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IRS allows employers to match employee student loan payments in 401(k)

HR News icon1 min read

In a letter released publicly in mid-August, the IRS signaled its willingness to allow employers to contribute to 401(k) accounts for employees who aren’t able to make contributions on their own, provided the employee is making qualified student loan payments. This is huge news for younger employees, and particularly for Millennials, who are saddled with historically high student loan debt.

According to Pew research, only 52% of Millennial employees are currently contributing to their own retirement accounts, often because of the heavy financial burden of student loan repayment. A 401(k) benefit tied to student loan repayment would allow these employees to take advantage of employer contributions to prepare for retirement, as long as they’re currently paying down the balance on their student loan debts. This benefit could serve as a useful recruiting tool for employers looking to prove their employee-friendly bona fides. Read the IRS’s ruling here to learn more.