Student loans competing with 401(k)s? They already do when it comesto saving, but now it could go a step further.

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It’s no surprise that people are leaving school and entering theworkplace positively inundated with debt from all those student loans.

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A study from iontuition has shown that thoseloans are such a burden that many borrowers would rather work for acompany that helps them manage those loans as part of its benefitpackage. (The company offers employers such an option as anelective benefit.)

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The survey iontuition conducted probed what people with studentloans want from employers. The majority of respondents said thatthey wanted help with those loans, and that making that help partof a benefits package was a “breakthrough and welcomedsolution.”

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Almost 80 percent of those with loans said that they would liketo work for a company that offers repayment assistance with amatching opportunity.

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Fifty-five percent said they’d prefer that the money they’recurrently paying for health care went to student loan balancesinstead. Of that latter group, 94 percent said that the benefitsplan at their current job includes health care.

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And nearly half of respondents—49 percent—said that they’dprefer student loan payment contributions over a 401(k) plan atpresent.

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Repayment of student loans is important, but so is saving forretirement—and older workers say that they regret not being able tosave, and save more, for that goalwhen they were much younger.

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If money is channeled away from retirement savings when workersare young, they’ll lose the opportunity to build savingsover the long haul and probably not have enough money set aside tosee them through retirement.

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So employers might have to find a way to make sure both basesare covered, if they’re truly concerned about their employees’financial well-being.

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