Fidelity Launches New Program For Employers To Help Pay Off Student Loans

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

The race to repay student loans has a new entrant.

To increase recruitment and retention, and ease the burden of student loan debt, Fidelity Investments is offering employers a new program to help employees pay off undergraduate or graduate student loans more quickly.

According to personal finance comparison site Make Lemonade, there are more than 44 million student loan borrowers who collectively owe more than $1.4 trillion in student loans. The average student in the Class of 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt.

With its new Student Debt Employer Contribution program, Fidelity will help employers make after-tax contributions towards their employees’ student loans.

Employers turn to Fidelity as a trusted strategic partner, and its vital our customers have modernized, customized and creative programs to help their workforce be financially well today and into the future, said Kevin Barry, president of Fidelity Workplace Investing. The Student Debt Employer Contribution program addresses a growing need across all generations struggling with student loans, in a one-stop experience for employers.

Fidelity will administer and fulfill the student loan payments. The program will pilot in the fourth quarter of 2017 with a full roll-out in early 2018.

To attract and retain Millennials, in particular, companies are expanding their employee benefit programs to help reduce student loan debt for their employees.