One of the hottest new perks for millennial workers is employer help in paying down their student loans.
Hefty student loan balances – totaling $1.2 trillion in the U.S. – are seen as a major obstacle stopping young workers from saving in their company’s retirement plan or buying a new home.
More and more companies are starting to help young employees pay down their student loans. The loan assists are often modest (from $500 to $2,000 per year), but every little bit helps.
Support with loan payments can be a powerful recruiting and retention tool helping companies to attract great millennial talent, says Claire Zillman, writing for Fortune.
In one survey, 80 percent of those surveyed said they wanted to work for a company that helps pay off student debt.
One problem: right now, employer loan payments are taxed as additional income to employees, although Congress is considering legislation to treat loan payments like tuition assistance, and exempt it from tax up to certain limits.