As recent graduates can often struggle with their student debt, one employer in California is taking action to help their employees with their student loans. Bentley School, a private K-12 educational institution based in Oakland, CA, formed a partnership with Gradifi to provide a faster way out of debt for faculty members at the school.
Using Gradifi’s Student Loan Paydown (SLP) Plan, Bentley School faculty members will have access to monthly employer contributions to their outstanding student loan balances. Interestingly, Bentley School in California is one of the first K-12 schools in the United States to offer repayment benefits to its faculty with Gradifi.
However, Bentley School is just one of many employers today looking at student loan repayment as a benefit for their employees. Other progressives such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Penguin Random House, Fidelity Investments, Aetna, and Nvidia can be included in the bandwagon. While some company repayment benefits are more generous than others, annual loan repayment contributions are often in the thousands of dollars per employee.
With the current generation of workers having taken on massive student loan balances, the employers are finding that the student loan repayment benefit is helpful when attracting and holding on to new graduates entering the workforce. It’s a smart move for companies looking to attract top talent in their field. While contributing to student loans will increase company expenses, the payoff is a better workforce with more loyalty and job satisfaction.
Natixis Global Asset Management is one such company. CEO John Hailer spoke about his company’s plan to assist its workforce with student loan repayment benefits: “Today’s student loan burden is tomorrow’s underfunded retirement problem, so it is imperative for companies to join with policy-makers, educators, and employees to address this critical issue.”
Student debt can hamper young people’s ability to enter the housing market and save for retirement. Since the cost of advanced education only seems to rise over time, employers are smart to help their current and potential employees with a solution. It’s a bold move in a competitive job market for skilled labor, and it can only help those employees who choose to take advantage of these innovative benefits offered by their employer.
The idea isn’t out of the blue. Student debt has steadily gained more attention every year. To date, tens of millions of college students and graduates share a rough total of $1.4 trillion in debt. At any rate, it can be expected that the labor market would adapt to the needs of upcoming workers, a group that seems to be buying homes and starting families later than the previous generation.
Author: Andrew Rombach
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