Student loan debt is a significant obstacle for many younger workers as they save for retirement.

Eight in 10 adults with student loans said their debt was limiting their ability to save for retirement, according to a 2019 study by MIT Age Lab and TIAA. Employers may offer a generous retirement match but find that employees are not getting the benefit simply because they have to make a large student loan payment each month, while their peers without student debt build up savings.

Help may be on the way as part of SECURE 2.0, a comprehensive package of retirement changes pending in Congress. One component of the proposed legislation that has received bipartisan support would allow employers to count employees’ student loan payments toward their retirement match, effectively increasing retirement contributions for those employees.


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