IRS building Contrary to otherreports, an employer's 401(k) match cannot be used to acceleratestudent loan payments. ERISA lawyer Jeffrey Holdvogt says that the5 percent match would go to a participant's 401(k) account and notto servicing student loan debt. (Photo: Diego M.Radzinschi/ALM)

A private letter ruling from the IRS to an anonymous 401(k) plansponsor may create a template for other employers hoping to addressworkers' student loan debt burden.

According to the letter, released last week, participants canearn the 401(k) plan's employer match without making their owncontributions to the plan, so long as participants can prove theyhave made payments to service student loan debt.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.