guide to local laws, compliance, holiday and mandatory leave policies in every country they cover, which can be helpful as you’re thinking about expanding your talent pool to new countries. 

One downside is that Remote’s pricing can start to add up, especially for EOR services, and at some point it makes more financial sense to open your own entity. But for small businesses and startups especially, using Remote for global payroll and contractors is a no brainer.

Key Features

  • Contractor payments in 180+ countries and global payroll and EOR in 80+ countries
  • Medical, dental, and vision + retirement, PTO, life & disability, health & wellness, and more
  • Seamless onboarding and employee self-service portal
  • 70+ currencies supported with no conversion fees
  • Localized compliance, contracts, and benefits administration including stock options
  • Contractor misclassification risk assessment included
  • One-click or autopay contractor invoices

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Integration for domestic and international employees, contractors, full-time and part-timeCustomer support via email only
Easy onboarding processNo transparent pricing for global payroll 
Owned entities are not outsourced to third-party vendorsNo support for common international payment methods like Payoneer and PayPal
Great, user-friendly interface
Country-specific compliance and benefits
No extra charge for benefits administration

Pricing

Remote prices their services based on which kind of global hiring you need. For their EOR service, it costs $599 per employee per month (on an annual plan), which is in line with industry standards. To go month-to-month it increases to $699. Their international contractor payments are reasonable at $29 per month, but if you only have international contractors and not full-time employees (or if you are operating 100% within the US), there are much more affordable solutions out there. 

For global payroll in countries where you operate your own entity, you have to contact sales for pricing.

Free Trial? You can set up an account and explore features including hiring and onboarding at no cost for 30 days. You’ll only be charged when you pay global workers.

Free Plan: No.

Learn more about Remote

6. BambooHR – Best dedicated HR software with benefits administration

Overview

BambooHR is the most HR-focused entry on this list—it’s a purebred Human Resources Management System (HRMS) with payroll, benefits, and time tracking as extras. In fact, their benefits administration module was just released in early 2023. But they are the industry-leading HR software, and having built-in benefits makes them that much more attractive as an all-in-one people management platform. 

While BambooHR does come with “benefits tracking” at no extra cost, it’s a clunky feature that requires a lot of manual entry. You’re better off paying for their benefits administration add-on. The add-on integrates with “a growing list” of major carriers, and provides a user-friendly process along with walkthroughs and automated workflows.

BambooHR offers traditional medical, dental, and vision, along with retirement options, HSAs and FSAs, life & disability, and commuter benefits. They do not support employee stock options, termination coverage, or non-traditional benefits like health & wellness and financial planning tools.

BambooHR’s benefits offerings aren’t the best on the market. But their HR platform is best-in-class across the board. Onboarding, offboarding, document storage, employee satisfaction, and robust reporting options are all built right in. Their performance management tools are some of the best out there, and visualizations of employee progress and satisfaction, along with customizable automations and reporting on almost any piece of data set them apart as a team management tool. Employee self-service for onboarding, personal information, document storage, and benefits is also best-in-class.   

If you don’t have complex payroll needs, and you’re looking for a more HR-focused tool, BambooHR has all the bells and whistles to help streamline admin and manage your team while improving productivity across the board. Or, if you already have payroll and time tracking tools you love, using BambooHR to handle your HR and benefits administration is a solid choice.   

Key Features

  • Integrated HR and benefits administration with payroll, time tracking, and performance management add-ons
  • Medical, dental, and vision + retirement options, HSAs and FSAs, life & disability, and commuter benefits
  • Employee self-service and enrollment
  • Automated workflows for enrollment, QLEs, compensation changes, and more
  • Payroll processing in all 50 states
  • Robust suite of HR tools
  • Custom reporting options on any data housed in the system
  • 125+ software integrations

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Fully integrated benefits, HR, and payrollLimited functionality in mobile app
Best-in-class HR tools including onboarding, offboarding, and employee self-serviceEssentials plan is bare-bones and benefits admin costs extra
Powerful reporting for strategic benefits planningNo transparent pricing
Automated workflows save time and ensure accuracyNo international support
Chat & phone support only available on Advanced plan

Pricing

BambooHR no longer shares pricing information on their website, and you’ll need to reach out to get a custom quote. For companies with more than 20 employees, their HR software is priced on a per-employee, per-month basis. For companies with 20 employees or fewer, pricing is charged at a monthly flat rate. 

