You’ve already got a lot invested in your benefits programs. But if your company’s looking to hire the best and the brightest of the current crop of college grads, here’s a new idea you might want to consider.
The perk: Helping Millennials handle the financial burden that accompanied those new diplomas.
Employees saddled with student-loan debt are looking for repayment assistance from their employers.
And they’re willing to give up a lot to get it.
More important than a 401(k)
In fact, according to a study by iontuition, nearly 80% of individuals with student loans would like to work for a company with repayment assistance with a matching opportunity.
What’s more, 49% of those individuals said they’d prefer student loan payment contributions to an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan.
Plus, 55% of workers said they’d rather have the money they’re putting toward health care go toward lowering their student loan balances.
A golden opportunity
While younger employees may be clamoring for student loan help, very few employers are currently offering this option, which means forward-thinking employers can cash in on this unfilled need.
A recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study found that just three percent of employers student loan repayment benefits, and fewer than one percent of employers plan on offering the perk within the next year.
Companies that do offer this benefit will cover about $4,591 per worker, on average.
One company that has decided to test the waters of the student loan repayment benefits is PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). According to CNN Money, PwC will offer all associates — workers ranging from entry-level staffers to those with six years of experience — $1,200 per year to help them pay down their student loans, beginning in 2016. Employees will be able to take advantage of the benefit for up to six years.
The move makes sense for PwC. The company recruits around 11,000 employees straight out of college each year.
In regards to the loan repayment benefits, Michael Fenlon, global talent director for PwC, said:
“Student loan debt impacts the ability to save for retirement, so it has lots of secondary impact as well. We saw this as a way to provide leadership on a major societal issue, as well as something that’s really important to our people.”