The #1 Benefit Employees Want in 2019?

The #1 benefit American employees want to see in their benefits package? Assistance with student loan debt. While a good salary, paid vacation, and health insurance all remain perennial draws, student debt relief is no doubt the top employee benefit for 2019.

Understanding the latest benefit trend

Desire for assistance with student loans from employers makes sense. Americans are simply crushed under their student debt burdens. Today, nearly 45 million American are paying back student loans.  Plus, the average college student graduates with $30,000 of student loan debt according to a recent article by CNBC.

For today’s employee, student loan debt assistance could be the make or break factor for their future employment decisions.

“Most companies provide a pretty standard benefit menu, like medicine, dental and vision,” said Erin Smith of Options Clearing Corporation to CNBC. “So when you introduce a program that differentiates you, that really matters.”

In fact, according to recent USA Today article on student loan debt programs for employees:

  • 6 in 10 workers with student debt say working for a business that assists with their debt is a key enticement (Abbott survey conducted by YouGov)
  • 62% of workers with student debt would consider a job at a different company that offered student loan debt help or benefits
  • 32% of employers interested in staff financial wellness programs said they offered or would offer student loan debt assistance (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Bottom line? Potential and current employees want jobs where student loan debt help is a part of their benefits package.

Critical for success

Today, student loan debt relief programs are rapidly shifting from a want to a need for many American workers.

When employees don’t have access to student loan relief programs, they have an inability to save for retirement or emergency funds. In fact, 42% of workers with student loans aren’t putting aside money for their retirement years, according to an Abbott survey conducted by YouGov. That number rises to a scary 48% for workers between 18 and 34.

Even more troubling? 59% of younger employees said, “it was more important to pay off student loan debt than to put money into their 401(k),” according to an American Student Assistance poll.

For employees, an inability to save for the future creates stress, financial instability, and demoralization. For employers, a failure to promote employee retirement planning could also lead to several problems. Most notable? A lack of retention, decreased company culture, and reduced efficacy at work.

Access to student loan assistance programs isn’t just critical for individuals –  it’s critical for the success of companies as well.

Next Steps

Are you an employer?

  • Visit LoanGifting to learn how to offer student loan assistance to every employee – at no additional cost.

Are you an employee seeking student debt help from your company?


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