PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 36

2022 INNOVATION ISSUE | STUDENT LOAN DEBT
Student Loan Repayment
More plan sponsors expect to add an iteration of this benefit
W
hen pharmaceutical company
Abbott was, in 2018, seeking a
way to differentiate its benefit
offerings from competitors' and truly add
value to its 33,000 employees, the firm's
surveys and research quickly zeroed in on
helping its young, highly educated workforce
with its student loans.
" We observed many people struggling
to save for retirement because of their
student loans, and we saw a great opportunity
to tackle the problem, " says Diego
Martinez, Abbott's divisional vice president
of benefits and wellness in Chicago.
So Abbott launched its Freedom 2
Save program. Through it, employees who
put 2% of their pay toward their student
loan debt get a 5% contribution from the
company in a 401(k) account.
Since the program debuted in summer
2018, about 1,800 eligible employees have
participated, 1,400 of whom are currently
enrolled. Any U.S. employee who carries
student loan debt may sign up. As of early
2021, according to company data, participants
were an average age of 34 and evenly
split between males and females.
" The feedback from employees has
been amazing, " Martinez says. " The
employees who participate in the plan are
grateful. But even those who don't use
it recognize that the company is doing
something really great. "
Programs such as Abbott's remain
relatively rare: Just 8% of employers
provided student loan repayment assistance
to their workers in 2020, according
to the Society for Human Resource
36 PLANSPONSOR.COM December 2021 - January 2022 Art by Jennifer Dahbura
Management. Still, that percentage had
grown, being double what it was in 2018.
Experts expect interest in such
programs to increase substantially in
this new year, as the COVID-19-related
pause on federal student loan payments
will end on May 1-an extension made by
President Biden in late December from
the original extension of February 1. At
that time millions of Americans will soon
need to resume repaying their student
loans after more than a two-year hiatus.
This is, then, an opportunity for
employers that offer student loan benefits
to tout them to workers-and for
employers yet to offer them to do so.
" Student loan benefits will become
a much more relevant conversation, from
the plan participant perspective, starting
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PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022

INSIGHTS
RULES & REGULATIONS
UPFRONT
ESG Interest Piqued
2021 Best in Class DC Providers
Ramping Up Offerings
Annuities Still Misunderstood
Student Loan Repayment
FIDUCIARY FORUM
INSIDE ANGLE
PLAN PROFILE
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - Cover1
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - Cover2
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 1
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 2
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 3
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - INSIGHTS
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 5
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - RULES & REGULATIONS
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 7
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 8
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 9
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - UPFRONT
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 11
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 12
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 13
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 14
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 15
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - ESG Interest Piqued
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 17
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 18
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 19
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 2021 Best in Class DC Providers
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 21
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 22
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 23
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 24
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 25
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 26
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 27
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 28
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 29
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - Ramping Up Offerings
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 31
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 32
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 33
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - Annuities Still Misunderstood
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 35
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - Student Loan Repayment
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - 37
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - FIDUCIARY FORUM
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - INSIDE ANGLE
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - PLAN PROFILE
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - Cover3
PLANSPONSOR - December 2021 - January 2022 - Cover4
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https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/august_september_2021
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/june_july_2021
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/april-may_2021
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https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/october-november_2019
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/august-september_2019
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/june-july_2019
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/april-may_2019
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/february-march_2019
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/december_2018-january_2019
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/october-november_2018
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/august-september_2018
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/june-july_2018
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/april-may_2018
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/february-march_2018
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https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/november_december_2017
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/october_2017
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