Navigating the Restart of Federal Student Loan Payments: How Educational Benefits Can Boost Employee Attraction and Retention

Oct 18, 2023

As we step into the latter half of October 2023, a significant change is on the horizon – the resumption of federal student loan payments. This impending shift presents challenges for your employees, but it’s also an opportunity for your organization to stand out. 

The Countdown to Student Loan Payments

For your employees, the restart of student loan payments marks a return to financial responsibilities that may have been temporarily on hold. This can undoubtedly cause stress and financial strain. But, here’s the kicker – your organization can seize this moment to show compassion and forward-thinking leadership in a tangible way. And in doing so — you can put your best foot forward when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.

The Perks of Educational Assistance Benefits

Educational assistance programs can take various forms, each tailored to match your workforce’s unique needs. Here’s why they matter and how they can turn the tables:

  1. Luring Top Talent: In the current job market, prospective employees are drawn to companies that invest in their growth and financial stability. Providing educational benefits makes your organization a beacon for job seekers who want a brighter future.
  2. Retaining Star Performers: By offering support for ongoing education, skill development, or help with existing student loans, you foster loyalty among your current employees. Team members who feel valued and nurtured are more likely to stick around — reducing your turnover and saving your bottom line.
  3. Boosting Well-Being: Financial strain can take a toll on an employee’s mental and emotional health. With educational benefits— especially those focused on repayment assistance — you can lighten the load, leading to a happier, more productive workforce.
  4. Amplifying Company Reputation: A commitment to employee development and financial security enhances your company’s image as a responsible and caring employer. This positive perception can attract both clients and customers – as well as  future talent.

Types of Educational Benefits

Educational assistance can be customized to suit your organization’s specific goals and capacities. Here are some avenues to consider:

  1. Tuition Reimbursement: Partially cover your employees’ tuition fees for job-related courses or degree programs.
  2. Student Loan Repayment Assistance: Provide tax-free contributions to help your employees pay down their existing student loans. You can also offer a loan refinancing option with payments through payroll deductions. According to the updated Consolidated Appropriations Act states that, through December 31, 2025, employers can give each employee $5,250 per year in tax-free student loan assistance under a Qualified Educational Assistance Program.
  3. Professional Development Opportunities: Offer on-the-job training, workshops, or courses to boost skills and personal growth.
  4. Scholarships and Grants: Create opportunities for employees or their children to apply for scholarships or grants to pursue higher education.
  5. Financial Literacy Programs: Equip your workforce with the knowledge and tools to manage their finances effectively, reducing stress and improving overall well-being.

Taking the Next Step

With the return of student loan payments looming, now is the perfect time to consider how you can ease this transition and enhance overall job satisfaction and employee engagement. Providing educational benefits is a concrete way to show your commitment to your employees’ success, both in their careers and personal lives.

At Totem, we’re here to assist you in creating a comprehensive benefits program that aligns with your company’s objectives and capabilities. Together, we can ensure a brighter future for your employees and help your organization thrive.

For more information, connect with one of our team members today.

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