Posted December 18, 2018
Many businesses say they don’t have the budget to assist employees with student loan payments. Or, they’re concerned about providing equitable benefits. But with BenefitEd and Employee Choice, employers can win the talent war and offer equitable benefits that don’t heavily impact their budgets.
Address employees’ real concerns
News stories regularly remind employers that there is a shortage of talented employees applying for open positions. In the past, employers had only to offer an attractive mix of benefits and incentives to sway employees to join their teams. But now to attract and retain top talent, they need to provide benefits that address prospective employees’ real needs, such as student loan repayment assistance.
Younger and older employees have student loans
The Federal Reserve reports that over 44 million people owe $1.5 trillion in student loans. Another $1.27 trillion in new federal student loans will be added by 2028. Seven out of 10 new college graduates owe $37,000 or more.
But there is another startling statistic: 6.8 million student loan borrowers are between 40 and 49 and owe on average $33,675 each. They’ve taken out loans to pursue graduate degrees, get additional training or to assist their kids with college expenses.
Nearly half of workers say they worry about paying off their student loans most of the time, reports the American Student Association. For many workers, the loan repayment amount is equivalent to a car or home mortgage payment. About 65 percent of employees with student loan debts work a second job to cover expenses.
Offer choices with BenefitEd
Every year, employees leave $24 billion in 401(k) matching funds from their employers on the table. Often, they don’t take advantage of these matching funds because they have little money left after making their monthly student loan payment and covering basic living needs.
The BenefitEd Employee Choice program allows employers to provide equitable benefits for all employees. And they don’t have to adjust their budgets because they can use the funds they’ve already set aside for matching contributions.
Employees can make full use of their employers’ matching programs by applying these unused dollars to help pay down student loan debt. Or, employees can split the matching funds to make a payment to their student loan debt and put money away for retirement. And for employees who don’t have student loans, they can continue to use employer 401(k) matching funds for retirement savings.
Through BenefitEd, employers can also provide employees access to a college 529 savings plans to help them save money for their kids or grandkids’ college expenses.
Win the talent war
Employers can win the talent war with the BenefitEd and Employee Choice programs. With this benefit, businesses can assist employees in repaying student loans and developing healthier financial well-being. Prospective team members will be drawn to these companies because they’ll want to work for an employer that cares about employees’ worries and concerns.