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United Airlines Director - Retirement Plans in Chicago, Illinois

Human Resources

The Human Resources team helps attract and recruit diverse talent, and works to provide employees with competitive benefits, leadership resources and the support to be successful at United.

Job overview and responsibilities

The primary purpose of this position is to lead, design and implement global retirement and financial benefit programs (defined benefit, defined contribution, etc.) that are aligned with the business strategy. Ensure the successful delivery of such programs in achieving the desired outcomes (cost effectiveness, engagement, productivity, satisfaction, etc.). Provide thought leadership around the strategic direction and design of the programs as well as drive changes necessary to move towards best practices, improve processes, and effectively engage all stakeholders, including business leaders, employees, unions and suppliers. This position works to ensure that programs enable United to attract and retain a talented workforce, ensure employees are on path towards retirement readiness, that we remain competitive while supporting the needs of a diverse workforce, that programs maintain strong compliance and overall controls, and that we optimize the return on our enterprise’s investment in these programs.

This position also has a leadership role in labor union negotiations and partners on investment oversight of $22 Billion in defined contribution plan assets and $5B in defined benefit plan assets. Responsible for the Company's non-US benefit plans and administration of multiemployer DB plans.

  • Lead the development and implementation of United’s policies and strategies for employee retirement programs, designed to increase employees’ retirement readiness and financial health, increase productivity, and manage costs more effectively

  • Partner on retiree medical program design and strategy

  • Prepare and present recommendations to human resources and other leaders related to new offerings and changes to existing programs

  • Monitor trends and advise management of the impact on United’s programs and strategies

  • Oversee the performance of administration and investments in the qualified plans, ensure compliance with the investment policy, make recommendations for changes, and drive selection and implementation of new funds as necessary

  • Serve as fiduciary and governance leader for multiple US and international plans

  • Partner with Unions to build more effective working relationships and to directly address concerns as they arise

  • Oversee performance of various third-party administrators to ensure compliance with all policies, service level agreements, laws and regulations and to ensure excellent customer service for all United participants

  • Leadership role in labor negotiations

  • Lead a team of benefits professionals in developing and implementing effective strategies for the company

  • Establish priorities and oversee workflow of the team

  • Coach and develop individual team members to foster growth and learning

  • Lead Non-US Benefit programs and partner with key stakeholders in payroll, IT, HR and LR on the implementation of United's policies and strategies for time off policies

  • Prepare and present recommendations to human resources and other leaders related to new offerings and changes to existing programs

  • Monitor trends and advise management of the impact on United’s programs and strategies

  • Lead large scale cross functional projects supporting strategic employee benefit initiatives


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business, HR, Finance, Accounting, or a related field

  • 10+ years of progressive experience in leading or advising major enterprise-wide defined benefit and defined contribution retiree benefit and time off programs

  • Experience with benefits in a labor union environment and partnering with labor unions

  • Consulting experience is a plus

  • Demonstrated leadership in strategy development and effective execution of programs to deliver business results

  • Record of success in developing solutions in retirement and savings arenas

  • Experience in a large, complex, global, corporate environment

  • Experience creating and leading teams, motivating, coaching and developing high performers

  • High level of expertise in subject matter related to employee benefit programs with a focus on retirement programs & time off policies

  • Excellent organizational skills; ability to communicate and influence at all levels

  • Ability to build and maintain strong relationships; strong negotiation skills

  • Strong analytical skills; ability to quickly pivot as business needs and priorities change

  • Project management skills

  • Must be legally authorized to work in the United States for any employer without sponsorship

  • Successful completion of interview required to meet job qualification

  • Reliable, punctual attendance is an essential function of the position


  • MBA or Masters in related field

  • Professional benefits certification such as Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)

Equal Opportunity Employer – Minorities/Women/Veterans/Disabled/LGBT

Division: 70 Human Resources

Function: Human Resources and Labor Relations

Equal Opportunity Employer – Minorities/Women/Veterans/Disabled