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Indigo Books & Music Inc. is the first national employer to pilot the Great-West Life Assurance Co.’s student debt savings program.

Employees in the program will receive a matching contribution, up to a maximum, to their retirement savings account within Indigo’s group retirement plan for every payment they make to their Canadian or provincial government student loan. To be eligible, employees have to send proof of regular student loan payments to Great-West Life.

Read: Walmart introduces tuition benefit for U.S. employees

“We are thrilled to welcome Indigo to Great-West Life’s student debt savings program pilot,” said Brad Fedorchuk, senior vice-president of group customer experience and marketing at the insurer, in a press release. “Today’s average post-secondary student accumulates $27,000 in student debt by the time they leave school and takes about 10 years to pay it off. Often, this means delaying important life goals like starting a family or buying a home.”

The response from employees has been positive so far, according to the release, with one employee who said the program will help her reach her goal of paying off her student loan by 2019. 

Read: Will Canadian companies follow U.S. trend towards student loan assistance?

“Our employees are our No. 1 priority,” said Gil Dennis, executive vice-president of human resources and retail for Indigo. “By being first in Canada to launch Great-West Life’s innovative student debt savings program, we are reinforcing our commitment to our employees and to supporting them in their careers and in achieving their life goals.”

Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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