Midwest states Illinois, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Iowa, Michigan & Minnesota are all among the top half of states in the country with high student-loan indebtedness according to a study published in 2016 by WalletHub. One Minnesota State Senator Jeffrey Miller recognized how much recent college grads are struggling, noting: “[Policy leaders are] always looking for ways to make higher education more affordable, but we should also work to help the folks who have already been through college and are struggling to pay back their student loans.”
Federal legislators are working with Peanut Butter to develop and advance legislation that provide incentives to employers that assist workers with student debt.
There are few things on which the political parties agree these days, which leaves struggling the 44 million americans holding $1.4 Trillion in student loan debt. It was therefore a rare moment of bipartisanship last month when Republican Rodney Davis of Illinois and Democrat Scott Peters of California joined together in the U.S. Capitol to introduce the Employer Participation in Student Loan Assistance Act, which creates tax advantages for employer participation in student debt assistance.
We were honored to be approached by Rosie Langello, a talented master's degree candidate at Northwestern University's prestigious Medill School of Journalism, to talk about how we make the peanut butter :)
2016 Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in the Nation© Winner Medix launched their student loan assistance program in January 2017. Hear directly from both management and employees in this 2-minute video.
Peanut Butter CEO David Aronson joined U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Scott Peters (D-Calif.) at a press conference to announce their bill, H.R. 795, the Employer Participation in Student Loan Assistance Act, to help address rising student debt. The proposed legislation engages private employers and encourages them to offer a tax-free benefit to put toward an employee’s student loan debt, similar to the existing tax benefit for tuition assistance.
Student debt is causing quite a bit of financial stress for employees today, but research from Aon Hewitt suggests the pain of student debt will likely be felt all the way into retirement. According to their research workers with student loans are participating in employer-provided retirement plans at a lower rate than those without loans, and employees with loans are far more pessimistic about their financial future than those without loans.
We have a student loan repayment plan design option that can address both the pain of student loans while also helping employees plan for the future.
After nearly 2 years of building student loan assistance programs, supporting employers from coast to coast, and partnering with legislators at the federal, state, and local levels, I want to lay out my observations on where the market is, where it's going, and what's driving growth.
I believe that student loan assistance will be nearly ubiquitous as an employee benefit among U.S. companies within 5 years.