Our client is a Canadian-based global leader in insurance, employee benefits, and investments.


Our client is one of Canada’s largest insurance and benefits carriers. They work with companies of all sizes and have a particular strength in serving large enterprise clients. Many of these clients have Workday as their core HRIS system, and high-quality, reliable integrations between carrier systems and the customers’ Workday systems are crucial.

Deep and comprehensive integrations between carrier and customer systems eliminate the cost, risk, and errors associated with the manual processing of benefits files, especially for large and complex employee populations. Integrations improve employee experiences, reduce administrative costs and burdens for both parties, and ultimately lead to higher client satisfaction and retention.

Benefits integrations can be challenging, especially because each client has tailored benefits programs and has configured Workday to meet their unique needs. Our client asked us to create a simplified process and guide to assist them with configuring and implementing benefits integrations with their clients’ Workday HRIS systems.

Our client’s objective was to be the carrier with the most knowledgeable and comprehensive approach to Workday integrations, which would be a competitive advantage. A standard guide, methodology, and approach to implementing Workday integrations based on best practices would help them achieve this goal.

Our objective was to develop this step-by-step guide to help clients get started with pension and benefits integrations. This guide would improve their understanding of integration core concepts and provide standardized processes to improve their probability of success.


At Dispatch, we have built hundreds of Workday integrations with our clients worldwide, including employee benefits integrations with dozens of global and Canadian carriers. Due to the wide variety of benefits plans, the needs of different populations, the number of unique employee events that impact eligibility and enrolment, and the complexity of benefits files, benefits integrations can be challenging.

Many companies focus on the technical aspects of integrations, like the implementation of a customized Workday connector. However, pension and benefits integrations require substantial domain expertise related to the following factors:

  • Pension and benefits key concepts and terminology.
  • Employee experience for enrolment and self-management.
  • Employee lifecycle events and the implications with pension and benefits eligibility and enrollment.
  • Benefits file structure, schemas, and timing.
  • Appropriate automation geared around employee events, payroll cycles, annual cycles, and administrative processes.
  • Understanding how pension and benefits fit within a broader scope of Total Rewards and ensuring consistent employee experiences.
  • Reporting and analytics for benefits administrators, management, and other stakeholders.
  • The technical elements of integrations, including connectors, inbound/outbound integration logic, and integration management.

The technical elements of the integration design are only a component and consequence of overall pension and benefits design and implementation.

We worked with our client to create a guide to be used with their end-clients implementing or upgrading their Workday integrations that addressed each of the above considerations. This guide covered typical integration scenarios, integration project structure and planning, common integration architectures for group benefits and pension plans, and technical aspects of the Workday connector. In addition, the guide covered recommended approaches for Workday functional and integration configuration and techniques for unit, transaction, end-to-end, and population testing.

The guide outlined some fundamental elements regarding the management of employee eligibility and plan enrolment, which often vary significantly between companies. It addressed core concepts regarding plan, location, class code mapping, and employee and company lifecycle event processing.

Pension and benefits integrations tend to be file-based, with file structures often uniquely determined by the carrier’s requirements and the end client’s needs. Creating error-resistant methods of automating the creation and transmission of files can be a significant technical challenge. Our guide outlined best practices to ensure bi-directional file transmission is bulletproof.

Finally, our guide included a glossary of common terms used by carriers as well as within the context of Workday. Since Workday’s terminology can sometimes deviate from carrier terminology, this is important for both technical and non-technical team members to ensure no confusion while implementing pension and benefits integrations.


This guide has become a standardized approach used by our client whenever they assist new Workday-based companies to develop and implement pension and benefits integrations. It helps existing customers fine-tune and optimize their integrations, and it serves as a way to improve overall customer and employee experience across our client’s Canadian customer base.

Laura Williams
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