Staples supplying staff $100/month to assist pay off student loans

aples has turn into the newest organization trying to attract and maintain young workers who're fretting about how they're going to spend their college student loans.

The organization announced Wednesday that it will provide $100 a month for up to 36 months to full-time sales associates and "high potential" and "top performing" personnel that are paying off student loans or in the approach of earning a degree.

With unemployment low, lots of organizations are struggling to pull in and retain devoted young workers with fantastic capabilities, and increasingly they are eyeing aid with student loans as a suggests to stand out as an employer, stated Gary Kushner, president of Kushner & Co. a Michigan-based benefits consulting firm.
While large companies such as Fidelity Investments and PriceWaterhouseCoopers have received national attention for providing the new benefit, small and medium-size businesses are especially interested in it as a retention tool, he mentioned.
"If you are fortunate enough to get abilities and the right cultural fit, you want to hold onto the person as long as you can," said Kushner. He noted that retailers especially face a struggle.

About 4 percent of employers have been offering student loan repayment support this year, according to a Society for Human Resource Management survey of employers.

Americans have about $1.2 trillion in student loan debt and about half of those with loans have monthly payments that are excessive based on their incomes, according to a study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Academic research has shown the pressure of college loans is causing some millennials to delay marriage, children and home purchases.
Economists have worried about the impact on the economy as loans bog down spending and also about the prospective impact on the federal budget. According to federal figures, about 40 percent of the 22 million Americans with federal student loans are behind in paying their loans.

Staples announced its loan repayment plan along with an effort to add 1,000 people to its sales force of 74,000 associates. In a news release Regis Mulot, executive vice present of global human resources, mentioned Staples is "enhancing its recruitment efforts while strengthening employee retention."

The firm also is providing a tuition reimbursement program for some employees who pursue education while working and gives 30 college scholarships of $3,000 each to children of workers.

Helping employees pursue education while on the job is not a new benefit. In contrast to the new perk aimed at new workers with student loans, the old programs were designed to increase abilities of existing staff.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, tuition reimbursement programs for personnel who go to undergraduate or master's programs have been cut back in recent years. In 2012, 58 percent of employers were providing the benefit to workers going to graduate school. In 2016, that had dropped to 52 percent. For undergraduate tuition, 61 percent were giving benefits in 2012, but that had dropped to 55 percent in 2016.
Tanya Mulvey, researcher for the human resources group, mentioned that employers have been looking for ways to cut some benefit costs to make up for the extra cost of health insurance. The average tuition reimbursement per employee per year was $4,442 in 2016, she stated. Corporations offering tuition reiumbursements can receive a tax deduction.

As providers face recruiting difficulty - especially among millennials - aid with student loans may turn out to be an increasingly attractive benefit, Kushner stated. But the future may depend on whether the U.S. government institutes some kind of relief - a topic in this year's election politics, he said.

Fidelity's Jennifer Hanson, who is head of associate experience and benefits, said that when the firm came out with its offer to pay $2,000 a year, as much as a total of $10,000, toward employees' student loans, it was the first time workers were greeting her with high-fives within the hall.

Fidelity's program is being administered by, the same firm that will be handle the Staples program.


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