One of the biggest voluntary benefits decision points isn’t always the “what,” but more often the “when” of expanding your voluntary options.
The right, well-timed benefits for the right employees can create company love that lasts (and retains employees) for years. The inverse results in wasted dollars and a revolving door that costs in every way, from your bottom-line to your culture.
For one of today’s Hottest New Benefits, student loan help, the question remains, “When is the timing right for offering student loan benefits? And, who will they help?”
Data from Prudential Retirement shows that there are three critical moments where student loan benefits matter most to companies and employees.
1. THE CAREER START: YEARS 1 TO 3
Data from Prudential shows that “three years after leaving school, only 46% of students have been able to pay even one dollar toward their principal loan balances.”
During the first few years of an employee’s career, company-sponsored student loan contributions offer high-impact opportunities for organizations and HR teams.
2. REPAYMENT KICK-OFF: ENGAGING QUALIFIED MID-LEVEL CANDIDATES
Today only roughly 54 percent of federal student loans are being repaid, according to the Q1 2017 U.S. Department of Education data. The same data shows a majority of borrowers are in grace periods, forbearance, or one of a number of statutes that exempt them from having to make payments.
Well, how long can that last?
The good news about these delayed payment scenarios is that most expire, and per the federal guidelines, just as an employee is likely to start searching for their second job. Bureau of Labor and Statistics data say that year four of employment, just as student loan payment delays reach their maximum, is when most workers find a new employer.
These data points suggest that, for employers looking to make or attract qualified mid-to-early career talent, student loan benefits present a serious opportunity.
3. RETIREMENT PILE-UP: READING BETWEEN THE UNUSED DOLLAR BILLS
Last, but not least, the last and most critical moment for employers to consider student loan benefits is actually found on their balance sheet.
The Prudential study shows that 73 percent of graduates with student loans say they wish they were saving more for retirement.
If your company has a pile, or growing pile, of unused retirement benefit dollars, it may be time to explore a student loan benefit to grow overall employee wellness.
IS THIS YOUR MOMENT: GET THE DATA – STUDENT LOAN STUDY
If you’re unsure or would like to measure the impact of a student loan benefit, contact us today for a free student loan study. Find out whether now’s the time for the benefit 89 percent of job seekers say matters when choosing an employer.