A new bill in Congress aims to encourage companies to offer help to their workers in paying off their student loan debt. Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of 31 lawmakers sponsored legislation that would make employer contributions to their staff’s student loan payments tax deductible. It would be similar to contributions companies make to their workers’ 401(k)s.
“Some companies are already offering this benefit because they see the advantage it gives them when recruiting and retaining younger employees, but we want to encourage more to participate so we can help both struggling graduates and our economy,” said Representative Rodney Davis, a Republican from Illinois who introduced the bill along with Representative Scott Peters, a Democrat from California.
Consulting firm PwC was one of the first companies to initiate a student loan benefit program last year. The company offers new employees $1,200 a year toward their loans for up to six years. Since then, several other companies have launched similar plans.
“Adding tax relief to the equation could elevate student loan assistance alongside 401(k) contribution as one of the most valuable financial benefits a company can offer its workers that directly impact their quality of life today,” said Scott Thompson, the CEO of Tuition IO, a company that helps employers put student loan benefit plans in place.
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