Associate Director, Pension Financial Reporting

New York City, New York (US)
Sep 15, 2021
Oct 15, 2021
Job Role
Contract Type
Full Time
Level of qualification
CPA, Experienced, Degree


Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions.  It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.  Columbia is one of the top academic and research institutions in the world, conducting path breaking research in medicine, science, the arts, and the humanities. It includes three undergraduate schools, thirteen graduate and professional schools, a world-renowned medical center, four affiliated colleges and seminaries, twenty-five libraries, and more than one hundred research centers and institutes.  The creation of the Columbia Climate School was recently announced and while not yet operational, is the first new school in 25 years at the University.  Columbia can claim 86 Nobel Laureates as well as over 380 new inventions each year.  Columbia is rated in the top 10 of private employers in NYC, and minorities make up 45% of faculty and staff. We are committed to attracting and retaining the best and brightest in the workforce to support our mission of excellence in higher education and research.

Reporting to the Executive Director, Benefits and Pension Accounting & Reporting, the Associate Director, Pension Financial Reporting is responsible for the on-going accounting of the University’s eight pension/post-retirement plans – a mix of defined contributions, deferred compensation and defined benefits plans- with combined assets greater than $8 billion. The Associate Director is responsible for maintaining the plans’ books and records, including the related expense and liability postings, coordinating the plans’ audits, preparation of the plans’ financial statements and footnote disclosures and the pension/post retirement footnote disclosure for the University’s Consolidated financial statements in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).  He/she works closely with others within Fringe Benefits Accounting, the Controller’s Office, and the Human Resources Benefits teams, as well as both internal and external auditors, plan actuaries and plan custodians. Duties include, but are not limited to:

  • maintaining the plans’ books and records and handling monthly closing and reconciliation procedures;
  • complying with internal controls to ensure the  protection of pension assets;
  • preparing the plans year-end financial statements and footnote disclosures in accordance with GAAP and ERISA regulations.
  • participates in researching new accounting rules and updates and making recommendations as to applicability and implementation;
  • coordinating the plans year-end audit processes and acting as liaison with the University’s independent auditor;
  • preparing the Forms 5500 and other Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor regulatory compliance filings;
  • preparing the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) pension/post retirement disclosure for the University’s audited financial statements;
  • In consultation with the Executive Director, serving as the Controller’s Office liaison to the Benefits Department on pension/post-retirement related audit and accounting matters, reconciliations and ad hoc reporting needs; 
  • monitoring investment performance in accordance with the University’s asset allocation for the pension assets;
  • working closely with the plans’ custodian and the plans’ actuaries to ensure that valuation inputs are appropriate and that pension related disclosures are accurate;
  • supports and participates in all pension plans related HR activities,
  • supervises the Senior Accountant Benefits/Pension Financial Reporting and Accounting;
  • performing other related duties and special projects as assigned.




Bachelor’s degree (preferably in accounting, business administration or finance), plus at least five year’s related experience required.  CPA and/or advanced degree with public accounting experience strongly preferred.  Must be detail-oriented, analytical and organized, with strong organizational and problem-solving skills, and the ability to prioritize and manage multiple assignments simultaneously.  Advanced Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access) is required; excel super-user with the ability to collect and analyze data evaluate information, prepare reports, and present findings and recommendations is preferred.  Must possess excellent oral, written and interpersonal skills; the ability to work closely and effectively with a diverse group of senior University administrators, is essential.  Supervisory experience strongly preferred.  Knowledge of current FASB and AICPA disclosure and presentation issues strongly preferred.  Must have a passion for excellent customer service and commitment to exceptional quality.

To be considered an applicant, all interested parties MUST apply through the Columbia University online employment application system. Paste the following quick link into your browser to access this position posting:

Columbia University is an Equal Employment / Affirmative Action Employer