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man and woman trying to move a rock labeled student loan (Photo: Shutterstock)

What is the most talked about benefit in the new year? Student loan assistance programs. Recent surveys confirm that student loans are a top concern among employees, especially recent grads, but it is not just a millennial issue. Many baby boomers have cosigned loans for their children or returned to school themselves incurring debt at a time when they should be concentrating on preparations for retirement.

According to a Society for Human Resource Management survey, only eight percent of companies currently offer employer student loan repayment assistance programs, but that is double the number of companies who offered the benefit a year ago. It is important to understand that student loan repayment programs are not the same as employer tuition reimbursement programs. Employer sponsored tuition reimbursement benefits are tax deductible up to an annual limit of $5,250 per employee, but current student loan repayments are taxable.

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