With millennials already tens of thousands of dollars in the red as they enter the work force, employers now need to shake up their traditional benefit packages.
Medical coverage and retirement plans are still very important factors in luring young talent, but as student debt becomes an inevitable burden for the next generation of workers, companies will have to incorporate alternative employee benefit programs to stay competitive.
From the Employee Benefit Adviser:
Seventy-three percent of millennials (those born in 1982 or later) are concerned about meeting their monthly living expenses and financial obligations, compared to 67% of Gen X and 63% of baby boomers, according to MetLife’s most recent Employee Benefit Trends Study …
Jeff Oldham, VP of consumer strategy of the Benefitstore at Benefitfocus, says the level of debt millennials are being burdened with when entering the workforce is seriously affecting their life-changing decisions, such as buying a home or starting a family …
Oldham has seen several companies offer loan assistance benefits that will assist employees with student loans by paying off a percentage of their loans based on the amount of time they remain with the company.
The first part of the process for employers will be providing access to financial advising. As the fintech industry takes off, partnerships with those firms could be major value adds for young prospective employees lacking crucial financial management skills.
There is a noticeable absence of financial education in our colleges and universities, and any company providing the resources to bridge that gap will become a lot more attractive to debt-saddled graduates.
Additionally, new employees will look for companies who can assist them in paying back those debts. Similar to a 401(k), if an employee could pay into a loan repayment program and have their employer match a certain percentage, that would go an incredibly long way.
In fact, many millennials are too concerned with current debt to even consider traditional retirement savings plans, so loan repayment programs could be a big bargaining chip for employers.
Have something to add to this story? Comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.
Header image: Shutterstock