Despite President Joe Biden’s new student loan forgiveness program, nearly two-thirds (60 per cent) of U.S. employers that currently offer a student loan repayment program won’t be changing their policy, according to a survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.
The survey, which polled more than 300 U.S. employers, found the majority (74 per cent) of respondents don’t offer a student loan repayment program, while just nine per cent do and 16 per cent are considering adding one to their benefits plans. Among respondents that do offer the program, fewer than a third (31 per cent) said they’re unsure of their plans for the policy, while 11 per cent noted they’re planning to revisit it in light of the Biden administration’s new program.
In addition, among employers that do offer the program, 45 per cent said they pay employees’ lending institutions directly, while 28 per cent reimburse or pay employees the amount directly, 21 per cent offer refinancing of student loan debt and three per cent provide a corresponding match into the employee’s 401(k) or other defined contribution pension plan. Another three per cent were unsure of what method of repayment was used at their organization.
These respondents also noted offering student loan repayment programs help their organizations retain staff (45 per cent), reduce employees’ financial stress (45 per cent), attract new talent (31 per cent) and increase employee engagement (24 per cent).