BambooHR has two available plans along with a handful of optional add-ons. The Essentials Plan comes with employee records management, standard reporting and analytics, time-off management, as well as a few automated workflows. Previous pricing started at $108 per month for the first 20 employees.

The Advantage Plan includes advanced reporting, custom workflows, onboarding and offboarding, their applicant tracking system, and employee wellness features. 

Benefits administration is a paid add-on that was previously priced at $5 per employee per month. 

They also offer three add-on packages in addition to BA: payroll (previously priced at $150 per month for up to 20 employees + $7.25 per employee per month after that), performance management (previously priced at $5.75 per employee per month), and time tracking (previously priced at $3 per employee per month). These modules all have volume discounts, so the per employee cost will drop as your business grows. 

Free Trial? Yes, 7 days.

Free Plan: No.


Learn more about BambooHR

7. Paychex Flex – Best benefits administration software for carrier integration

Overview

Paychex Flex is one of the most widely-used payroll platforms in the world, but they also offer an integrated approach to HR, benefits, hiring, and time tracking. 

Their benefits administration software, Flock, gives your business access to plans from hundreds of different carriers all with seamless integration. No need to manually update your carrier when you make a change. The app is robust and easy to use, and comes loaded with video tutorials and in-app walkthroughs. As an employer, Flock makes it easy to select a plan that works for your business, and makes it easy for employees to enroll, make changes, and reach out for support.

Their benefits offerings are pretty standard, including medical, dental, and vision, along with flexible spending accounts, life & disability, and retirement, and they are lacking in more creative offerings such as commuter and health & wellness benefits. 

While Paychex is more expensive than other providers, they offer custom pricing based on your specific needs. Their base plan is lacking in some essentials including W-2 and 1099 filing, time tracking, and paper checks, and adding all the features you need can add up quickly. 

The best part about Paychex is that any tools you need can be added on to whichever plan you have, meaning you can build a product without paying for tons of extra features you don’t need. It’s not our favorite system, or the best option on this list, but for larger businesses who are less concerned with every nickel and dime, they can provide a solid one-stop solution that’s ready to grow as your business grows. 

Key Features

  • Fully integrated HR, payroll, benefits, and time tracking
  • Medical, dental, and vision + retirement, FSAs & HSAs
  • Self-service employee onboarding & benefits enrollment
  • In-app videos and tutorials 
  • Licensed advisors available
  • Integrate with existing benefits brokers
  • Powerful hiring, onboarding, and team management tools
  • Built-in learning management system for training new-hires

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Dedicated mobile app for employee benefits administrationExpensive compared to other all-in-one providers 
Trusted payroll platformMany “core” features only included in the highest-tier plan
Fully customizableCustomer support isn’t great
Powerful HR suiteNo transparent pricing
Flock benefits app is separate from Paychex mobile app

Pricing

Paychex Flex no longer offers transparent pricing on their site, but they have three pricing tiers: Essentials, Select, and Pro. The Essentials package costs $39 per month plus $5 per employee per month and includes basic payroll tools as well as new hire reporting, standard analytics, workers’ comp, a financial wellness program, and an Employee Assistance Program.

Both the Select and Pro plans are pricing upon request. It’s impossible to know what they include, and you can build a plan that meets your needs, but you may end up paying more than many out-of-the-box payroll and benefits providers. 

Free Trial: Six months free for a limited time.

Free Plan: No.

Learn more about Paychex Flex

FAQs

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