ICYMI: Davis’ Goal to Engage Employers in Student Debt Crisis Gaining Traction
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis’ (R-Ill.) goal to engage employers in addressing the student debt crisis is gaining traction with private businesses. Davis’ bill, the Employer Participation in Student Loan Assistance Act, allows employers to provide a tax-exempt benefit to employees to help them pay down their student loans. Below are exerts from a recent Associated Press article by Joseph Pisani, AP Business Writer:
Employers are discovering that making it easier for workers to pay off their student loans helps to attract and keep a happy workforce…
Just 3 percent of employers helped workers repay student loans last year, according to a survey of more than 460 human resource managers conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management.
But more are starting to offer it, including some big-name companies.
Beginning in July, New York-based accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers plans to give certain employees with student loan debt as much as $1,200 a year for up to six years. Kronos Inc., a software company in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, will pay employees up to $500 a year toward student loan debts for as long as they need it. And some U.S. employees of Paris-based Natixis Global Asset Management can get $5,000 to go toward their federal loans, plus more if they stay with the company for more than five years…
The class of 2014 graduated with an average of $28,950 in student loan debt, up 2 percent from the year before, according to the Project on Student Loan Debt. Employers say workers tell them their debts make it impossible to save for retirement or buy a home.
"Millennials are being crushed by student debt," says Michael Fenlon, the global talent leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, which enlisted a startup, Gradifi, to handle the new benefit.
Gradifi and Tuition.io focus on processing the payments by employers; each say they already are working with about 100 companies each to provide it. Others, including SoFi, Credible and CommonBond, enable companies to help refinance their workers' student debts with more manageable rates and payment plans.
EdAssist, which has managed tuition payment benefits for employers for about nine years, began offering student loan repayments as well last year.
"Millennials are asking for it," says Bruce Elliott, a manager of compensation and benefits at the Society for Human Resource Management…
Read the entire AP article here: http://www.wral.com/more-employers-try-to-help-workers-pay-student-loans/15231842/